The Middle States Association announces DC Bilingual’s Accreditation – the Gold Standard for Measuring and Advancing School Improvement

We are excited to share that after an 18-month, rigorous process, the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA) has reaccredited DC Bilingual for another seven years!

Why accreditation?

Since 2010, MSA has fully accredited DCB. MSA is the premier American regional accreditation agency and accreditation through MSA is a process we voluntarily engage in every seven years.

Our city is changing at a rapid rate – gentrification, technological innovation, and  economic challenges are powerful forces that require us to challenge our practice in order to help today’s students meet tomorrow’s challenges. The MSA process was an opportunity for us to work collaboratively to reflect on our mission and vision, identify strengths and weaknesses, set meaningful and challenging goals, and generate plans to reach them. The end result of the process is a road map that guides our work through the next seven years.

DCB’s MSA re-accreditation team, led by Principal Eleni McCabe and composed primarily of teachers, spent 18 months evaluating our school’s strengths and areas for growth against the 12 standards for accreditation (see sidebar). Through this self-study, the team engaged staff, families, and board members in a discussion around our mission and profile of a graduate, and our priorities for the next 10 years. The DCB school community identified three areas for continuous improvement: social emotional learning, Spanish language instruction, and school budget.

Following the self study process, a team of MSA evaluators spent three and a half days immersed in our school’s organizational and instructional culture. The evaluators served as critical friends for DC Bilingual: commended what we do well and shined light on areas that need more attention. Through extensive interviews with school leaders, teachers, parents, and even students, the team concluded that as a school, we meet or exceed expectations across all 12 rigorous standards.

Today, the themes of social emotional learning, Spanish language instruction, and school budget guide our professional learning community and are the focus of regular meetings among staff committees tasked with planning how best to reach our goals.

We are proud of our work throughout this rigorous process. Because of it, our families know what our mission is and how it drives our work; stakeholders, particularly teachers, feel vested in our school’s priorities after having looked into every aspect of the school’s functioning; and families know that as a school we meet the standards required to develop the whole child with an emphasis on academic performance.

About Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS): Based in Philadelphia, the Middle States Association is the worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. For over 130 years, Middle States has been helping school leaders establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development and advance student achievement.  With more than 2,500 accredited schools and school systems in 34 states and over 100 countries, MSA-CESS is proud of its continuing legacy and its ongoing innovations to meet the challenges of improving education in the 21st century. For more information visit

Blog Post written by:
Francis Keller
Senior Manager, Development and Communications