AISNE Re-Accreditation Team Visits Touchstone
After two years of preparation by our faculty, administrators, board members, and parent volunteers, we were delighted to welcome a team of colleagues to our school who are the members of our re-accreditation team! Touchstone is proud to be an accredited member of the Association of Independent Schools of New England. Every 10 years, AISNE schools go through a re-accreditation process, so this was our school’s third journey down this path after our initial accreditation 30 years ago.
We began this process with an extensive self-study, as directed by AISNE. The self-study included nine sections, with multiple questions within each section. The self-study asked us to reflect and report on all aspects of the school, from mission and philosophy to teacher evaluation to board governance and more. Our final document was over 200 pages, and was the result of many months’ worth of committee meetings, writing, and editing!
The culmination of the self-study was the May visit by a team of teachers and administrators from other AISNE schools. Our visiting team consisted of five members:
Molly Reynolds, Head of School, Pioneer Valley Montessori School
David Dean, Business and Facilities Manager, Charles River School
Abigail Branch, 5th/6th teacher, Fayerweather Street School
Liam Nolan, Kindergarten teacher, Lesley Ellis School
Anne Dyer, Head of Lower School, Nantucket New School
Our visiting team was comprised of experienced educators and administrators from schools that have similarities with Touchstone. Although every school is different, these professionals came in with an appreciation for what a school like Touchstone has to offer and with a deep understanding of the independent school model.
The final report and re-accreditation will take a few months, so look for news sometime next school year. We will certainly have areas for growth — all schools do — and we may also look forward to having our best practices and strengths validated. One of the benefits of this process is having a moment to pause, think and reflect on who were are, what we do, and what comes next for us.
~Susan Diller, Head of School