By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
District Study School's WASC Visit Complete
Placeholder Image
Making an accurate self-appraisal is the first step toward success.

That, according to Escalon High School Principal Joel Johannsen, who just helped guide the school through its official WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation visit.

Now, the school will wait to hear what the verdict is; whether the school gets an accreditation for one, two, three or six years.

"I'm hoping for six with a three-year reopener," Johannsen said, noting that that verdict is usually the best schools can get.

It's not likely, he said, that a WASC accreditation team would give a school a six-year accreditation without needing to come back and 'check up' on them at the midway point. So, the six year with the three-year re-visit would basically correlate to an "A" on the grading scale.

"We were very candid, and open and honest about what we do well, what we don't do well," Johannsen said of the work done by the leadership team getting the school ready for the WASC visit. "We did an honest, critical self-appraisal."

Part of the preparation is looking at schools of similar size and demographics, such as Linden, Ripon and Hughson, and measuring Escalon against those schools. In many areas, said Johannsen, those districts did better in terms of API scoring and other academic benchmarks. But Escalon is on the upswing.

"In the last two years, we've made a lot of progress," Johannsen said.

Key to that progress is the use of a new data management system for the district, which can help provide analysis of California State Standards and exit exam criteria of students to help determine individual needs.

"We can analyze student performance, teachers can sit down and develop instructional strategies to generate a higher level of academic success," said Johannsen.