The school is in compliance with all standards of the SAIS accreditation process as verified by documentation, observations, and interviews and was unanimously recommended for accreditation.
University School of Nashville earned reaccreditation in May through SAIS. To earn accreditation, USN complied with quality standards, was evaluated by an outside group of peer professionals, and implemented a school plan focused on strategic improvement and student performance in accordance with USN’s mission.
A team of administrators from Woodward Academy, Peabody School, Porter-Gaud School, University School of Jackson, and Gulliver Schools visited USN in April to review the school’s self-study and standards compliance and its adherence to its mission, meet with faculty, administrators, and parents as well as shadow classes. Sixth Grade English Teacher Katie Reen led the School Renewal process at USN and worked as Accreditation Coordinator alongside Director Vince Durnan and Director’s Office Administrative Assistant Susan Pearlman, who assembled required materials.
SAIS accredited member schools are part of an international network of accredited schools that have demonstrated success in educating children. As such, SAIS accreditation is recognized throughout the world as a symbol of quality in education for students and teachers.
USN is a K-12, independent, coeducational, nonsectarian day school established in 1975 as the successor to Peabody Demonstration School. With 1,068 students on a 7-acre midtown Nashville campus, its mission is to model the best educational practices. In an environment that represents the cultural and ethnic composition of metropolitan Nashville, USN fosters each student's intellectual, artistic, and athletic potential, valuing and inspiring integrity, creative expression, a love of learning, and the pursuit of excellence. One in every three students is of color, and 20% are students from international families representing 50 countries. One in every five students receives need-based financial aid, amounting to $3.2 million during the 2018-2019 school year.
Among the SAIS visiting team’s commendations of USN were: emphasis on faculty professional development; adoption of the School Renewal process; a culture of student-centered emphasis and self-advocacy developing ownership of their education; wise stewardship and thoughtful use of available resources as well as budget transparency; the Educational Safari; faculty innovation through student assessment and classroom experiments; the faculty mentoring program; prioritizing gender dynamics and inclusion; development of an identity unit that will be used across Lower School; and serving a public purpose through Horizons at USN, USN Evening Classes, and a wide range of student-driven service learning projects.
With our centenary Commencement now in the steamed up rear-view mirror, it’s time for taking stock of what all happened in the run since August. My favorite lens to provide focus for that project is gratitude. Not surprisingly, there’s plenty to reference, and here goes, though by no means exhaustively, followed by a short wish list for your summer hiatus at the end.