News Article

Oaks Christian Earns Maximum Accreditation Term

Confirmation of Exemplary Accomplishments

Oaks Christian School has received a full, five-year accreditation from the Southern Association of Independent Schools, the maximum term a school can receive from SAIS. The SAIS Accreditation Review Committee granted the full term after their visit in November. This news is a confirmation of the exemplary work the school has accomplished not only this year, but for the past six years since the last accreditation.  

The full term is especially significant in light of the difficulties faced in the last two-years during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the exemplary way the school has navigated the temporary pivot to remote learning, continued safe and healthy protocols, and other challenges. 

A team representing SAIS conducted an on-site visit to review this school’s self-study and standards compliance and its adherence to its mission. The team was comprised of diverse educational leaders from institutions across the region. The visiting team sought the answers to critical strategic questions the school answered during the process of preparing for the visit.    

Assessing the adequacy of the self-study process; 2. Identifying strengths of the school deserving commendation; 3. Developing recommendations that may help to strengthen the programs of the school; 4. Assessing compliance with the standards of SAIS; 5. Developing a written report of the findings  

The OCS self-study and accreditation preparation review process was spearheaded by Middle School Academic Dean Rachel Morales. 

“First of all, I want to give a huge congratulations to our OCS community and particularly to Rachel Morales, who coordinated this effort,” said Dr. Matt Northrop, Associate Head of School for Academics and Arts. 

Northrop shared the significance of the accreditation process in two key areas: allowing the school to self-evaluate strengths, weaknesses and areas of growth, and secondly, to give the school an outside perspective. 

“Accreditation gives us a perspective outside of ourselves. In a sense, we are inviting peers from other Christian and independent schools to let us know where we are ‘knocking it out of the park’ as well as where we might need to grow. This continuous improvement process is just as important to the overall health of an educational organization as it is to our individual selves. This process sets us up well for continued growth over the next 5 years and beyond,” he shared. 

The committee commended Oaks Christian in several areas including: 

  • Bold choices to invest resources and physical space into a state-of-the-art “constructionist” learning program with the IDEA Lab, where learning is inquiry- and problem-based, interdisciplinary, and connected to real world competencies and experiences 

  • Continuing the present position and commitment to educate the whole child through the areas of academics, athletics, fine arts, well-being, and spiritual life 

  • Deepened student opportunities to learn real-world skills and specialize their academic experiences by intentionally developing sophisticated pathways in the three institutes for Arts and Innovation, Global Leadership, and Engineering, which has provided students with more choice and more exposure to industries and experts 

  • Launching a positive start to the residential boarding program and serving 64 students in this current school year and actively working to grow boarding enrollment 

  • The foundation for powerful design work around curriculum, assessment, and the overall Oaks Experience by defining and deploying a comprehensive, dynamic Portrait of an Oaks Christian Graduate 

  • Fem STEM” to increase and include female students in science and engineering-based pathways, thereby adding diversity to STEM programs and maximizing impact and opportunity 

 “The passion exuded by your community is evident, and the quality of people and program is considerable. Your future is bright, and we look forward to watching the transformative work you do at Oaks Christian in the future,” stated John Thorsen committee chair and Head of School at the Athens Academy, in the report.