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Despite the adversity of COVID-19, the Heartspring School achieves accelerated state accreditation

Though the Heartspring School began the five-year accreditation process with a bold move, it has successfully received accreditation - even in the middle of a pandemic.

By: Heartspring Marketing

Despite the adversity of COVID-19, the Heartspring School achieves accelerated state accreditation

Three years ago, the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA) teams implemented a new accreditation system for Kansas schools. This new process involves thorough data collection, goal development, implementation, and data analysis over a span of five years.

Eager to continue providing excellent services to students and families, the Heartspring School Improvement Team decided to make a bold move: begin the accreditation process at year three.

“We took the accreditation process very seriously and worked to make improvements at a rigorous pace,” states Curriculum Development Coordinator June Henkelman. “We had completed the requirements for years one and two and were ready to fast forward to year three.”

Naturally, this meant condensing processes and painstaking work in a shorter timeframe, but the Heartspring School welcomed the challenge – even when COVID-19 began spreading in the community.

After KESA’s Onsite Visitation Team (OVT) visited Heartspring in the spring to review the school’s documentation before submitting reports for a final accreditation recommendation, Heartspring’s day-to-day operations had to radically change to prioritize the health and safety of student and staff.

“Many of the same people who are responsible for keeping the school running throughout the pandemic were also a part of the School Improvement Team responsible for the accreditation,” mentions Henkelman.

Regardless of the difficulties, the Heartspring School pushed through the challenge. Not only did they achieve accreditation amid a pandemic, but more importantly, they caught the eyes of professionals at the state level who noted the excellent processes Heartspring implemented within the school.

“We set a very high standard for the schools that follow us through this process,” remarks Henkelman. “We are so excited and have so many new ideas to implement within the next five-year cycle.”

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