Shoshi Bilavsky is Head of School at SJCS.
Many of you know that the accreditation process involved a deep assessment of our school’s history, growth, and plans for future development. It involved a year-long collaboration between staff, board members, and many members of our parent community, and culminated in a week-long visit by a committee of PNAIS peer schools. The feedback from that visiting team provided validation for much of the excellent work that we are already doing at SJCS, and provided valuable feedback on areas for improvement and growth.
To explain briefly what accreditation means, I’d like to share this directly from PNAIS:
“Accreditation of an institution by PNAIS indicates that it meets or exceeds the PNAIS Major Standards and Good Practices. An accredited school is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.”
I’d also like to share a few quotes from the commendations section of our accreditation report:
“The Visiting Team commends the school for …
1. the change leadership focus of the Head of School and the faculty over the past several years. Their thoughtful work collaboration to adopt the TaL AM Hebrew language program and a new math program has taken their programs to a new level.
2. the faculty and staff, who create such a caring and joyful community where children develop their Jewish identity and sense of caring for and giving to the whole world. Their excellent work and collaborative spirit holds the school together.
3. the dedication and exceptional work of the Board of Trustees over the past decade and for their stewardship during school’s years of growth and change.
4. the strategic work of the of the administrative leadership team for their initiative to position SJCS as a hub for Jewish life in north Seattle.
5. the inclusive work driven by the Board that engaged the entire SJCS community in the creation of a new mission, a vision and value statements for the school.
6. the work of the entire school community to acquire the current campus and the exceptional fundraising efforts they have undertaken over the past five years.”
Suffice to say, we could never have met this milestone without the tremendous efforts of everyone who participated in the accreditation process. I’d like to give special recognition to Jenni Hurner, who headed the self-study from the SJCS side. And, of course, we must recognize Joyce Shane z”l and Debbie Butler, who built so much of the school that we treasure today.