Sun04202014

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Bullis Charter School gains accreditation


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Bullis Charter School begins its school year with new accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

After a lengthy self-study and full-day accreditation team visit, the Schools Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) awarded full accreditation to Bullis Charter School.

The criteria to receive accreditation are based on guidelines of systemic school improvement that address WASC's central tenet: A school operates with a clear understanding of its purpose.

"Bullis Charter School is extremely proud to have achieved such high distinction in such a short period of time," said Ken Moore, Bullis Charter School board chairman. "We see the WASC accreditation as confirmation that our programs maximize student learning."

The accreditation process provides an opportunity for the school to review current best practices, establish short- and long-term goals and validate the integrity of a school's program. Most schools receive a request for further self-study or a limited term approval. Bullis Charter School, in its second year of operation, was awarded full accreditation.

"I'm very proud of being such a new school and having the WASC team come in and validate the work we are doing," said Principal Wanny Hersey. "We work on what we feel is important in education to make the school unique."

The Schools Commission noted the charter school's unique electives program, its strong parent community and its skilled teaching staff as some of its outstanding features.

"Everything about the school challenges those involved: leaders, teachers, parents, schools and community. This is a high-achieving school. There is a school community value system that creates an environment so students can glow academically based on their abilities," the Schools Commission reported on Bullis Charter School.

Hersey said the report recognized that one of the major tenets of the charter school is that it looks at students on an individual basis.

"Our kids model character pillars because our value system is thoroughly integrated," Hersey said.

Bullis Charter School's enrollment is up by 30 students this year, for a total of 260 students on campus. Hersey said BCS has welcomed five new staff, including instructional aides, to work on campus this year.

"We have some new, amazing staff joining us, staff that is multi-talented and qualified," Hersey said. "I think between all of us, there are 11 languages and a large range of expertise and passion."

Hersey said the school is working on building its community-service and environmental science programs. Members of the charter school staff trained at Hopkins Marin Institute last week to prepare for the science programs this year. The charter school is also working with Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills to enhance its environmental science learning.

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