preK student in the makerspaceby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

The chair of our recent ISACS accreditation visiting team asked a founding faculty member a simple question: “Is the Mounds Park that exists today the school you envisioned all those years ago during its formation?”

“In many ways it is,” she answered, “But in many more ways, it exceeds what we dared to dream back then.” That single statement represents the hoped-for outcome of the last 18-month process and is at the heart of the report the visiting team wrote. As Head of School, and as a parent, I was overjoyed.

Mounds Park Academy is a proud member of the Independent Schools Association of Central States (ISACS). The purpose of ISACS is to promote the development of strong learning communities characterized by high achievements, social responsibility, and independence of governance, programs, and policies. This goal is achieved through a rigorous accreditation process, targeted professional development programs, and focused support services. In preparation for re-accreditation, we’ve spent the last 18 months reflecting on our mission and program and writing a very comprehensive, 147-page self-study report.

Each member of ISACS takes part in a seven-year accreditation process, with accreditation given in year three after a visiting team of administrators and teachers spend several days on campus, write a report, and if all goes well, recommend accreditation. You may remember that our team spent three days with us several weeks ago. While on campus, the visiting team spoke with teachers, students, administrators, parents, and board members to learn more about the school, validate the self-study report written by the school, and help the school learn what it might have missed during the self-study.

The three days went very well, and the visiting team was impressed with the culture and hospitality of MPA. The visiting team wrote a very thorough report that contains commendations and recommendations for more than 30 key areas of the school. My overarching hope for the visit was that the faculty and staff would be recognized and affirmed for their dedication, hard work, and sacrifice since the last visiting team was on campus. My hope was realized, and the team saw and acknowledged the exceptional caring and professional faculty and staff that make MPA the amazing place that it is.

The full report of the visiting team will be sent to ISACS along with a recommendation to the ISACS board that MPA is re-accredited. I am hoping to use the report as a spring board for our next round of strategic planning and look forward to working with the Board to determine the process best suited for our needs. Together, we will design a process that provides significant engagement from students, faculty, parents, and all constituents and one that is transparent and inclusive.

The accreditation process has refueled my passion and dedication to MPA and I feel incredibly fortunate to serve as head of school of this remarkable school. Please know of my sincere gratitude for entrusting your children to us and for your investment of your time, expertise, and support of MPA.

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