Los Alamos School Board President Jim Hall. Courtesy photo
AdvancED, which is the global leader in advancing excellence in education through continuous improvement, organization effectiveness and accreditation, has announced that Los Alamos Public Schools received fully-accredited status.
Achieving this status places Los Alamos on an international stage as very few school districts have been awarded this status.
“I am proud to say that Los Alamos Public Schools did receive the highest status possible,” New Mexico AdvancED Director Priscilla Fernandez wrote in an email to the district. “Fewer districts throughout the nation received fully-accredited status compared to years past, due to the rigor involved in the accreditation process.”
Los Alamos School Board President Jim Hall said he “was pleased to see the district get this additional recognition because accreditation is a significant achievement that pronounces the school district’s high quality of education.”
Accreditation is a voluntary process that follows rigorous protocols and research-based process, Hall said.
“On the heels of our high school’s recent addition to the Newsweek and Washington Post lists of top 1,000 schools, this news is the topping on the cake,” said School Board Vice President Judy Bjarke-McKenzie. “It validates all the hard work and shows all our efforts to raise student achievement are paying off.”
Information gleaned from the AdvancED internal self-assessment can produce insight to the strengths and weakness of an education system that becomes a catalyst for transforming a school system to a higher state of excellence. The accreditation report mentioned a variety of compliments, called most powerful practices, which are attributes that make Los Alamos stand above its peers.
Examples of most powerful practices include engagement of stakeholders, parent and community involvement in schools, a strong commitment to the three non-negotiable Board goals, and consistently high expectations for students and staff.
With all seven schools in the district awarded fully-accredited status, Los Alamos unites with a global network committed to educational excellence. The district also earned the distinction of quality through the recognized seal of AdvancED accreditation.
Fully-accredited status benefits students and parents, said LAPS Superintendent Gene Schmidt. For example, students should experience ease in transferring credits from one school to another and students should gain greater access to federal loans, scholarships, postsecondary education and military programs that require students to attend an accredited school.