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Accreditation Study High School Earns Three Years
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It wasn't quite the outcome they were looking for ... but Escalon Unified School District officials are taking a three-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, WASC, and looking ahead to a re-visit down the road.

District Superintendent Dave Mantooth outlined the WASC accreditation for school board members at their Tuesday, June 24 meeting. The WASC team was on campus toward the end of the school year and recently completed its report, handing down the three-year accreditation.

Mantooth noted that the WASC visit also included a review of Vista, the district's continuation high school, and Vista's was a three-year review of a previously granted six-year accreditation with a three-year re-visit.

"They reaffirmed the accreditation through the end of the six-year term, through June 2011," Mantooth explained.

There were some recommendations included for Vista in the report, such as developing a career awareness program, developing alternative exit options, increasing elective options and doing a regular analysis of student data as well as working toward implementation of standards-based curriculum.

At Escalon High School, Principal Joel Johannsen said he was a little disappointed with the three-year accreditation, since he had been working for the six-year, which is the highest level the WASC team can award.

"Joel had hoped for six but we're accepting that we made progress," Mantooth noted. "It was also good to see that all the focus areas, all the critical areas that the high school came up with, identified as areas of need, the WASC committee agreed with."

That means both the school and WASC are on the same page, said Mantooth, and he's confident that the school will be ready for the re-visit in three years and be granted the additional three-year accreditation at that time.