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Art school scores high on review

An arts school for juniors and seniors in Brookhaven recently received notification of accreditation after a comprehensive review of teachers, students and the campus.

The Mississippi School of the Arts has received accreditation through AdvancED, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides accreditation and continuous improvement through rigorous, on-site external reviews of pre-K-12 schools and school systems. The review ensures that all learners realize their full potential, said MSA Executive Director Suzanne Hirsch. They represent schools and school systems across the United States and 70 other nations.

The three-day process involved a comprehensive review of teaching and learning, environment, resource utilization, leadership and overall student achievement. This was completed through extensive review of all documents, data and artifacts of the school’s operations. Interviews were conducted with 77 people, including staff, administrators, parents, and community stakeholders.

Surveys were conducted with parents as well as 100 percent of the staff and the student body, she said.

MSA had a review that reaffirms the efforts of the school to work with the individual student to achieve their personal success, Hirsch said.

In the findings, the report stated, “The External Review Team noted three themes during the visit — a culture of unity, a commitment of excellence and a sense of resilience at the Mississippi School of the Arts.”

AdvancED Standards and Indicators are evaluated through a rubric process, surveys and observations. Findings of the review shows that MSA performs well above the AdvancED Network Average internationally, she said.

MSA boasted an overall score of 326.28, well above the AdvancedED network average score of 278.94. MSA also scored higher than the AdvancedED average in teaching and learning impact, leadership capacity and resource utilization.

“I believe that this review allows us to look at our operations and environment for areas of improvement as well as celebrate our strengths,” Hirsch said. “We were all very pleased with the scores and had a schoolwide reveal of the findings from the Review Team. When a group of educators from throughout the state with varied experience see the value in our school that we do, it is a time to celebrate.”

MSA is a visual and performing arts residential, public high school located on the historic Whitworth College campus. Its student body of 11th and 12th graders includes individuals from all over the nation and the state as well as Lincoln County and Southwest Mississippi.

Students not only meet and exceed the traditional Mississippi high school curriculum, they receive special instruction in visual arts, vocal music, dance, literary arts, media arts and theatre.The school holds the third highest ACT average in the state and the 2016 graduating class of 65 seniors received over $8.6 million dollars in college scholarship offers, Hirsch said.

Students interested in MSA should apply by Feb. 1 of their sophomore year of high school.

For more information, call 601-823-1300 or visitwww.msabrookhaven.org.