ILearn earns WASC accreditation

HOUR OF CODE: Students participate in the global Hour of Code, a self-guided computer coding and programming tutorial at the iLearn Academy Charter School on Dec. 13, 2017. Photo courtesy of iLearn Academy Charter School

About four years after opening its doors, iLearn Academy Charter School has been awarded accreditation.

The charter school first opened its doors in 2015 to 136 students. Today, it has 560 students and has a current preenrollment of student attendance at 620, which is the charter school’s approved cap. ILearn Academy’s curriculum for grades K-5 focuses on science, technology, engineering and math with a special emphasis in technology and robotics.

Marilyn George, executive vice president of the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, visited the school’s Dededo campus on March 29. She commended the administration, faculty and staff for their efforts.

ILearn originally received candidacy for accreditation in spring 2018. On May 9, the school received its official notification of change of status from candidacy to initial accreditation through June 30, 2021.

“Being awarded initial accreditation by WASC is truly a testament of the hard work and commitment that our parents, teachers, staff, and administrative team provide daily and year after year for our students,” principal Rachel Stake stated. “We are so proud and excited. There’s still a lot of work to do, but we have a great team and we’re ready.”

Francis Santos, iLearn Academy Charter School chairman, extended his congratulations to the teachers and staff at the school.

“This has been a long, arduous process for our dedicated staff who have spent months to prepare for the accreditation visit,” Santos said. “The board is extremely proud of this achievement that shows iLearn Academy Charter School upholds the standards of excellence mandated by WASC.”

Helen Nishihira, chief operations officer at iLearn Academy, said the school is grateful for the support from the community and the Guam Department of Education.

“We had a lot of help and guidance from the people of GDOE and they’ve really helped with getting us to where we are at now,” said Nishihira, who has more than 20 years of combined experience as a teacher and administrator in public and private schools. 

She said, “The community as a whole has been very supportive and that’s very important when you have a school and you’re educating children.”