What is Accreditation?
Since 1995, the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) has been accrediting its member schools throughout New Jersey. NJAIS provides a full-scale, standards-based accreditation program for each member school every ten years, with mid-term reports required at the 5 year mark. The accreditation process includes trained peer evaluators from other independent schools in New Jersey and/or other states. NJAIS accreditation teams include highly respected teachers and administrators and provides detailed reports on school visits to aid in school improvement and guide program development and strategic planning for schools, and the accreditation program is recognized internationally by the National Association of Independent Schools Commission on Accreditation.
In November 2017, Rutgers Prep had its 5 year mid-term visit. The full report is available below, but here are a few quotes from the visiting team:
On attending Morning Meeting in the Middle and Upper Schools (a chance for students to make announcements to the whole school):
"Students led the Upper School Morning Meeting in the Commons. Gathered in the 'living room' of the school, students stand attentively and applaud after each announcement. This was a comfortable and engaging meeting where everyone was focused, reflecting the real sense of community and family felt as soon as stepping foot on campus."
"Middle School students participated and demonstrated a comfort with the microphone that reflects a community dedicated to helping students find their own voice."
On meeting with students:
"The highlight for the Team's day was our time spent with students. Students were excited and animated to talk about their experiences at Rutgers Prep. Love of the School's community feel, strong relationships with teachers, and the ability to have choice and take risks were hallmarks of their conversations."
"The large contingent of seniors in the group talked about the college process, as each was in the middle of that process. The support from college counselors is 'HUGE,' as one student said. 'They do so much for us,' said another."
"We asked the students to talk about one of their favorite teachers. Responses came quickly and happily and the team is only able to quote a few:
On listening to students speak about their teachers:
'She turned my life around.'
'You can tell how much he loves what he does.'
'He is very qualified–but it is also about his passion. I do not have a favorite, so many are passionate a out helping me love it as well.'
'They are so caring of me.'
'They want to see you succeed.'
'They are as much about making sure I succeed as they are about the course.'
'They encourage me to try new things.'
'My hardest classes were often my favorite even though I didn't always do well.'
'She has a big impact on me because she has always encouraged me to pursue my passion, even into college.'
'It's more hands-on learning, more labs, more teachers making sure I understand what I am doing.'
On safety and security:
"[Commendation for] appropriately securing the campus and numerous facilities and employing a vast array of security improvements including additional security cameras covering all building entrances, driveways, and parking lots; installing an electronic locking system for external doors; vigilance in monitoring unused external doors; and increasing the mobility of security personnel on campus."
On the School:
"The verbs 'inspire,' 'discover,' 'pursue,' 'embrace,' and 'lead' from the RPS Mission represent perfectly how RPS does what it does. Process, rather than product, is the great lesson learned by being at Rutgers Prep... [it] is in a constant state of 'growth mindset.'