CCA Is A Fully Accredited Public Cyber Charter School
Commonwealth Charter Academy is accredited by the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.
This accreditation recognizes that CCA is providing a quality education that can be reciprocated with other schools. The accreditation also validates the value of CCA’s education to other accredited institutions.
Standards We Have Met
Accreditation is a self-evaluation process that our cyber charter school voluntarily uses to demonstrate we are meeting a defined set of research-based performance standards set forth by the Middle States Association (MSA). The standards examine CCA in a holistic way to provide a more complete measure of our school’s performance and chart a strategic and realistic course for continuous school improvement.
The MSA looks at the whole school – not just test scores – when awarding accreditation. It assesses a school for accreditation by evaluating how the school performs in 12 key areas that make up the Standards for Accreditation:
CCA’s mission statement says we strive to deliver a personalized learning experience that engages the entire family and prepares learners to succeed in school and in life. The cyber school accreditation process found that our mission conveys clearly and concisely our vision of a preferred future for the school community and the learning expectations for our school students.
The mission is consistent with the community’s ethical norms and demonstrates respect for persons of all races, creeds and cultures. The mission is the basis for daily operational and instructional decision-making, as well as strategic planning at our online school. It is developed and periodically reviewed using a process that considers input by the school’s stakeholders and is aligned with the needs of the communities the school serves.
Governance and Leadership
As an accredited cyber school, CCA is a public school authorized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which meets the requirement that we be chartered, licensed and/or authorized by the appropriate civil authorities and is in compliance with all applicable statutes, ordinances and regulations of all civil authorities of the jurisdiction in which we operate. To meet this standard, we also had to show an absence of legal or proprietary ambiguities in the ownership and control of or responsibility for the school.
We also had to show our cyber charter school’s governing body and leadership act ethically and consistently to ensure an atmosphere of mutual respect, purposeful effort and a productive environment for teaching and learning while demonstrating adherence to our mission. The governing body and leadership maintain timely and open communication with the school’s community of stakeholders and provide the vision that drives strategic planning and day-to-day operations. They ensure the integrity, effectiveness and reputation of the school by establishing policies, providing necessary resources and ensuring the quality of our online school’s educational program.
School Improvement Planning
To receive an online school accreditation, CCA had to show that we plan strategically and continuously to grow and improve our students’ performance and our capacity to produce the levels of student performance desired and expected by our stakeholders. CCA’s strategic plan is aligned with and supports achievement of our mission. To meet this standard, we had to show we use a collaborative process to develop and implement our strategic plan for growth and improvement, and ensure that the plan includes professional development activities the staff needs to implement the plan and achieve its goals. School improvement planning is monitored, periodically assessed and revised as needed.
CCA meets this standard because we were found to have sufficient financial resources to provide our school students with the educational program defined in our mission and strategic plan. Financial resources are stable, and indications are they will continue to be stable for the foreseeable future. The cyber school accreditation shows CCA uses ethical business practices that follow accepted budgeting and accounting principles. The practices promote confidence in our ability to responsibly manage our fiscal and material resources. CCA dedicates its financial resources to implementing our educational program, services, activities and operations.
CCA was found to provide safe, clean, well-maintained facilities that are appropriate and adequate to achieve our mission. The facilities provide a physical environment that supports delivery of our educational program, services and activities, and the ability of students to achieve the levels of learning and performance expected of them. The facilities are inspected regularly for effective operation and comply with all applicable health and safety codes of the civil jurisdiction within which the school is located.
School Organization and Staff
CCA met this standard to receive our cyber school accreditation because we facilitate achievement of our purposes and core values as expressed in our mission and successful implementation of our educational program, services and activities. Members of the administrative, instructional and support staffs are qualified, competent and sufficient in number to provide a high-quality educational experience as defined by our mission.
The accreditation shows staff members possess the qualifications required by the civil authority in which we operate to administer and teach their assigned programs. Staff members are evaluated regularly based on clear expectations for performance and are provided with professional development experiences that address areas in which they need to grow and/or improve. CCA’s leaders, staff and community stakeholders demonstrate collegial and collaborative relationships.
Health and Safety
CCA provides a safe, orderly and healthy environment for teaching and learning that meets the health and safety requirements of the civil jurisdiction in which the school operates. We have and implement policies and/or procedural guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our school students, staff and visitors. CCA has and implements plans for responding to emergencies and crises.
Our cyber school accreditation signifies that CCA’s educational program consists of carefully planned and well-executed programs of study based on appropriate content and learning standards, and instructional methods and assessments of student learning that reflect current research and proven practices in learning and teaching. The educational program is aligned with our mission, approved by the governing body and sufficiently financed and supported. CCA’s online educational program is designed so that all students can achieve at the levels desired by our community of stakeholders.
Assessment and Evidence of Student Learning
CCA has shown under this standard that our online school has a program for assessing student learning and performance that is consistent with our mission. The program is based on current research and proven practices, and it is aligned with CCA’s educational and instructional programs. The assessment program systematically collects and rigorously analyzes quantifiable and observable evidence of student learning and performance and growth using multiple, valid and reliable assessments that are respected by our community of stakeholders.
CCA expects all students to learn and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and habits of mind required in the educational program. Students are learning and performing at the levels expected, or the school has and is implementing a plan to raise learning and performance to the expected levels.
To become an accredited cyber school, we also had to show we provide effective, appropriate student services that support student learning and achieving our mission. The services are well-planned and well-delivered, and they are an integral part of and contribute to our educational program. Services are delivered by qualified personnel, sufficiently financed and evaluated periodically for their effectiveness. Services comply with any requirements of the civil authorities of the jurisdiction in which CCA is located.
Student Life and Activities
Our online school accreditation also shows that we provide nondiscriminatory student experiences. A balance of academic, social, co- or extracurricular and service experiences is maintained. Student experiences are designed to foster intellectual, cultural and social growth, and physical health and wellness. Experiences provide opportunities for student leadership and social interaction, encourage development of student interests, and, when appropriate, family involvement. Experiences are adequately financed, periodically reviewed for effectiveness and appropriate for CCA’s mission.
A final standard CCA met to become an accredited cyber school is that our information resources and personnel are appropriate and adequate in scope, quantity and quality to facilitate achieving our mission and delivering our educational programs. The resources are accessible to all students and staff for use in learning and teaching, and to broaden and extend their knowledge and skills. Appropriate instruction is offered to students and staff on the appropriate, ethical and most effective uses of the information resources. Information resources were found to be current and functional.