St. Francis Borgia Regional High School has been recommended for reaccreditation by AdvanceED, the parent organization for the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.

An accreditation team of five, comprised of local and out-of-state educators, conducted a site visit to the Catholic co-ed high school April 1-3, according to Kevin Mabie, principal.

“They looked at everything while they were here,” said Mabie.

“We also had a lot of work to do before they came, gathering data and artifacts to support that data,” he said. “They also sat in on classes and observed, interviewed students and staff, and reviewed the surveys we had done with our stakeholders (parents, students and staff) prior to them coming.”

Mabie said the high school goes through accreditation every five years. Since it was his first year as principal at Borgia, he could have asked for a one-year extension, but decided against it.

“I knew it would be a lot of work, but felt like it would help me to get to know the school even better, and it did,” he said.

Borgia was recognized for several “powerful practices,” including its ability to involve parents in the education of their students, Mabie said.

“They complimented our Borgia & Beyond Initiative and how we communicate our mission and goals to stakeholders,” he said.

Support services provided at Borgia also received high marks.

“They were really pleased that we had a counselor specifically for the freshmen and a total of three counselors, which is a lot for a school our size,” Mabie said. “We also have a substance abuse counselor available to us on a part-time basis and learning consultant who works with kids with individualized education plans.”

The accreditation team noted that through the surveys, stakeholders felt they were part of the Borgia family and valued, and students and staff respected one another, he said.

Mabie said there were 30 indicators the teams looked at in the classrooms, and teachers scored proficient or higher in all areas.

“One thing that stood out to them was our digital learning environment . . . they were impressed with it,” he said. Borgia students and teachers are all using iPads in the classroom.

The team also found some areas for growth, including more collaboration among the staff with their professional development committees so all voices are heard.

“And we will do that,” Mabie said.

The principal was complimented for his relationship with students and open door policy, but the team suggested Mabie target input from students through Student Council, National Honor Society and other groups on an ongoing basis.

Mabie said he’s very pleased with how the accreditation process went and credits the teachers and staff for their hard work in preparing for the visit and all of the advance paperwork.

“The whole staff worked so hard, and it’s a lot of work to get ready for these visits,” he said. “But going through these reviews really does make us better and I think we all learned things that will help us as we move forward.”

AdvancED is the world’s largest education community, serving more than 30,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States and in more than 70 countries that educate over 16 million students.