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ACS WASC Grants Sierra Academy of Scottsdale Accreditation
[March 12, 2014]

ACS WASC Grants Sierra Academy of Scottsdale Accreditation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. --(Business Wire)--

The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association for Schools and Colleges (ACS (News - Alert) WASC) recently granted the Sierra Academy of Scottsdale full accreditation for grades K-12. WASC is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States, and the Sierra Academy is one of only two schools in Arizona to have earned this prestigious distinction.

The Sierra Academy of Scottsdale-a member of SESI's nationwide network of schools and programs for alternative and special education students-serves students aged 5-21 who have been unsuccessful in traditional classrooms, who learn differently, and/or who have identified learning disabilities, including speech-language, auditory processing, neurological, and social skills deficits, among other health impairments.

"We are very proud that the Sierra Academy has achieved WASC accreditation," says School Director Debra Watland. "We have a vision of how the Sierra Academy will grow and serve our students and community." In addition to a comprehensive academic program, the Sierra Academy provides a multifaceted life skills program designed to successfully transition high school students into the community and prepare them for young adulthood following graduation.

Certification was aarded after a WASC member visited the campus and thoroughly observed the program. The rigorous criteria for accreditation include collecting and applying student data, employing the latest technology, providing staff development, tracking schoolwide learning results, and developing an action plan for the school. By recognizing only those schools that meet a certain level of quality, the WASC accreditation process fosters excellence in education by encouraging school improvement.

The Sierra Academy received maximum accreditation, which is good for up to three years, at which time the school will be reevaluated. SESI President and CEO Michael Kaufman, Ph.D., comments, "I'm delighted but not surprised that WASC granted the Sierra Academy accreditation. The staff is always thinking about how to challenge themselves to better serve our students. Our association with WASC helps to provide a road map to further that process."

For more information about WASC, contact:

Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Accrediting Commission for Schools
533 Airport Blvd., Suite 200
Burlingame, CA (News - Alert) 94010

About Specialized Education Services, Inc.

For more than 25 years, Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI) has been partnering with schools across the country to provide services to special and alternative education students presenting with intensive needs, including autism; emotional, social, and learning disabilities; and the most challenging at-risk behavior issues. SESI, which currently hosts 55+ schools/programs in 11 states and the District of Columbia, has developed proven methods to successfully teach students with learning and social-emotional challenges, as well as those whose behavior puts them at risk, while tailoring its services to each local education provider's unique and specific needs. For more information, visit

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