What is WASC and what do they have to say about DP?


Photo courtesy of Dos Pueblos High School

Students at DP have most likely heard the term “WASC” in the past few weeks, or heard from their teacher that a WASC official may be asking about what they are learning in class. However, many of these students may have been wondering what exactly WASC is and what they had to say about DP.

WASC stands for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and is a voluntary dual-purpose process for schools to show that they provide high quality-learning for students. 

Every six years, DPHS undergoes the WASC accreditation process in order to be considered successful in teaching students. Last year, a full self-study of DP was conducted, and this year, a WASC team evaluated all aspects of our school and program to confirm that DP is doing well as a school and meeting its mission statements. The Santa Barbara Unified School District Mission Statement, adopted in 2019, is:

We prepare students for a world that is yet to be created.

The Dos Pueblos Mission Statement is:

At Dos Pueblos, students apply 21st century learning and skills in meaningful contexts so they can become confident, capable, and proactive citizens in an increasingly diverse and rapidly changing world.

Here are some key points from WASC’s findings about what DP does well and what it doesn’t:

Areas to celebrate:

  • “Students and other stakeholders clearly understand the SLOs (Standard Learning Objectives) and feel supported to achieve mastery.”
  • “The teachers at DPHS have resourcefully created a curriculum that meets the needs of their content area despite a lack of current curriculum adoption.”
  • “Teachers use Learning Targets as well as shared rubrics, enabling students to understand the learning objectives.”
  • “Students report that their school campus is safe, inclusive, and they all have at least one to four trusted adults they can check in with if they need any assistance.”

Areas for improvement:

  • “Process of ‘Mild, Medium, and Spicy’ curriculum and class designation (honors or college prep) need to be communicated with all stakeholders.”
  • “Math curriculum needs to be consolidated into fewer courses to simplify scheduling while maintaining school choice.”
  • “Continue to provide opportunities for parents to learn more about the campus, programs, and resources in large and small groups.”
  • “School wide focus on literary skills needs to be implemented throughout disciplines.” 

To read the full slide deck from WASC’s final presentation, visit this link:



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