From the beginning, Donum Dei has sought to pursue institutional accreditation as a means of ensuring we are meeting high standards of quality and providing the best education to our students. By the grace of God (and a lot of hard work), we received our certificate of accreditation in 2021 from two organizations, the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
From the ACSI website: The “accredited” seal denotes a school that has met institutional standards of quality and verifies a commitment to strategic improvement and ongoing accountability. The process of accreditation involves three significant elements:
Intensive, institution-wide self-appraisal, analysis, and improvement planning.
External consultation, review, validation, and insights from a visiting peer group.
Ongoing accountability for improvement through annual reporting and renewal.
In addition to the institutional-level standards and goals we have met and are seeking to continue to grow in as a school, a significant part of accreditation involves teacher and staff certification as well as ongoing professional development. Our accreditation team has worked closely with ACSI to ensure that our teachers are meeting standards for individual teaching certifications while also pursuing additional growth in specific areas through ongoing professional development plans.
As both an intentionally Christian and distinctly classical school, we have also sought to provide learning opportunities that fall within these categories for our staff as well as the broader community. Our Equipping Events, along with regular teacher and staff workshops, enable us to train and equip our teachers to embody our values of being Christian and classical, while also honing our skills in the classroom through subject and content-specific training.
Partnering with organizations like the Circe Institute has enabled us to provide English and Humanities teachers with workshops centered on teaching writing.
Grant Horner, Director of the Classical Liberal Arts Program at Masters University and champion of classical education, has led several workshops aimed at providing training to our staff and teachers that is specific to our context as a school in the heart of San Francisco.
Staff “field trips” to other classical Christian schools in the region also serve as a means of learning from those further along in the journey.
Singapore Math consultant, Bill Davidson, conducts concrete/abstract math workshops for our teaching team and provides us with tips and support. His developmental process of hands-on learning advances our teachers' abilities to engage students by various methods.
In these ways, we are seeking to learn from others, to sharpen our skills in the classroom, and to be equipped for faithfulness in the task of teaching the students entrusted to us. Accreditation is both an initial hurdle for a school of our size and age and also an ongoing process of improving and sharpening what we offer to students and families. We continue to be excited for what God is doing at Donum Dei to equip us to continue to offer the best education to our students!