St. Paul Lutheran High School reached its first milestone by receiving a recommendation for certification from the National Lutheran School Accreditation.
“Although we haven’t received the certificate yet, we are through the biggest part of the process,” said Principal Andy Sherrill.
The NLSA is a nationally accrediting process of self-evaluation designed to evaluate schools based on their unique purpose as Lutheran schools. In order to receive recommendation, the high school received a visit from a team of observers who help schools improve the quality of their school based on eleven standards and more than 250 specific indicators.
St. Paul had its visit on April 8 and 9.
“When the visiting team was here, they viewed the classrooms and spoke to the teachers, students, parents and the pastor – basically everyone,” said Sherrill. “They were here to compare our self-study to their observations to make sure they were accurate.”
For St. Paul, the visit was a major success. The observation team is making a recommendation to the national board for the school to receive accreditation when it meets in June. In addition, the school will apply for dual certification with the Missouri Non-Public accreditation. Both accreditation bodies will meet in June to vote on an approval.
“We really think it’s important that people know we have both accreditation, especially in this area,” said Sherrill. “We should know about their decisions in the first week of June.”
Although getting the school accredited has been a part of the school’s driving force for the two years they have been open, fulfilling the promise to the class of 2015 – the first graduating class – has always been a major goal.
“It has always been our plans to be accredited by this spring, so our first graduating class next year will be able to graduate with a degree,” said Sherrill. “They are very excited about being the first class to graduate from St. Paul.”
Among those who will graduate from St. Paul’s first high school class is Caroline Abbott, who plans on attending Mineral Area College before moving on to a four-year school. Like most high school students, Abbott likes to talk about her friends and the memories she made while attending. But what drew her to the school were not only her friends but the size of the classes.
With only 23 students in the entire school, some of her classes may only have four to six students.
“Farmington High School was really too big for me,” said Abbott. “I need more of that one-on-one relationship. The classes here are 12 students at max.”
When asked about being a member of the first graduating class of her school, Abbott responded quickly about her big day next year.
“I’m really excited,” said Abbott. “If they do graduation like most schools, alphabetically, I will be the first person to graduate from here.”
For more information about St. Paul High School, call 573-756-1099
Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or at email@example.com