Abiding Savior Lutheran School receives national accreditation

Abiding Savior Lutheran School started the school year this week having recently achieved renewed accreditation through the National Lutheran Schools Accreditation, or NLSA, program.

The NLSA is an accreditation agency that serves the public by assuring that educational institutions that are accredited are indeed quality schools. Only 75 percent of elementary schools operated by participating congregations receive this recognition, and the yearlong process to achieve the award demands a tremendous amount of dedication by the school staff, school board and families, according to a news release. 

The NLSA process begins with a self-improvement plan completed by the school over the course of a year, and focusing on a defined set of NLSA standards. More than 250 specific indicators quantify a school’s compliance in the areas of Mission and Vision, Relationships, Leadership, Personnel, Curriculum, Instruction, Student Services, Health and Safety, Facilities, Finance and Evaluation.

Accreditation is the mark of the best in education and Abiding Savior fully met or exceeded in 93 percent of these indicators, the release stated. Once the school has identified areas needing attention, it develops a School Improvement Plan for each area and sets goals to achieve, which address concerns in any of the indicating areas.

The school improvement plan process is followed by an on-site review by a visiting team that validates the self-study report and provides an objective evaluation of the school. The team’s recommendation for accreditation then is reviewed by the district and the National Accreditation Commission for final approval.

The school will continue to use the goals set forth in the plan for continued improvement over the next five years, when it will renew the process.

Participation in NLSA is voluntary and completing the process demonstrates the willingness to “go the extra mile” for which Abiding Savior has become known, according to the release. The student body and families benefit from the self-awareness the school develops of its own strengths and weaknesses, and a re-focus on the mission of the school that provides a clarity of vision applied in all of the school’s programs, policies and actions.

Abiding Savior Lutheran School also receives accreditation through the Missouri Nonpublic Schools Accrediting Association.