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Great News from CIS!

Rochester School has been granted candidacy status for the CIS accreditation! We couldn’t feel prouder of our school and all of what we have accomplished as a community. Sincere thanks to the Aljure Leon Family, the school’s board, the faculty and non-faculty team, our students and families for everything you do every day. Great achievements are the result of all of us working with care, optimism and faith. Our gratitude to you all! 

With great pride, we share the words from Rick Spradling, the CIS International Liaison Officer of our Preparatory Visit:

This preparatory evaluation was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic and many schools had enacted on-line learning and teaching, maintaining contact with their students and continuing their education. CIS offered Rochester School the opportunity to conduct a preparatory visit to maintain the journey towards accreditation. The CIS School Support and Evaluation Officer, based in Los Angeles, and the CIS peer evaluator, situated in Chile, conducted meetings and lesson visits virtually. The visit took place successfully in October 2020. 

The school had shifted to remote (online) lessons last March when the pandemic hit Colombia, but has reopened this fall with around half of its students coming to school for in-person classes, and the other half joining remotely from home, though this ratio was shifting toward a higher percentage of on-site students even as the visit was progressing.

Discussions were held with all stakeholders. The school arranged effective remote observation of in-class lessons which, coupled with pre-recorded remote instructional lessons, as well as of recorded videos of the school campus, allowed the evaluators to gain a reasonably broad perspective of the school.

CIS is pleased to inform you that Rochester School has been granted candidate status for CIS Accreditation. Congratulations go to you and your school community on this achievement.

Rochester is, in a phrase, a very impressive school, and the evaluators found much to praise. The school is grounded on a foundation of several reasonably connected philosophies, addressing both academic and, even more powerfully, social and societal competencies. The current generation of the school’s founding family includes three siblings each of whom is dedicated to playing a vital part in guiding the school’s direction and supporting its operation. The family members and additional board members have done a superb job of managing a difficult financial situation with the COVID-19 impact, showing compassion and understanding of the financial impact to school families, thus allowing the school to continue serving its students and meeting its goals with minimal negative consequences.

The guiding statements are well-embedded in the school’s curriculum, and the culture of well-being of students – as well as of staff and parents – is enormously positive, the result of an unusually extensive program of professional and personal development given to students, staff, and parents alike. Likewise, the school’s work environment is admirably characterized by trust, respect, growth, support and a pervasive family atmosphere. As one student said, “We live the golden rule.â€

The school took the recommendations of the membership evaluation very seriously, addressing many in a detailed and professional manner before the preparatory evaluation visit. Indeed, Rochester has approached the accreditation process as a great opportunity for self-improvement, and has followed all guidance (for example, the early submission feedback) carefully and thoroughly. The school is not one to rest, and already has plans for future expansion of programs (becoming more inclusive to students with learning and language needs) and possibly facilities. Rochester continues to build on its striking commitment to sustainability, through its 21-st century campus design and its “living textbook†inclusion of energy and waste management. At the same time, Rochester seeks accreditation to become even better, and the evaluators shared a few important suggestions for attention…

In conclusion, the evaluators were extremely impressed with Rochester School’s community culture, strength of purpose and direction, and commitment to values such as sustainability, service, and caring interpersonal relationships. The evaluators have no doubt that Rochester will continue to achieve well-deserved recognition and student academic and personal success as a result of the school’s unique blend of guiding statements, and that the accreditation process will help provide structure to the school’s efforts.

We will continue making our best efforts every day, making sure our students and families are provided with an inspiring service! This is an achievement of all of us who are part of the the school community, so it is time to celebrate and honor our success!

Resumen: ¡Nuestro Colegio Rochester ha obtenido el estado de candidatura para la acreditación como Colegio CIS! Nos sentimos muy orgullosos de nuestro colegio y de todo lo que hemos logrado como comunidad. Un sincero agradecimiento a la familia Aljure Leon, a la junta de la Fundación Educativa Rochester, al equipo docente y no docentes, a nuestros estudiantes y familias por todo lo que hacen dÃ

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