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Asheville School Receives Southern Association for Independent Schools Re-accreditation

A school teacher in front of a class of students.

Asheville School is accredited by the Southern Association for Independent Schools (SAIS), a membership organization and accrediting body that serves independent schools primarily in the southeastern United States.

Every five years, schools seeking accreditation through SAIS undergo a process where the school completes a comprehensive self-study and then creates a report and provides documentation that covers all areas of school life. The school then submits this information to SAIS, which assembles a committee of independent school professionals to review the self-study and assess the school.

Assistant Head of School Jay Bonner says the process provides insight and creates space to reflect on what is going well and how the school could change for the better. “The accreditation process for Asheville School, and for all independent schools, proves helpful in that it forces schools to take stock,” said Bonner.

“If forces schools to be celebratory about accomplishments and to reflect on what needs to be enhanced to become even stronger. The process forces strategic thinking and reflection.”

This spring, the members of the SAIS accreditation committee visited Asheville School to review documentation; conduct interviews with board members, school personnel, students, parents, and community members; and assess Asheville School’s self-study process.

The committee recommended Asheville School for continued accreditation.

According to SAIS: “A school that is able to achieve accreditation demonstrates a commitment to a process that requires the school to meet a set of rigorous standards; to engage in a program of continuous school improvement; and to demonstrate quality assurance to its stakeholders through self-evaluation and peer-review.”

Bonner, who coordinated the SAIS accreditation process along with Humanities Department Chair John Gregory, thanks the many members of the school community who participated in the process.

“The work that my colleagues did was—and has been—extraordinary.” he said. “The work of the trustees to create a strategic process that served as the basis of our goals for accreditation has been extraordinary. In addition, Board Chair Walter Cox ’72 and Trustee Ann Craver have been extraordinary in their commitment, and finally, this process would not have happened without John Gregory’s patience and persistence.”

Asheville School is proud to be an accredited member of SAIS. The school continues to strive towards the mission that guides every aspect of planning and decision making: “To prepare our students for college and for life and to provide an atmosphere in which all members of a diverse, engaged, and purposefully small school community appreciate and strive for excellence–an atmosphere that nurtures character and fosters the development of mind, body, and spirit.”

Asheville School is a nationally acclaimed co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12. The 288 students enrolled at Asheville School represent 21 states and 14 countries.

Recent graduates have been accepted to Amherst, Columbia, Davidson, Duke, Elon, Emory, Furman, Georgetown, Harvard, NC State, Rhodes, Sewanee, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, William & Mary, WashU, Wofford, and Yale among others.