A record number of 115 Lutheran schools were accredited by the National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA) commission at its Aug. 5-6 annual meeting in St. Louis.
Commission members representing 26 LCMS districts participated in the meeting.
A complete list of the schools accredited this year is available as a downloadable PDF (click here).
“Accreditation is a high honor and demonstrates significant effort on the part of a Lutheran school to validate high standards of academic quality and spiritual preparation,” said Terry Schmidt, associate director of School Ministry for LCMS National Mission and national director of NLSA.
Schmidt explained that to be accredited, schools must verify “through documentation and practice” their compliance with 11 accreditation standards. Each school applying for NLSA accreditation completes a yearlong evaluation process, including a self-study report that identifies its strengths and weaknesses. A team of appointed trained educators then visits each school to verify its compliance with NLSA requirements, and recommends whether schools should be granted accreditation by the commission.
NLSA accreditation — established in 1987 — is granted in five-year cycles.
“Commitment to accreditation standards does not end when the school receives its accreditation certificate,” Schmidt said. “NLSA requires ongoing commitment to continuous improvement efforts and the school remains accountable to document its ongoing improvement progress in cumulative annual reports that are submitted throughout its five-year accreditation cycle.
“NLSA ensures that a Lutheran school is true to its purpose, which also ensures the future of each of its students,” Schmidt said.
Currently, 656 Lutheran schools are accredited by NLSA in the United States and Canada. That includes 77 preschools, 523 elementary schools and 56 high schools.
Among other business at their 2011 annual meeting, the NLSA commissioners:
- nominated seven schools for consideration as “exemplary” Lutheran schools.
- adjusted fees for Lutheran schools applying for and maintaining accreditation.
- changed the date of their annual meeting to the last Wednesday and Thursday in July.
The 2012 NLSA commission meeting is scheduled for July 25-26 in St. Louis.
Posted Sept. 14, 2011