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Ministerial Statement: Re-accreditation of CedarBridge Academy

Friday, November 24, 2017
The Hon. Diallo Rabain

Hon. Diallo Rabain, JP, MP Re-accreditation of CedarBridge Academy.

Mr. Speaker,

This morning, as Minister of Education, I take this opportunity to congratulate the leadership, staff, parents and students of CedarBridge Academy on its re-accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. 

 The acquisition of this accreditation demonstrates just how much the CedarBridge Academy family is committed to continuous growth, focus, pride and high standards, as evidenced by its successful achievement of the international standards and indicators of quality required for accreditation. 

Ministerial Statement: Re-accreditation of CedarBridge Academy

For those who may not know, the Middle States Association (“the Association”) of Colleges and Schools is a worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. For over 125 years, the Association has been helping school leaders around the world establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development and advance student achievement.

Mr. Speaker,

After receiving its first accreditation in 2007, CedarBridge Academy continued to work hard to maintain and meet the ongoing requirements for accreditation. In October 2017, the CedarBridge Academy family received its second accreditation which will span seven (7) years, ending in December 2024.

Mr. Speaker,

The CedarBridge Academy school community is to be commended for engaging in the Middle States Association’s comprehensive self-evaluation and external review process using the Excellence by Design Protocol. By doing so, they have joined nearly 2,800 schools and systems in 34 states and nearly 100 countries around the world holding themselves accountable for meeting internationally recognized and accepted standards of education quality. Indeed we must celebrate this achievement.

This re-accreditation confirms for students and parents that the work taking place at CedarBridge Academy every day on behalf of our young people is both meaningful and of a high quality and it meets international standards.  This accreditation also confirms the school’s commitment to adhering to the requirements for the maintenance of accreditation and to ongoing improvement, especially in the areas relating to student performance outcomes.

Mr. Speaker,

Accreditation is a self-evaluation process that schools undergo to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of international performance standards. The accreditation process helps schools – and ultimately students – to continuously grow and improve.   More specifically, this process involves a self-study that is conducted by the school and requires input from school leaders, teachers, parents and students.  Following the self-study, a team of educators from the Association’s member schools conducts an on-site review visit to observe school operations, review evidence and interview various stakeholders. The visiting team then makes its recommendation to the Middle States Association’s Commission, which then votes, after reviewing all evidence, whether accreditation will be granted.

Mr. Speaker,

CedarBridge Academy faculty, staff, parents and students worked together to earn this re-accreditation.  There are twelve accreditation standards and a multitude of indicators of quality that the school had to demonstrate that they met by providing qualitative and quantitative data and evidence.    The school stakeholders utilized a collaborative engagement process in order to carry out this important work.  They formed committees, which included faculty, staff, students, parents and community stakeholders, and each committee undertook a transparent review of its assigned standard and indicators of quality.

Mr. Speaker,

CedarBridge Academy met each of the Association’s twelve standards:


  1. Mission


7. Health and Safety

2. Governance & Leadership


8. Educational Programs

3. School Improvement Planning


9. Assessment & Evidence of Student Learning

4. Finances


10. Student Services

5. Facilities


11. Student Life & Student Activities

6. School Organization & Staff


12. Information Resources


Further, action plans for improving English and math results were also developed in addition to a plan for how the school’s webpage could be used to coordinate the school’s policies, procedures and essential information. As a result of their collective efforts, the school provided a 1,550 page report to the Association’s review team, in addition to other supporting data and evidence of the work that was carried out by the school.

Mr. Speaker,

When the oral report was given, by the Association’s visiting team, the members each provided verbatim commendations and thanks based on their visit with the school. I will share in part some of these commendations which included:

“Rosemary Mathews, Joanne Anderson, and Neville Zuill as the Internal Coordinator co-chairs - without their commitment and organization this self-study could not have been so meticulously completed. It is an example of what was seen throughout our visit in every aspect of the school and its operations. 

The Core Leadership Team, the Planning Team, and the School Improvement Team in addition to the Accreditation Committees - for your extraordinary effort in organizing this self-study. You are the chief cheerleaders and the chief nags who ensure the self-study stays in everyone's minds and hearts. You deserve thanks from all of us for the excellent work you have done - and have committed to continue to do - as the CedarBridge Academy action plans are implemented.

We wish to thank the outstanding administrative team for their leadership, enthusiasm, and support of the teachers and children in their care.  Not every school has leaders who are so well respected and who are champions of their divisions.

We also wish to thank all of the school's teachers and staff for welcoming us into your classrooms. We loved seeing you and your wonderful students in action which has made the written documents we are reading come alive!  Thanks, too, to the whole staff for making time in your incredibly busy days to meet with us in the numerous interview sessions we conducted.

Special thanks to Dr. Leonard Santucci, Chair of the Board of Governors, who is determined to make CedarBridge the “Secondary school of 1st choice.” 

We wish specifically to acknowledge and thank Principal Kalmar Richards for the vision that she brings as the Principal of this school. She has brought together a talented and cohesive faculty – many of whom were assigned to CedarBridge by the Ministry - and she has enhanced the reputation of CedarBridge during her tenure.  Comments from parents were universally positive about Principal Richards and her leadership.  “She is visible, accessible, calm, and honest.”  “The passion of the principal drives the school.”

Mr. Speaker,

School leaders, teachers, students and parents are to be commended for working together to provide a quality educational experience for students and for creating concrete plans for the future which will focused building on the high quality education for all students.

The CedarBridge Academy family should also be proud of this achievement.

I wish them well as they work together to “cultivate Bermuda’s achievers.”

Thank you Mr. Speaker