Maine Coast Waldorf School is accredited by two organizations, New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). NEASC asks schools to undergo a self-study, by means of Foundation and Program Standards, to ensure that all students experience a high-quality education. Since Maine Coast is a “Waldorf” school, we also must be accredited by AWSNA to ensure that we are upholding to the Principles for Waldorf Schools to which each Waldorf School in North America has committed. In conjunction with these two accrediting bodies, the Early Childhood is a member of The Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN.) While WECAN is not an accrediting body, it too has a set of shared principles (pg.6-7) that Waldorf Early Childhood programs have agreed to uphold.
Currently MCWS is a fully accredited school through NEASC, AWSNA and a Full-Member of WECAN. However, every ten years, the schools are required to undergo an in-depth self-study of their programs, facilities, policies, operations, governance, etc., to retain their accreditation. Our school was due for this work for 2021, however because of the pandemic, we were given an extension until 2023.
The school has specific areas (twelve NEASC standards and seven AWSNA principles,) to review, study and ultimately meet or exceed to receive Accreditation. The faculty have already started this work and will continue investigating these areas in the coming calendar year.
Parents, Alumni and Middle/High School Students will serve as a resource and consultant to the faculty as they undergo this self-study. If you fall into the above categories, you will be asked in the upcoming days to complete a survey from NEASC. The information you provide will support the faculty in their work. The final self-study is due to be submitted in February of 2023, so this in-depth work will continue through the rest of this school year and into the next.
In March of 2023, a team of peer accreditors from both NEASC and AWSNA schools will visit our campus for four days. During that time, they will ensure that what we say that we are doing, is indeed accurate and point out the top priorities for the school for the next ten-year cycle. When here you may be asked to have conversations and share your experiences with this team of visitors.
Other ways you can be active in this self-study time, is to engage with the Parent Association. The MCWS PA is planning parent educational opportunities that coincide with the AWSNA Principles for Waldorf Schools. These programs can help you to learn more about Waldorf pedagogy and practices. Be sure to watch for information from the PA on these upcoming programs.
As the faculty get more into the work of this process, I will be sharing regular updates in the Tuesday News, so be sure to keep your eyes out for that. And if at all in this process you have any questions or thoughts that you want the faculty to be aware of as they dig into these specific areas of study, please feel free to email me.