Carbon School District Press Release
When Carbon High School went through the accreditation process last year, the school was in the midst of huge changes, not only in terms of scheduling but in terms of student body makeup as well as technological transitions.
But in some ways, that added to a top rating that the accreditation committee gave the school when it was all said and done.
“We had four major changes going on last year,” said Carbon High Principal Bruce Bean. “First, we were converting from having three grades in the school to having the freshman here for the first time. Second, we were moving from an four period day to a five period day. And on top of that, we were introducing the Chromebooks to the school, with every student and teacher having to deal with that new process. Finally, it was our time to be up for accreditation.”
Accreditation is a process in which a committee of educators, some presently working in education and others retired, come to a school, evaluate information provided, visit classes and ask questions of all groups affiliated with the campus, from staff to parents.
“The company that does this is called Advanced Education,” said Bean. “They evaluate schools all over the world. The company accredits schools from secondary institutions to colleges.”
The committee found that the changes that were going on were good for the students and also discovered that Carbon High was quickly moving in directions that other schools were bogged down in. The Chrome Book experience was one they were particularly impressed by.
“The committee said they have seen schools that introduced electronic devices like Chromebooks to their students five years ago and that we are ahead of many of those in how they are being used despite the fact that the devices were brand new to the campus last year,” said Bean. “They couldn’t believe the ease with which we were transitioning.”
The committee talked to over 100 students and fifty parents while they visited. Those they talked to were overwhelmingly positive about what has been going on at the school.
“They told us that for being a rural school, our students had access to educational opportunities that most others don’t have,” said Bean. “In fact, they said the access was as good as any in the state of Utah.”
Bean attributes the ability for students to have more opportunities to the fact that they have a lot of choices in the area. The Lighthouse High School allows students to find alternatives to Carbon High and Pinnacle Canyon Charter High School also is another way students can find a different path.
The school was ranked particularly high on student engagement, technology strategies and the use of technology.
“Our graduation rate is 98%, and that made an impression on them too,” said Bean. “We also get great support from the district and the juvenile court concerning student attendance.”
The committee chair was so impressed by what she saw that she suggested that Bean submit a paper to the Utah Association of Secondary Principals concerning the success of the programs at the school. She told Bean that “you need to tell people what you have done and how you do it.”
“I am still working on that,” said Bean with a smile.