It is with great pride that Playford International College can now call themselves a CIS school, this is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved. Being a CIS school means that Playford International College is now accredited with the Council of International Schools, this is a global organisation with a community that includes more than 1300 institutions – 734 schools and 622 colleges and universities representing 116 countries. Being part of this community opens up many opportunities for staff and students.
To become an accredited CIS school is not a simple process; there is a large range of criteria that needs to be addressed and considered across 8 Domains encompassing 57 standards, 20 of these standards are Core standards and must be met as a bare minimum for a school to be successful in accreditation.
The process is also a lengthy one, a short membership evaluation was conducted in 2017 to ensure the school was able to continue with the accreditation process. We were then issued a preparatory report with recommendations to address throughout the self study period.
The Self Study process for us took place last year in 2018 with every single staff member both teachers and ancillary forming part of a team aligned to each of the 8 domains and overseen by a Domain Chairperson. These chairpersons guided their teams in unpacking the feedback given in the preparatory report, discussing ways to address recommendations to best suit our context and then writing a 200 word narrative for each standard to form our Self Study report. Playford International College intentionally involved every staff member in this process, although it is not a requirement nor standard practice amongst other CIS schools. It was important for all staff to be included in this process of reflection in order to encourage a sense of ownership and connection to the school regarding our improvement process. The fact that staff collectively authored a report of approximately 100 pages and over 36,000 words highlights the collaboration that occurred within the Self-Study process and provides evidence for me to proudly state that gaining full CIS accreditation is everyone’s achievement.
The accreditation process culminated in a Team Evaluation visit in term 1 this year whereby 8 visitors from CIS schools both within Australia and Internationally visited Playford International College for a full week and spent time in classrooms, talked to students, interviewed staff, School Board members and families. The Evaluation Team then prepared a large report with a summary of their findings against all 57 standards with commendations and recommendations which helps CIS determine whether a school achieves full accreditation.
Personally, I was not surprised when we were given the news that we are now a CIS school because I know how much fantastic work is occurring every single day that I go to work. The Chair of the evaluation team used the word Care to describe the overall feeling the team felt whilst being at PIC for 5 days, she stated that everyone at PIC ‘really cares about the students’. This may be a simple word, but one that truly encapsulates the driving force behind our improvement process.
Whilst the report we received from the Team Evaluation has recommendations for us to reflect and act upon prior to the next round of the CIS accreditation process n 3 years’ time there are also many well-deserved commendations across multiple areas of the school.
I encourage everyone to use this great news as an opportunity to pause and reflect on all the small, individual wins and large scales achievements that have taken place at Playford International College over the last few years and feel proud of the work you are doing.
Congratulations to the Playford International College community and thank you, thank you for all your hard work, your commitment and above all- for caring.