CIS is a membership community committed to "high quality international education". This is how CIS describes themselves on their website www.cois.org. Over 740 schools across the world are members of this community. To achieve this goal, members must infuse their programmes and offerings with international and intercultural perspective. For those that meet the CIS standards, it is a sign to parents, teachers and wider community that quality multi-cultural education lies at the heart of what they do.
Similarly, ACS WASC accreditation is an ongoing six-year cycle of quality whereby the school demonstrates the capacity, commitment, and competence to support high-quality student learning and ongoing school improvement. You can read more about the process on their website: www.acswasc.org
For ACS WASC, it was their first visit to the British International School Ho Chi Minh City (BIS HCMC). However, we first went through the process with CIS 10 years ago, and this week we welcomed 11 educationalists once again to take part in the on-site team evaluation part of the process.
The evaluation process began in Term 1 last year when we welcomed Martin Kneath and David Ottaviano, a representative from ACS WASC, for the preparatory evaluation stage. They agreed that BIS HCMC was in a position to proceed with the full accreditation, and so began a 9-month self-study where members of staff, students and parents looked at the various elements of school life; for the purpose of the CIS/ACS WASC process, these are known as ‘domains’. The domains are as follows:
Domain A - Purpose and Direction
Domain B - Governance, Leadership and Ownership
Domain C - The Curriculum
Domain D - Teaching and Assessing for Learning
Domain E - Students Learning and Well-Being
Domain F - School Staffing
Domain G - Premises and Physical Accommodation
Domain H - Community and Home Partnerships
Within each domain there are a number of standards, and our teams have gathered evidence to determine whether the school has partially met, met or exceeded the standard. In September, we submitted the final report to CIS, and it is this report that the visiting team are using, along with their observations and discussions, help them determine whether we are continuing to meet the standards.
We look forward to receiving the report from the team. As well as their final judgements on whether we meet the standards, an important part of the process are the recommendations for each domain. These will provide valuable insight as we continue on our journey of on-going school improvement.
Ian Battersby, Head of the Early Years and Infant Campus