Accreditation and Membership
The Anglo-American School of Sofia is fully accredited by:
- The Council of International Schools (CIS) and
- The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
We are an authorized International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) World School. The Anglo-American School of Sofia is a member of good standing with the Central Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA), the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) and the European Council of International Schools (ECIS).
AAS is accredited by NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) and CIS (Council of Internationals Schools). AAS first earned accreditation in 1985. AAS has accreditation in good standing with the above agencies. Below is a brief synopsis of recent history:
- 1985 - AAS earns accreditation from CIS and NEASC
- 1996 - Joint re-accreditation visits with CIS and NEASC
- 1997 - One year follow-up report from CIS and NEASC
- April 2007 - 10-year CIS and NEASC accreditation visit
- July 2008 - AAS prepared a 1-year progress report
- March 2012 - AAS completed the 5-year progress report
- May 2012 - 5-year NEASC and CIS accreditation visit
- January 2015 - CIS and NEASC preparatory visit
- February 2016 - Self-Study Survey distributed to community
- April 2017 - 10-year accreditation visit
AAS is an IB World School and is authorized to do the IB Diploma. AAS began the IB Diploma in the 2008-2009 school year. The Grade 11 class was the oldest at this time. This class became AAS’ first graduating class and IB DP class in 2009-2010 school year (May 2010).
- 2008-2009 - AAS begins IB DP
- 2012-2013 - 5-year authorization successful
- 2017-2018 - next 5-year authorization
AAS is an active member of CEESA (Central & Eastern European Schools Association). This group provides AAS and the region a solid foundation for professional development and training and a community of like schools for inter-school sports, arts and activities.
In the 2013, AAS became a member of COBIS (Council of British International Schools). COBIS provides AAS with another check of documents and upon membership was instrumental in AAS developing a Child Protection Plan. COBIS also is another regional group in which AAS participates in Professional Development in relation to our support and administrative staff.
Accreditation is a system of accountability. The accrediting agencies of AAS are highly regarded and widely considered the most robust agencies in their field. Ultimately, the accreditation process demands good practice in education while ensuring continuous improvement.
According to the Council of International Schools, accreditation shows that the school has achieved high standards of professional performance in international education and has a commitment to continuous improvement. In particular, CIS states that the award of accreditation demonstrates the following:
- The school is devoted to its Mission and Vision for Students, as expressed in its Guiding Statements. The school also adheres consistently to the CIS Code of Ethics for Member Schools.
- The school cares enough to seek validation from a recognised accreditation authority for the work it does for its students.
- The school focuses on the quality of teaching and the progress students make, their standards of achievement (in the broadest sense) as well as the students’ well-being.
- The school knows itself. It has thought deeply about the services it offers to students, family and community.
- The school is student-oriented. Its philosophy of education is suitable for the students on roll and encompasses the development of the whole individual.
- The school keeps its promises. It promises only what it can deliver.
- The school accepts objective assessment. It is prepared to open its doors periodically to regular evaluation by its own school community and by outside experienced practitioners.
- The school is constantly seeking to improve its performance in all areas in order to ensure it attains the desired learning outcomes for its students.
- The school strategically plans for the future. As part of the ongoing nature of the evaluation process, accredited schools are continually planning future developments.
According to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, accreditation is ongoing, voluntary, and comprehensive in scope. It respects differences in institutional populations, missions, and cultures, and fosters institutional change grounded in the judgment of practicing educators. It is based on standards which are developed and regularly reviewed by the members and which define the characteristics of good schools and colleges.
Accreditation with NEASC attests to,
- substantial compliance with established qualitative standards;
- integrity in statements to the public describing the institution’s program;
- institutional commitment to improvement;
- sufficiency of institutional resources.
Accreditation with NEASC does not:
- guarantee the experience of individual students;
- guarantee the quality of specific programs;
- compare or rank institutions.
In short, accreditation supports ongoing growth to create the highest quality learning experience for all students. The capacity of any organization to improve is directly related to its ability to recognize, acknowledge, and act on its identified strengths and limitations. It provides a sound process...
- for conducting an in-depth examination of the entire school – philosophy, purpose, community, programs and services, facilities, and financial stability;
- to reassess our Mission, and to review the specific objectives we have for fulfilling our goals;
- to gather internal and external data to be used as a basis for school improvement, strategic planning, restructuring, staff development, and setting appropriate priorities;
- to examine itself against research-based standards that reflect the essential elements of an effective school;
- to manage change through continuous assessment, planning, implementation, and reflection.