Archbishop Ryan High School
Equipping Saints for life in this world and the next

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Middle States

Middle States Accreditation at Archbishop Ryan High School

The Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools (MSCESS), the premier American regional accreditation agency, is the leader in ensuring that all students in its region receive the highest quality of education and achieve at levels expected by society. Through its accreditation and school improvement services, MSCSS recognizes excellence in educational quality, planning, and growth in student performance and provides the means to meet rigorous standards of educational quality.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is the affirmation that a school provides a quality of education that the community has a right to expect and the education world endorses. Accreditation is a means of showing confidence in a school’s performance. When the Commission on Secondary Schools accredits a school, it certifies that the school has met the prescribed qualitative standards of the Middle States Association within the terms of the school’s own stated philosophy and objectives.

The chief purpose of the whole accreditation process is the improvement of education for youth by evaluating the degree to which a school has attained worthwhile outcomes set by its own staff and community. This is accomplished by periodically conducting a comprehensive self-evaluation of the total school. Through the accreditation process, the school seeks the validation of its self-evaluation by obtaining professional judgment from impartial outsiders on the effectiveness of the total school operation. The intent throughout the process is more than to focus on shortcomings; the chief goal is to seek remedies for inadequacies and to identify and nurture good practices.

Accreditation of a secondary school is on an institutional basis. It should be noted that the whole school, not just one program such as the college preparatory courses, is covered by the accreditation.

The following are some of the many benefits of accreditation:

  • Greater clarity of purpose
  • Stronger internal relationships
  • Wider professional participation
  • More effective methods of planning for school improvement
  • Improved consistency between educational purpose and practice

How Long Does Accreditation Last?

Typically, once accreditation is earned, it is renewed on a seven-year cycle that involves an intensive self-study process conducted by the school, an on-site three-day visit by a team of professional educators, and on-site mid-point reviews in the form of a one-day, one-person visit. In some cases, accreditation is granted for five years, but the protocol is actually a ten-year cycle of activities.

Above information taken from the Middle States Commission website.

The Accreditation Process

Accreditation through the Middle States Commission of Secondary Schools (MCSS) is a process we voluntarily engage in every seven years. It requires us to take a step back, look at where we have been, where we are and where we wish to be as an organization.

The world is changing at a rapid rate – technological innovations, globalization, and the economic downturn are powerful forces that require us to challenge our practice in order to help today’s students meet tomorrow’s challenges. Middle States Accreditation is an opportunity for us to work collaboratively with school professionals, community members, parents, and students to reflect on our mission and vision, identify strengths and weaknesses, set meaningful and challenging goals, and generate plans to reach them. The end result of the process is a roadmap that will guide our work through the next decade.

Our Mission
Archbishop Ryan High School, a Catholic, coeducational school, empowers a diverse student body to become contributing members of the Church and society.  In partnership with family and community,  Archbishop  Ryan strives to teach as Jesus did by providing spiritual, social, and service opportunities for growth.  The faculty challenges the students of today to become the leaders of tomorrow through a comprehensive academic curriculum rooted in excellence.
Belief Statement
We, as a community, believe that:
  1. Every individual possesses an inherent dignity rooted in God alone.
  2. Jesus’ call to live the Gospel and worship God is central to our school community’s identity.
  3. Daily living of religious virtues is an important expression of our school’s identity.
  4. Students learn at different rates and in different styles.
  5. Aestheticism is cultivated through an appreciation of the arts.
  6. Social graces are developed through a variety of personal interactions.
  7. Responsible citizenship is fostered through education.
  8. The promotion of knowledge, together with practices conducive to spiritual, emotional and physical well-being, is the primary responsibility of Catholic education.
  9. A respect for productive labor benefits the individual and society.
  10. Academic and extracurricular opportunities are provided for students to achieve personal and professional excellence.
  11. Education is the shared responsibility of the student, the family, the school, the community, the diocese, and the government.
Profile of Graduates
A graduate of Archbishop Ryan High School will:
  • Live and practice the Catholic Christian faith
  • Articulate their beliefs, values, and convictions clearly
  • Discover, define, and develop their God-given gifts
  • Embrace Christian values during their decision-making process 
  • Recognize the direct correlation between actions and consequences
  • Demonstrate personal integrity, moral behavior, empathy, and respect for others
  • Think and act with a global awareness
  • Think critically, creatively, and independently
  • Integrate information from various disciplines, worldviews, and multicultural perspectives
  • Demonstrate literacy in reading, writing, speaking, and listening
  • Work efficiently in a technological world
  • Respect economic, ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity
  • Exercise leadership and service in religious, civic, personal, and professional activities
  • Demonstrate a positive sense of self and a life-long commitment to personal growth
  • Work collaboratively, appreciating how differences contribute to the whole
  • Make choices that promote health and safety for self and others
  • Maintain a positive self-image
  • Practice wellness of mind and body
The Middle States Visitation team serves to validate the school's Evaluation and Vision of itself using the following 12 standards:
  • Mission and Philosophy
  • Governance and Leadership
  • School Improvement Planning
  • Finances
  • Facilities
  • School Climate and Organization
  • Health and Safety
  • Educational Programs
  • Assessment of Student Learning
  • Student Services
  • Student Life and Activities
  • Information Resources and Technology
When will the Visiting Team come to Archbishop Ryan?
The team, made up of administrators and teachers from school districts within the Middle States region, will visit Archbishop Ryan from December 3-6, 2017.

Middle States Self-Study and Action Plans for Improvements

The members of the planning team and administrative team conducted an in depth self-study with the use of the Middle States Commission of Secondary Schools (MSCSS) Excellence by Design protocol. The protocol provided guidance to team members in collecting essential data and information that was analyzed and used to produce objectives, measurable goals, and action plans for improvement.

Once data and information was collected, action planning teams were assembled. The action planning teams analyzed the data and information collected in the self-study and formulated improvement objectives, measurable goals, and action plans in the areas of Student Performance and Organizational Capacity.

The final summative work, including the self-study, improvement objectives, measurable goals and action plans, was then submitted to Middle States for review and approval. This work, in conjunction with a Middle States team visit, will be used to evaluate Archbishop Ryan High School for accreditation.

Click below to view the Archbishop Ryan Middle States Self-Study and Action Plans for Improvement:

Middle States Final Report

Will be posted once available
PowerPoint Files