Peleliu Elementary School principal, teachers, staff, and PTA Chair pose for a group photo with WASC visiting team members, Roberta Abaday and Dr. Barbara Adamos after the initial school visit on March 22, 2019. (Contributed Photo)

The accreditation of Palau public schools is a major initiative in the Education Master Plan 2017-2027. Currently, Palau High School is the only public school with full WASC accreditation. Koror, George B. Harris, Meyuns, and Melekeok elementary schools attained WASC accreditation candidacy status in 2018.

After almost a year of preparation, the next group of six public elementary schools undertook the initial school visits for WASC accreditation on March 19-26, 2019. These six schools included Airai, Ngarchelong, Ngaraard, Peleliu, Ngeremlengui, and Aimeliik elementary schools.

The WASC initial school visit was a one-day event at each of the six schools. Each of the visits was organized with ACSWASC after completion and submission of school reports in December 2018. The two-member team WASC visiting comprised of Roberta Abaday, Chair and Dr. Barbara Adamos, Team Member. The mandate of the visiting team was to verify the accuracy and the comprehensiveness of each of the school report.

Each of the visits included campus tour, series of meeting with key school stakeholder groups, review of policy documents and school records, and classroom observations. Separate meetings were held with school leadership team, teachers, students, support staff, and parents/community members. The visiting team also had lunch at the school to experience for themselves the student meals.

At the end of each visit, an exit meeting was held with school principal, teachers, and staff for the team to report its observations in form of School-wide Areas of Strength and Critical Areas for Follow-up. The full visiting team report would then be sent by the visiting team to WASC Board of Directors for consideration in April 2019 Board Meeting. A formal notice from WASC is expected in June or July 2019 to determine if the school is awarded WASC initial accreditation, candidacy status, or declined accreditation altogether.

Furthermore, Palau High School is at the end of its six-year accreditation cycle this year. The WASC full visit of a four-member team is scheduled to visit Palau High School on April 15-18, 2019. The Palau High School self-study report was recently submitted to WASC. The school leadership, teachers and staff, students, and parents are currently preparing for the upcoming WASC visit. The next group of public elementary schools, which include Angaur, Ngardmau, Ibobang, and PJF (Kayangel) are preparing for WASC initial school visits in 2020.

The Ministry of Education recognizes the great efforts of school principals, teachers and staff, students, parents and community members in working to achieve school accreditation for all public schools in the Republic of Palau. (PR)