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Grace Academy working toward accreditation

October 13, 2004

Grace Academy has become the first school in the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) to complete the STAR Program. STAR, which stands for Steps Toward Achieving Recognition, is designed to help schools to accreditation. The school began the process in February 2003 and finished in August 2004.

According to Grace Academy Administrator Lynn Wakefield, improving the school is the important part of the process. The accreditation itself is the standard of excellence by which the school can measure itself. Both STAR and accreditation require the staff to evaluate every aspect of school life and implement improvements.

By completing the STAR program, Grace Academy has achieved about 75 percent of the goals required for accreditation by ACSI. The school has already applied for accreditation and has three years in which to finish it. Wakefield indicated that he expects Grace to be accredited in less time than that.

On Sept. 20, Dr. John Storey, Mid-Atlantic director of ACSI, visited Grace Academy to assess the school's preparedness for the accreditation process. According to Storey, just three items remain to be completed before the school is ready for accreditation.

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The STAR Program, started by ACSI in 2002, involves five steps: 1. School philosophy; 2. School personnel and facilities; 3. The school's relation to home and community; 4. The school's instructional methods; and 5. Steps for improvement.

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