About Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Middle States is an international organization that “aspires to improve the quality of education in the United States and around the world by assisting schools to achieve excellence through the process of accreditation, by affirming to the public a member school’s trustworthiness and commitment to continuous improvement, by providing the network and resources for the promotion of proven practices.” (Middle States Mission Statement).
This accreditation process (which engages students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community at large in a rigorous evaluation process) combined with our focus on ongoing strategic visioning and planning ensures a steadfast and constant focus on the future and on optimizing the student experience and our approach to creating college-bound and career-ready graduates.
The Reaccreditation Process
York Catholic participates in the process of self-evaluation and renewal as we work toward reaccreditation through the Middle States Association. Reaccreditation is done on a seven-year cycle, and our last visit from a Middle States team took place in the spring of 2023. A team of Middle States representatives spent three days with us in March 2023, reviewing our current growth plan and talking with faculty and staff, parents, students, and school board members. Over the course of their visit they observed the day-to-day operation of the school and took a close look at how well we meet Middle States criteria as set forth in twelve standards. The twelve standards examined are as follows:
- Philosophy and Mission
- Governance and Leadership
- School Improvement Planning
- School Climate and Organization
- Health and Safety
- Educational Program
- Assessment and Evidence of Student Learning
- Student Services
- Student Life and Student Activities
We began to prepare for reaccreditation in the fall of 2021, sending out a Middle States survey to parents soliciting feedback regarding our performance in all twelve areas. All students in grades 8-12 took a similar survey that November, as did faculty members. A total of 642 (parents, students, and faculty) participated, and the results were tallied. The results from this survey are at the core of our growth plan moving forward. Areas of weakness were identified, and our plan for growth and improvement was developed accordingly.
Our Middle States protocol is called Excellence by Design, and it requires that we establish three measurable objectives to track and document over the next seven-year cycle, with positive results. Of our three objectives, two are academic in nature.
- The first objective focuses on career exploration and the development of a curriculum designed to better prepare our graduates for life after high school in regard to career choice, job satisfaction, and ultimately, success in the workplace.
- The second objective focuses on Business and Technology, and our need to update course offerings in order for our students to be competitive in those constantly changing career fields.
- The third objective is not academically driven, rather it targets our ongoing efforts to raise funds necessary for continued building renovations.
All survey results and action plans were compiled in a document that was submitted to the Middle States team for review. This same document is available by clicking the button below. We will continue to develop action plans annually, with a mid-cycle review to take place in 2026. Questions regarding the process or visit may be directed to Kathy Hand, Director of Studies, at email@example.com.
As part of York Catholic’s re-accreditation cycle, a visiting team from the Middle States Association Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools spent three days at York Catholic in March. A Middle States visit is much like an audit, and the team spent time reviewing data and evidence collected in regard to building finance, facilities, health and safety, personnel, educational programming, student services, and student life.
The visiting team was led by Father Michael Tidd, OSB, a Benedictine monk and priest of St. Mary’s Abbey in Morristown, New Jersey. He is also Headmaster of Delbarton School, a college preparatory school for boys. Father Tidd was joined by Mrs. Leslie Fundakowski, from Wilmington, Delaware. Mrs. Fundakowski spent the better part of her career as an educator and administrator at Padua Academy, a Catholic girls’ school in Wilmington. The third visiting team member was Dr. Stefani Sobol-Pastor, Religion Department Chair at Seton-Lasalle Catholic High School in Pittsburgh.
When the team wasn’t reviewing data, they were in our hallways and classrooms, talking with school faculty and staff, students, and parents as they assessed day-to-day management, long-term planning, and school culture. We are grateful to those families that participated, attending our welcome dinner or sharing insight in a round table discussion. Special thanks to the following parents who participated in a panel discussion with the visiting team: Tom and Stephanie Brennan, Guy and Aurelia Coley, Danielle Conti, Tom Kellett, Marc and Jill Kovach, and Mondi Sterling. We appreciate your time and dedication to our school.
As a result of the March visit, York Catholic has been recommended for re-accreditation through the year 2029.
In addition to the Diocese of Harrisburg and the Middle States Association, York Catholic retains membership in the National Catholic Education Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.