Reflections: Virtual Accreditation Visits

Brian Jensen | Coordinator, Accrediting Commission for Schools, WASC

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, WASC, just like schools, has been forced to complete all visits virtually. To support upcoming chairs and schools on virtual visits, previous chairs have provided some key advice to help facilitate smooth and effective virtual visits.

Key suggestions include: front load your visit with a well-planned agenda that includes transition times and breaks throughout the day. Schedule time each day for team debrief and sharing of findings. Identify a school staff member who is available to assist with technology needs, and build in writing time each day to draft your findings. Also, as a chair, communicate the visit process and timeline with your team and work on consensus building throughout the visit. Finally, acknowledge and demonstrate empathy of the impact on staff in having to shift school functions to online. Remember, Zoom fatigue is a real thing and online teaching is new to many schools. As always, remember WASC coordinators are here to provide guidance as you prepare for your upcoming visit. Thank you for supporting the WASC process during these unprecedented times.

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