Accreditation

We are a ISACS accredited school

Clapham School is pleased to announce accreditation with ISACS, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States. Other ISACS schools in Chicagoland include The Avery Coonley School, Elgin Academy, Francis W. Parker School, The Latin School, Lake Forest Academy and others. It is Clapham’s privilege to be a part of such a fine group of schools.

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Who is ISACS?

The Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) is a membership organization of 230 independent schools from thirteen states of the Midwest region. ISACS membership currently includes the very best private schools such as The Latin School, Avery Coonley, Francis Parker, and University of Chicago Lab Schools. Additionally, Clapham’s sister schools, such as The Wilberforce School in Princeton, NJ, Heritage Preparatory in Atlanta, Georgia, and The Oaks in Indianapolis, Indiana have or are pursuing accreditation through ISACS or their equivalent regional organization.
The academic community perceives ISACS’ standards for accreditation as the most robust in the country. Clapham therefore has a nationally recognized group validating our unique mission, vision and philosophy of education. The ISACS standards hold Clapham to standards of education not to be compared with other local private or public schools, but the best schools in the country.  Additionally, ISACS as an organization provides great resources to inform best practice in all areas of education.

What does accreditation mean for Clapham?

Accreditation communicates to Clapham School’s constituents as well as to universities, prospective families, and future teachers, that we are accountable to certain educational standards deemed necessary to an excellent learning environment. These standards cover areas such as philosophy, governance, school community, school program, personnel, etc. For example, they ensure that Clapham has a fair admission practice, robust curriculum, appropriate student services and proper frameworks for board governance. In our original application, Clapham proved compliance with all fifty-two ISACS standards.

Secondly, ISACS holds Clapham School accountable for disclosing and achieving the school’s stated mission, vision and philosophy. Periodically educators from varying schools within the ISACS association review the policies, procedures, and curriculum to verify that what Clapham practices in actuality is what the school has articulated to its constituents in theory. ISACS accreditation assures academic excellence and congruence to Clapham’s Christian mission, classical framework and Charlotte Mason pedagogy.

A further benefit of accreditation is the seven year cyclical self-study required by ISACS.  Built into this process is a survey of Clapham’s constituents. Independent schools throughout the country and world now use the Independent School Survey for school evaluation purposes, strategic planning, and/or marketing research. With over 100,000 surveys in its database, ISACS offers the country’s best resource for comparing data on constituent evaluation of virtually every element of a school’s operations. Following the survey Clapham conducts an in-depth study –deemed the “self-study”– of the school’s varying facets including strengths, challenges, and recommendations for each area. The self-study process is not just about proving compliance, but about improving our school.

Clapham is grateful for outside affirmation of our educational endeavors and, most importantly, to be a part of an organization that will hold our school accountable to ongoing excellence.