Morongo School Secures Maximum Accreditation
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation marks an important milestone for the tribe’s college preparatory academy, the first of its kind on an Indian reservation.
MORONGO INDIAN RESERVATION – The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) has granted a six-year accreditation to the Morongo School, the longest term possible, tribal officials announced.
Opened on the Morongo Reservation in 2010, the Morongo School offers a strong academic college preparatory curriculum that includes leadership programs, tribal language instruction, and lessons about tribal history and culture from tribal elders. The Morongo School is fully funded by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and is tuition-free.
“The maximum WASC accreditation truly validates all the hard work that has gone into developing a top-flight school at Morongo that is shaping the next generation of tribal leaders,” Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin said. “We are very proud of our school administrators, teachers, staff and, of course, our students and their parents, for this marvelous achievement.”
The WASC accreditation assures parents, the educational community, and other agencies that a school is meeting the rigorous standards for educational effectiveness, student achievement results and learning as reviewed by WASC’s Accrediting Commission for Schools.
Federal statistics show that just 15% of American Indians and Alaskan Natives earn bachelor degrees – fewer than any other ethnic group in the U.S. The Morongo School was created to help reverse those trends by ensuring its students are academically and socially prepared to pursue a higher education.
“We’re thrilled to have received the maximum possible accreditation. It’s truly a testament to Morongo’s commitment to making sure tribal students receive a high-quality, multi-faceted education,” said Morongo Education Administrator Lisa Tabarez, who oversees the school.
The Morongo School opened in July 2010 with 23 students in grades K-6. The school has since expanded to more than 135 students in grades K-9 who receive instruction from fully-credentialed teachers. Class sizes do not exceed 20 students per teacher and each student receives an individualized education program with high performance standards that are designed to prepare the pupil for college.
The latest WASC accreditation will remain in effect until 2022 when the Morongo School will undergo another regular review. WASC had previously granted the Morongo School an initial three-year accreditation, the maximum possible for a new school.
About WASC: The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six official academic bodies responsible for the accreditation of public and private universities, colleges, secondary and elementary schools in the United States and foreign institutions of American origin.