Dear Leigh High School community:
The purpose of this communication is to provide an update on the status of Leigh High School’s term of accreditation as authorized by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Rumors about the future of Leigh High School have been growing since March 22 when a WASC evaluation team assessed Leigh’s progress toward regaining a full, six-year accreditation term.
Parents, students, teachers, and members of the Leigh community concerned about the school’s accreditation should know that Leigh’s current accreditation status remains intact. The school remains open, and incoming freshmen as well as students matriculating as sophomores, juniors, or seniors in the 2016-17 school year will continue their studies at Leigh High School.
In fact, the WASC evaluation team’s final report is still incomplete. WASC initially informed Leigh and Campbell Union High School District (CUHSD) that the evaluation team’s final report would be delivered in late April or early May. Unfortunately, that report has now been delayed, and we won’t know WASC’s decision on Leigh’s term of accreditation until late June or early July.
The district has received an apology from WASC for this inconvenience. In the meantime, we will continue to support Leigh as it seeks full accreditation by improving the following areas:
- Regular assessment of student performance on school wide learning outcomes;
- Commitment across the teacher and parent community to use SchoolLoop on a regular basis;
- Increased communication with students whose first language is not English, Latino students, students with disabilities, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students and the adoption of strategies to close the achievement gap for these groups;
- Increasing college and career readiness of all students; and
- Collaborative practices around curriculum and assessment.
Accreditation is a seal of approval that serves as a mark of institutional quality and organizational strength. It’s a voluntary process that schools undergo to help improve the quality of their programs and operations through self-evaluation. Depending upon how well the evaluation team feels the school is executing its action plan, WASC may decide to:
- Grant a full, six-year accreditation term to Leigh;
- Extend Leigh’s current, probationary accreditation status; or
- Withhold full accreditation from Leigh.
If Leigh returns to a full, six-year accreditation term or simply receives an extension of its current accreditation status, another WASC evaluation team will visit Leigh again next year to review the school’s progress. Meanwhile, the college eligibility of any student attending Leigh will not be impacted by this process, and graduating seniors in the class of 2016 will also be unaffected by any of these decisions.
We believe that Leigh High School has the capacity to meet its goals, and we’ve seen how teachers, staff, students and administrators are working together to increase communication and collaboratively assess their educational programs. This is an opportunity for growth, and we’re confident that the Leigh community will return from this experience stronger than before.
To keep the community informed of this issue, the district will organize a voluntary parent meeting in May. You can also stay up to date on this topic by visiting www.cuhsd.org, where you’ll find a list of Frequently Asked Questions. We look forward to hearing your feedback.