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Vidalia Heritage Academy Accreditation
Wednesday, 30 April 2014

April 30-- Vidalia Heritage Academy is being recommended for accreditation by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International.

"This type of dual accreditation really sets us apart from any other K-12 school within a 50-mile radius," says Headmaster Jeff McCormick. 

A four-member review team visited the school last week after reviewing an 82-page accreditation document prepared by Neena Bloxham, the school's Director of Institutional Advancement.

"We're no longer 'the little school' anymore.  We're competing with everybody else in everything that we do and I think the accreditation helps everyone understand that we're here and we mean business," she said.

Bloxham says the review team had "very positive things to say about our teachers" and her remarks are echoed by the Headmaster.

"It says a lot for our staff.  The review team hit the nail on the head with what they said about our staff, about the culture of the school and about the climate that you find among the parents and the students themselves," McCormick noted.

"I was overwhelmed when I read the exit report.  It said the classrooms at VHA are more than just four walls, they've taken on the personalities of those who teach and they are safe places when learning happens and students thrive.  

"And our students themselves said they were continually encouraged and challenged by all the faculty at VHA," he added.

Vidalia Heritage Academy opened in 1998 and has a projected enrollment of 317 students next school term.

"As far as we know, we're the fastest growing Christian school in southeast Georgia," McCormick said.

The school issued the following news release.

Vidalia Heritage Academy Receives Dual Accreditation Status

According to Vidalia Heritage Headmaster, Jeff McCormick, “When ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) and SACS (now known as AdvancEd) signed a dual accreditation agreement three years ago this was an easy decision for us to take the route of seeking accreditation through both entities simultaneously. Accreditation through SACS has been recognizable to most parents for years as the standard for a school’s academic effectiveness. ACSI accreditation assures families that Vidalia Heritage Academy has at its very core a Biblical worldview integrating spiritual truth and academic excellence in every subject. In other words, our Christianity is not something that is tacked on to the beginning or end of our day, rather, it is woven into every fiber and fabric of all our academics and programs.”

The External Review Team of four people not only spent three weeks reviewing documents prior to their onsite visit last week, but while they were at the school conducted numerous classroom observations, and held 50+ interviews with staff, students and parents. A portion of their impressive final report states:

"The school has shown its compliance with the AdvancED Standards and Assurances and have also demonstrated its adherence to the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Assurances and Focus Questions. The academic climate of the school is a powerful part of the school yet the heartbeat of the school is its passion for equipping the students spiritually so that they be Christ's ambassadors to the world.

Within the classrooms there was an obvious sense of security that was provided by teachers who strive to assist all students in being successful in every endeavor. The faculty is seen as a strong part of the support system and allows the students to take risks within the classroom without fear of reprisal or recrimination. The students acknowledge their being encouraged and challenged by the faculty of VHA.

The classrooms at VHA are more than just four walls—they have taken on the personalities of those who teach in them. They are safe places where learning happens and students thrive. There is a sense of trust and confidence and students are encouraged to take advantage of learning opportunities. Balance and equal opportunity are apparent and each student is provided the necessary tools with which to succeed in their academic endeavors. The teachers are engaging and animated and energize their classrooms. There is a real sense of connectedness within each classroom between teacher and student, each classroom was a joy to observe.

There is a unified commitment at VHA to see the students excel spiritually and academically as leaders within their community. The school strives to inspire and develop critically-thinking and compassionate young people and to educate and inspire students to prepare them for a lifelong commitment to learning and to serving Christ. This is accomplished by providing an education that is scholastically excellent and Christ-centered in an environment that is emotionally supportive and caring.

It has been a distinct pleasure for the external review team to perform its review of Vidalia Heritage Academy. The school was very prepared for the visit and went beyond the expectations of the team when it came to hospitality. The remembrances given to the team, the dinners, the collegial visits and interviews all contributed to ease and comfort in which the team was able to perform their duties.

The External Review Team recommends that Vidalia Heritage Academy be accredited by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission  for a five-year term of accreditation."

McCormick goes on to say, “SACS/ACSI accreditation assures area families of ongoing evaluation, not just of the spiritual standards, but that VHA continually meets the educational standards of quality established by the international school community. In the end, this type of dual accreditation sets us apart from any other K-12 school within a 50 mile radius.”

 

 

 
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