School News

Kelley Black in Chapel 2019

The Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) recently approved St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School for its periodic reaccreditation. The multi-year process began with a thorough report of how SAS meets hundreds of SAIS-required standards and indicators related to mission, leadership, academics, and communication. Simultaneous to this, administrators and faculty established teams to conduct a deep self-study of SAS's Goals for School Improvement, which build on the school's 2018-22 Strategic Plan. The accreditation process culminated with a site visit by a team of educators who observed classes and spoke with parents, faculty, alumni, and trustees.

An important part of the process was identifying goals for school improvement, which will now be the basis for the school’s strategic work. The goals include:

  • Capitalize on unique geographic assets by investing in and promoting place-based learning, outdoor education, and opportunities for outdoor adventure on and near our campus.
  • Cultivate lives of balance and joy by developing spiritual, emotional, social, and physical wellness through perspective, service, and community engagement.
  • Create a daily schedule that offers students opportunities for challenge, balance, and joy.

In making her announcement to the SAS faculty and staff, Visiting Team Chair Sarah Whiteside, Head of School Emerita of Birmingham's Altamont School, commended SAS for being "a truly amazing school" and noted that the school's self-study was "done so well that I would use it as a model for how a self-study should be done." The team was especially impressed by their classroom observations and conversations with the students. Their parting words were "Cherish what you have here!"

The Visiting Team’s report commends SAS for the thoughtfulness which with the Goals for School Improvement were developed, the progress towards each of the goals, for the sense of belonging at the School, and for the School’s commitment and ability to serve a student body of diverse needs.

“The faculty worked very hard to conduct this self-study and their work will continue as the School sets about to achieve the outlined goals,” said Academic Dean and Associate Head of School Kelley Black who coordinated the re-accreditation efforts. “The Visiting Committee’s thorough analysis and thoughtful commendations and recommendations will be helpful to the school as it moves forward.”

The Visiting Committee included Chair Sarah Whiteside, Chair, Head Emerita of The Altamont School in Birmingham, Ala.; Assistant Chair Christopher Angel, Head of Hammond School in Columbia, S.C.; Dr. Josh Barnard, Math Department Head and Director of Summer Programs at The Altamont School; and Paige Spivey, Associate Head of School for Advancement at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap, Ga.