wcea / wasc
What is WCEA/WASC all about?
The Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) exist for the accreditation of schools. Together, they provide dual accreditation for Catholic schools. They have synthesized the issues and concerns from the WASC and WCEA constituencies with current thinking and research-based knowledge about teaching and learning, including spiritual goals that are of special interest to WCEA schools. This accreditation process focuses upon student success in meeting the Graduation Learning Outcomes (GLOs). These GLOs outline what each student should know, understand and be able to do upon graduation from Junípero Serra High School.
WCEA / WASC visit dates: March 8 - March 11, 2009
Graduation Learning Outcomes (GLO's)
The WASC study refers to Expected Student Learning Results (ESLR's) to define what a student is expected to know when leaving Junipero Serra High School. In the process of reviewing the student results, JSHS decided to refer to these essential learnings as our Graduation Learning Outcomes. This term will be referred to throughout the website.
Process Used to Determine the Graduation Learning Outcomes
The mission statement and philosophy statement were developed over a period of one year, beginning in September 2007. The community was asked to review the existing mission statement and two articles, "A State Leaders Action Guide to 21st Century Skills" and "How to Bring our School of the 21st Century." The community met at a two hour in-service to critique the existing mission documents in light of the research and their lived experience. The community further evaluated the key skills necessary for students to be successful in the 21st century.
The dialogue proved fruitful. Teachers noted that the mission statement did not recognize the school as a college preparatory institution, nor did it acknowledge the developmental nature of a faith journey. The community further identified key 21st century abilities that included academic skills with an emphasis on critical thinking, effective communication skills, a broad understanding of community relationship, a deep spirituality, and the ability to use technology for learning.
The leadership team reflected on this work and revised the mission statement. The team also structurally revised the Graduation Learning Outcomes to significantly reduce their number and to provide "indicators" that would help define the outcomes. The draft reduced the outcomes from fourteen to only three: faith, wisdom and justice. This draft was presented to the community in a second two hour in-service. The community vigorously debated the mission statement and outcomes, and the nature of who we are as a community. A key discussion focused on the word "brotherhood," a term that has come into favor within the Serra community over the last five years. Some felt that it could be used in a divisive or exclusionary manner. Others interpreted the term as connecting deeply with boys and providing the basis for a male spirituality.
The same process of presentation and feedback of the outcomes was used with focus groups of Serra students. The students critiqued the initial draft of learning outcomes as insufficient. They noted that the outcomes did not address how Serra emphasizes community and teaches leadership. This latter point was particularly significant given that leadership had been seen as a weakness in the 2003 self study and was a major emphasis of the last action plan. The students felt that these were key dimensions of the Serra community that should remain as a clear focus for the community.
With the input of all segments of the community, the WASC leadership team revised the outcomes, adding "community" and "leadership" and editing the indicators for relevance to these areas. These were completed in draft form and accepted by both the adult and student community in January, 2008. Serra "lived" with the draft for the spring semester. The Serra administration reviewed the outcomes at the end of the 2007-2008 school year and changed a key outcome from "Justice" to "Service," noting that this term resonated with the experience of the community. The revised Serra Mission Statement and Graduation Learning Outcomes were approved in June, 2008. The philosophy statement was modified in the fall of 2008 for consistency with the revised mission statement and outcomes.
What are Serra's GLOs?
Mission Statement and Graduation Learning Outcomes
Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and empowered by a faith that is living, conscious and active, Junípero Serra is a Catholic college preparatory dedicated to the holistic formation of our students. Our community supports students in their journey towards becoming men of faith, wisdom, service, community and leadership. We seek to develop the gifts and talents of each student in an environment of excellence and mutual respect.
Guided by our mission and emboldened by the belief that every student is created in the image and likeness of God, the Junípero Serra community is committed to develop men who embrace:
Students are called to reflect on their relationship with God and demonstrate growth in personal spirituality, by:
- Making healthy, moral, and ethical choices based on Gospel values
- Understanding the Catholic faith and the role of the Church in the world
- Recognizing the relationship between mind, body and spirit
- Identifying and using their gifts for service to the world
Students are challenged to rigorous academic study in the pursuit of truth, by:
- Developing critical thinking as a habit of mind
- Exhibiting innovation, creativity and an appreciation of the arts
- Communicating effectively through listening, speaking and writing
- Using technology to enhance learning, productivity and creativity
- Demonstrating core knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college and become life long learners
Students are called to use the wisdom of the Gospel to evaluate the values of contemporary culture and promote social justice, by:
- Advocating for human dignity and a respect for life
- Serving family, school and the larger community
- Demonstrating care for the environment as stewards of God's creation
- Identifying with those suffering from injustice and working towards change
Students are welcomed into the community of Serra that promotes a spirit of brotherhood, collaboration and integrity in human relationships, by:
- Reflecting on life lessons through participation in the total Serra program, including academics, athletics, the arts, campus ministry and co-curricular activities
- Demonstrating interpersonal skills for healthy social relationships
- Resolving conflict through effective social skills
- Recognizing our common humanity in the traditions, cultures and people of the world
Students are called to model courageous leadership based on Jesus' example of service, by:
- Embracing an openness to change and a willingness to take risks
- Demonstrating effective decision making and problem-solving
- Using emotional and social skills to collaborate and build teamwork
- Taking responsibility for their own actions and the welfare of others
For more information and updates on our GLOs, students should stay tuned to the morning announcement and parents should look for information in the weekly spotlight emails.