AP NEWS

Norfolk Catholic receives accreditation

May 1, 2017

Norfolk Catholic High School and Elementary School recently received recommendation for accreditation from AdvancED — the largest community of education professionals in the world.

The non-profit, non-partisan organization conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While their expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED also seeks to help schools improve.

A five-member AdvancED external review team recently visited the Norfolk Catholic schools. They spent two days on site, interviewing 99 individuals, and studying all aspects of the educational environment.

An initial report indicated that Norfolk Catholic’s five-year goal to increase writing across all curriculum areas had been achieved.

Developing and implementing a plan for collaborative learning communities with a focus on data analysis to impact and improve instructional strategies and curriculum development is the suggested next goal, school officials said.

Eight early dismissal days have been planned into the 2017-18 school calendar to give staff time to study assessment data. Combining the knowledge and expertise through these staff development times, with documentation of work completed, is included in the plan to continue to achieve full potential for all students.

The visitation team members who studied Norfolk Catholic said they noted powerful practices in place throughout. All stakeholders, for example, are committed to a shared culture based on spiritual, physical, intellectual, moral, social values and beliefs. Noted areas of distinction included teaching and learning for student performance, and leadership that guides and ensures effective learning.

The school’s mission — “Walking With You to Meet Jesus” — was evident in all areas of the school, the review team said.

Jeff Bellar, Norfolk Catholic principal, said, “We strive for excellence in all that we do: educating our students spiritually, academically, and socially. I’m proud of our product and our alumni. They never cease to amaze me as they grow into productive citizens. At the same time we realize the need for our program to be in the best position to constantly improve.”

Elementary principal Bill Lafleur said, “We are very excited about the positive visit we had from AdvancED. Our goal will provide this school district with great direction for the future in order to continue to improve.”