Olosega Elementary granted initial accreditation through 2026
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS-WASC) has granted “Initial Accreditation Status” for Olosega Elementary School in Manu’a, through June 30, 2026.
This decision, made during the Winter 2023 Commission Meeting “is based on all of the information provided by the school, including the school’s report, and the satisfactory completion of the accreditation visit,” wrote Commission chairperson, R. David Gaudi Jr. in a Feb. 14, 2023 letter to school principal, Lorrie M. Leama-Tofaeono.
Gaudi explained that prior to the end of this initial accreditation, the school must complete a self-study assessment and submit a self-study report, including the progress made in meeting the recommendations of the initial visiting committee.
Self-study training will be provided and centers/ programs will be expected to have key staff participate in these training sessions, Gaudi said.
Additionally, an ACS-WASC visiting committee will conduct a site visit to review the self-study findings and supporting evidence, conduct classroom observations, and dialogue with all stakeholders.
Furthermore, the committee will evaluate the programs and operations and the impact on student learning.
The principal was also informed that accreditation status is conditioned upon the school’s continued adherence with the ACS-WASC policies, procedures, and criteria for accreditation.
One accreditation requirement is the obligation of the school to notify ACS-WASC of any changes, which might be substantive in nature with an explanation of the change and the anticipated effect on educational program.
Another accreditation requirement, according to Gaudi, is that schools and districts annually contribute members to participate in visiting committees. He explained that this is particularly helpful to newly accredited schools in order to gain better understanding of accreditation process.
New members can sign up to serve on a visiting committee on the ACS-WASC website (www.acswasc.org). “Failure to maintain compliance with said policies, procedures and standards is grounds for modification and/ or withdrawal of accreditation,” Gaudi pointed out.
He noted that approval of initial accreditation entitles the school to use the following phrases on transcripts or in school advertisements: “Fully Accredited by (or) Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges” — until such time as the accreditation has either lapsed or been denied.
The principal was also informed that transcripts of students who are graduating or transferring from grades covered by the accreditation may be stamped or embossed with the ASC-WASC accredited seal, which can be obtained from the ASC-WASC office or the “Accredited by...” phrase can be typed on the transcript.
Gaudi concluded by telling the principal that the Commission looks forward to the school’s anticipated success and continuing improvement in keeping with ASC-WASC’s pursuit of excellence in elementary, secondary and adult education.
The local Education Department publicly released the accreditation letter on Tuesday on its social media platforms. And also congratulated the school for this achievement.