KALAMAZOO — St. Augustine School has earned recognition as a School of Distinction by the Michigan Non-Public School Accrediting Association (MNSAA). The elementary school becomes only the 11th of 242 MNSAA accredited schools to earn this recognition since its inception in 2007.
To earn “School of Distinction” recognition accredited schools must choose two to three substantial goals and document specific progress. St. Augustine’s staff chose to focus on the following two goals: increase knowledge and integration of the seven principles of Catholic social teaching and increase grade-level language scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. The school began its process in 2010 and presented its documentation to MNSAA in April.
Principal Andra Zommers received notification of its School of Distinction achievement late the week of June 10-16.
“The entire process has transformed our school,” said Zommers. “We’ve increased our understanding of Catholic social teaching and integrated the seven principles into our school. It’s not just what we know, but it is part of our spirit, of who we are as a school community.
“Additionally we’ve achieved double-digit increases in our English language scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. The fifth and sixth grades achieved a 12 percent increase over two years in total language scores. The third through fifth grade collectively increased their understanding of Catholic social teaching by 30 percent.”
An official presentation and awards ceremony will be Friday, Aug. 24, the first day of the 2012-13 school year. At that time a “School of Distinction” banner will be unveiled.
St. Augustine School has an enrollment of 309 students in preschool through eighth grade. The school, established in 1856, is one of 22 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Kalamazoo.