The accreditation process might be long and sometimes difficult, but for a Blue Springs private school, that determination has paid off.

Plaza Heights Christian Academy in Blue Springs has received AdvancedEd Accreditation from the state of Missouri as well as through the Association of Christian Schools International. The accreditation is for three years and covers the entire school from pre-K through 12th grade.

“This is a process where educators come in and spend a few days looking over everything from our curriculum to our finances,” said Chuck Lawson, principal at Plaza Heights. “It is also a time where the school goes through their own self improvement process to see what we are doing right and what we can do better.”

The ACSI looks at both the spiritual aspects of the organization as well as the educational quality. The focus is how best the school is meeting its statements of philosophy, mission, goals and quality standards. The benefits, according to the ACSI website, is that accreditation provides validation of creditability through a peer review process, that it promotes accountability to the school community, improves instruction and increased student achievement and promotes ongoing instructional improvement, among other things.

Lawson said earning accreditation shows that the school is meeting certain requirements and has a rigorous curriculum for students.

“It is definitely good to be accredited,” he said. “On the high school end, it shows that we have our kids well prepared for college, while on the preschool end, it shows that we are getting students ready to learn successfully. It proves that we are doing what we say we are doing.”

Lawson said the accreditation process is not only a chance to show the school and surrounding community what Plaza Heights is doing right, but is also an opportunity to work on self improvement.

“We always want to improve. We always want to do a better job educating our kids,” he said. “It is good for our teachers and staff to go through this process for our own growth and continued school improvement.”