Archdiocese of Chicago

 Systems Accreditation Minimize



Purpose of Systems Accreditation

The Strategic Plan for Catholic Schools (2013-2016) approved by the Archdiocese of Chicago School Board adopts a school improvement process that leads to district-wide accreditation. This AdvancED accreditation process is used at all levels of education, and is recognized for its ability to effectively drive student performance and continuous improvement. The Systems Accreditation designed for Catholic school systems will align us with the AdvancED Standards. This approach to continuous school improvement confirms quality assurance in the systematic review of our educational programs to ensure that acceptable standards of Catholic identity, education, scholarship, and infrastructure are maintained. Each year schools will collect and analyze data, set goals, plan, implement, and evaluate their school improvement efforts. This ongoing continuous review and evaluation of activities leads to authentic school improvement.

Beginning in Academic Year 2013-2014, schools under the governance of the Archdiocese of Chicago will be working to meet the AdvancED Standards as one system, developing a common language for school improvement.

Read about our Systems Accreditation in the news here.

Goal: Earn Systems Accreditation in June 2015

In May 2015, the External Review will be performed by a team of highly qualified external peer evaluators who examine the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Catholic Schools' adherence and commitment to AdvancED Standards. The External Review is a rigorous process that includes review of artifacts, interviews with stakeholders, and observations of instruction, learning, and operations. Commendations and required actions will be provided.

At the conclusion of the External Review, the schools under the governance of the Archdiocese of Chicago will be awarded Systems Accreditation to include all of our schools. This accreditation distinction is based on a five-year accreditation cycle. Earning Systems Accreditation is not the final destination; the accreditation process is an ongoing journey of meeting standards, engaging in continuous improvement, and demonstrating quality assurance.

Archdiocese of Chicago Accreditation Handbook

Accreditation Handbook              downolad pdf

School Responsibilities for Academic Year 2014-2015

Timeline for the Internal Review  downolad pdf
  1. Create an AdvancED Accreditation Team of 4 to 8 members and organize for collaborative work. Required members are the school principal, the Pastor of the school or a board member if it is an AIM School, and at least one teacher. The AdvancED Accreditation Team is led by a teacher as the Chair.
  2. Internal Review- Step 1: Revise School Profile in ASSIST to reflect changes in school leadership or AdvancED Teacher-Chair. This step is completed by Friday, September 19, 2014.
  3. Internal Review- Step 2: Update the Student Performance Diagnostic by conducting data deliberation using test results from 2013-2014.  This step is completed by Friday, November 14, 2014.
  4. Internal Review- Step 3: Create the Artifact Management Tool (AMT) by identifying evidence to support the school's Self Assessment. This step is completed by Thursday, February 19, 2015. 
  5. Internal Review- Step 4: Presentation by the Office of Catholic Schools on the Archdiocese of Chicago Internal Quality Assurance Process for 2015-2020. Presentation on Leadership Day Tuesday, February 24, 2015.
  6. Internal Review- Step 5: Prepare to host AdvancED External Review Team (ERT). This step is only required for schools to be visited by the AdvancED ERT.  This step is completed by Monday, March 9, 2015.
  7. Internal Review- Step 6: The AdvancED External Review. Host the AdvancED External Review Team. The AdvancED External Review begins Sunday, April 12, 2015 and ends Thursday, April 16, 2015.  Schools will be visited Tuesday, April 14 and Wednesday, April 15.
  8. Internal Review- Step 7: Review Assurances and report compliance with Archdiocese of Chicago and AdvancED Assurances. This step is completed by Friday, June 12, 2015.
  9. Internal Review- Step 8: Create the Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) for 2015-2016.  This step is completed by Friday, June 12, 2015.
  10. Internal Review- Step 9: Update the Executive Summary for 2015-2016.  This step is completed by Friday, June 12, 2015.

Questions regarding the Archdiocese of Chicago Systems Accreditation process can be directed to Dr. Jorge Peña, Director of School Improvement and Catholic School Accreditation (


 Training Workshops Minimize

Workshop #1- Update School Profile in ASSIST

  • September 12- 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm. Cardinal Meyer Center, 3525 S. Lake Park Ave., Chicago
  • September 15 - 9:00 am to 11:30 am. Archbishop Quigley Center, 835 N. Rush St., Chicago 

Handouts: 1. Agenda 2. Presentation

Workshop #2- Update the Student Performance Diagnostic

  • October 9: Times and Location TBD
  • October 10: Times and Location TBD
  • October 16: Times and Location TBD

Workshop #3- Create the Artifact Management Tool (AMT)

  • November 7: Times and Location TBD
  • November 14: Times and Location TBD
  • November 25: Times and Location TBD

Workshop #4- Prepare to host AdvancED External Review Team (ERT)

Only required for schools to be visited by the AdvancED ERT.

  • February 24: Festival of Leadership
  • February 25: Times and Location TBD
  • February 26: Times and Location TBD
  • February 27: Times and Location TBD

Workshop #5- Create the Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) for 2015-2016 and update the Executive Summary

  • April 27: Times and Location TBD
  • April 28: Times and Location TBD
  • April 29: Times and Location TBD

 Resources Minimize

AdvancED Standards for Quality School Systems

Download PDF
National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools Download PDF

August 7 Leadership Day Accreditation Presentation

Download PDF


Student Performance Diagnostic

Step 1. AOC Student Performance Data Document Template Download Document
AOC Student Performance Data Document- Example Download Document
Step 2. Student Performance Evaluative Criteria Download Document
Step 3. Student Performance Diagnostic Questions Download Document


Stakeholder Feedback Diagnostic

Step 1. AOC Stakeholder Feedback Data Document Template Download Document
Step 2. Stakeholder Feedback Evaluative Criteria Download Document
Step 3. Stakeholder Feedback Diagnostic Questions Download Document


 Self Assessment

Self Assessment Workbook Download Document
Self Assessment Concept Map Download Document
Survey Questions & Indicator Alignment Download PDF
Sample Standard Narrative Download Document


 Continuous School Improvement Plan

Continuous School Improvement Plan Process Download PDF
Continuous School Improvement Plan Template Download Document
Continuous School Improvement Plan example Download Document
Continuous School Improvement Plan Process for High Schools Download PDF
Continuous School Improvement Plan Template for High Schools Download Document
Student On-Track Report Template Download Spreadsheet
Student On-Track Report example Download Spreadsheet
TerraNova Performance Levels- Reading Download PDF
TerraNova Performance Levels- Mathematics Download PDF
Continuous School Improvement Plan Presentation Download Presentation


Executive Summary

Executive Summary Process Download Document
Mother Teresa Executive Summary Example Downdoald PDF