"Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes"
- Carl Jung
It is incumbent upon a strong school to periodically reflect upon and evaluate its procedures and practices, and to ask peers to evaluate as well. As you know, this year Park Tudor is engaged in the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) Self-Study, a prelude to a visit by a team of peer evaluators. As of this writing, we are halfway through the process of writing a comprehensive self-study.
In my career I have participated in different evaluation processes, each one with its own merits. As someone who is relatively new to the ISACS School Accreditation approach, I appreciate the way in which ISACS expects an entire school community to participate in this process.
The self-study started a year ago when all parents, faculty, alumni, board and 6-12 grade students were invited to participate in the ISACS School Community Survey. A record 450+ parents responded to survey questions about the school. Nearly 90% of those responding offered a positive perception of the quality of education at Park Tudor. Parents also noted that we are achieving our mission. All of this is good news as we seek to make Park Tudor even better.
Last April, we formed a 24-member Steering Committee to guide the self-study process through this academic year. In August, 40+ committees composed of faculty, alumni, parents, board, and students began to study everything from our mission and governance to our academic and extracurricular programs. A third of those committees have completed reports on administrative areas. Another third are finishing the study of student services and school life. The last third are just beginning to study our academic programs.
Faculty and staff carry the bulk of the responsibility for our self-study, with each serving on one or two of these 40 committees. When all is said and done, they will have spent countless hours beyond their normal duties, and I am grateful for their energy and willingness to work on a process that will form our goals for the next few years.
We will compile a report ready to distribute to our Visiting Team of peer evaluators in the fall. Their arrival on campus (TBA) will signal the primary reason for our work as they weigh what they see against what we say we are doing.
Stay tuned for more information about the Visiting Team's arrival and how members of our community can help. Until then, we will continue the good work of looking at today for the sake of tomorrow.