12-8-2022: Falcon Accreditation News

Below is a letter written by Head of School, Dr. Charles Skipper, that was sent to families, faculty, and staff.

Dear Field School Community, 

In the life of a school, there are a handful of red-letter days for the school as a whole. Some are annual, like graduation, and others happen less frequently but are also very important. Today was such a day for Field School. 

It is with much joy and pride that I am able to share with all of you that the site-visit team for the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) informed us today in a school-wide assembly that they are making the recommendation to the Membership Committee of VAIS that Field School be recognized as an accredited member school pending completion of our financial audit (currently underway). That recommendation is reviewed by the VAIS Accreditation Committee and then acted on by the Board of VAIS later this year. 

The journey to initial accreditation for a school is always a difficult and challenging one given the depth of analysis and reporting that goes with demonstrating compliance with all of the standards of the association. In our case, it also included working through the pandemic-related effects and even new government mandated processes. Under the indefatigable leadership of Leo Connally and Betsy Albro, with able and critical assistance from the Field School faculty, board, parents, and students, we persevered and achieved this important milestone in institutional growth and recognition. 

A parent asked me recently about why accreditation is important. The short version is that it represents quality assurance. An accredited school demonstrates compliance with standards reflecting good practices for schools. It is also important in other ways as well. Some grant making foundations and groups will only provide support for accredited schools, and some tools and programs are only available to accredited schools (like the ability to be a Google School). As someone with four decades of involvement with accreditation, I’ve always felt it was particularly useful for schools given the guiderails for good practice it provides as well as formal and informal feedback for improvement that comes through the processes of accreditation.  

Congratulations Field School community! This really is an important step in the history of this wonderful school, and a step that could not have happened without the contributions of all of us to the effort.



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