Visiting Team


Each visit begins with an orientation by the chair in order to familiarize those who might be new to team participation. Tasks for individual team members will be assigned by the chair, probably during the two hour orientation period at the beginning of the visit. 

Though there are many ways that members of visiting teams can be useful in the process, the primary duties assigned to all team members as part of this collaborative effort are: 

• Review and evaluate the school’s self-study.  The self-study should be thorough and accurate, and effectively communicate the school’s “story” as it relates to the accreditation standards and process.  The self-study will be sent to the team members for review at least four weeks prior to the visit.


• Check for compliance with all indicators, which validates that a standard has been met.  The school’s written responses to the indicators will accompany the self-study. 


• Help write the visit report.  The visit report is the responsibility of the chair, but is written in a collaborative fashion with each team member contributing to the final document.  The report serves as the feedback to the school and includes commendations and recommendations based on the self-study, responses to standards/indicators, and the team visit.  The report is also the document that recommends the school's accreditation status to the AAHSA Accreditation Committe.

Would you like to serve on an AAHSA accreditation team?

We are interested in your areas of expertise, so please be specific when you submit your information. You may submit yourself for consideration by completing requesting a team participation form by emailing us at: allamericanhighachoolassociation@yahoo.com

Team Member Prerequisites

 In order to serve as a team member for AAHSA visits, one must:

• Be from a school that is accredited by AAHSA or an agency approved by the NAIS or AdvancED.

• Attend the AAHSA team training workshops which is led by the team chair and takes place at the beginning of each accreditation visit. 

• Agree not to accept team member assignments at schools where a conflict of interest exists.  Examples of conflicts of interest might include previous work experience as head or a senior administrator at the school to be visited; a sense of personal obligation to the head of school related to career advancement; any current or expected consulting or financial relationship with the school to be visited; and any special interest in having the school become accredited or disaccredited.  Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis if there are extenuating circumstances.


Other Important Notes for Team Members

Confidentiality – Please remember that all matters involving the accreditation process of a school are confidential and should not be discussed with anyone other than team members, the visit chair, and AAHSA staff, board and accreditation committee.   
Expenses – Team member expenses will be paid by the school and managed according to the school's reimbursement policy. There is not an honorarium for participation.  By serving on an accreditation visiting team, team members enable Independent schools to remain strong and vibrant. We hope that the hospitality of the school, the camaraderie of your colleagues, and the learning component of the process make this a worthwhile and beneficial experience for all who participate.

Other Questions?

Contact AAHSA Accreditation Services at:  



Chair Information and Duties

Accreditation is based on a peer-review process that encourages educators to view their efforts as a civic duty within the Independent school community, ensuring the sustained quality of Independent education.  In the AAHSA accreditation processes, the visiting team chair assumes the primary leadership role.   The chair's role includes: 


·         Coordinating logistics with the candidate school

·         Conducting a preliminary visit

·         Facilitating the visit

·         Managing of the team

·         Writing the visit report

·         Preparing the team for the visit

·         Recommending to the AAHSA Accreditation Committee whether or not the candidate school should be accredited

This role also involves coordinating the evaluation of the school’s process from the time of the preliminary visit through the writing of the visit report.  Although the chair is expected to engage the visiting team members in meaningful discussion and activities, the ultimate responsibility for the accreditation visit and visit report belongs to the chair.  


Chair Prerequisites

 In order to chair AAHSA visits, one must attend a chair training session offered by AAHSA, which includes a thorough discussion of the accreditation materials and process. 


Learn the basics of chairing AAHSA accreditation visits at this two day long workshop led by AAHSA President and Director of Accreditation. Lunch is included with all sessions, trainings run from 09:00 am-05:00 pm. All registrants will receive confirmation via e-mail the week before the session (including driving directions).

Upcoming training sessions are listed below. There is a workshop fee for Chair Training sessions at the AAHSA office in Florida, lunch is included with all sessions and workshops run 2 days from 9:00am - 5:00 pm.

  • April 21-23,  Denver, Colorado 
  • July 28-30,  San Diego, California
  • October 06-08,  Orlando, Florida 
  • December 02-06 Tokyo, Japan
  • February 05 -09 Berlin, Germnay

A chair must also:

  • Attend the AAHSA chair training workshop once every five years
  • Be a head or administrator from an AAHSA, SACS, or NAIS accredited member school
  • Serve as a visiting team member on an AAHSA accreditation visit on at least one occasion prior to serving as a chair
  • Agree not to accept chair assignments at schools where a conflict of interest exists Examples of conflicts of interest might include previous work experience as head or a senior administrator at the school to be chaired; a sense of personal obligation to the head of school related to career advancement; any current or expected consulting or financial       relationship with the school to be chaired; and any special interest in having the school become accredited or dis-accredited. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis if there are extenuating circumstances.


Conduct preliminary site visit:   The preliminary site visit should take place at least six months and not more than 12 months prior to the team visit.  The preliminary visit typically lasts one day and is conducted on the school premises by the assigned chair.


   During this preliminary visit, the chair will:

  • Check the progress of the school’s self-study and provide advice as needed. 
  • Check the school’s compliance with standards – the school should respond in writing to each indicator (a sentence or two will suffice for most, with reference to other materials as needed).  If the chair does not see evidence of compliance with indicators and standards, he/she needs to work with the school to identify areas of improvement prior to the team visit.  If the chair feels that the school is not in compliance with all  standards/indicators, and will likely not be able to be in compliance by the visit date, the team visit may be canceled or postponed. AAHSA should be informed if a change to the visit schedule is proposed.
  • Check the school’s readiness for the team visit. Create and/or review the visit schedule with the head and/or accreditation coordinator

In preparing the team for the visit, the chair will: 

  •  Ensure that the team members are familiar with the accreditation process and request that they familiarize themselves with the standards/indicators, Guidebook, and visit report template.
  • Distribute contact information (cell phone number, etc.) to team members in case of a last-minute emergency
  • Assign each team member specific duties or areas of special attention based on their strengths or areas of experience
  • Provide a copy of the visit schedule to the AAHSA office and to the visiting team 
  • Inquire into any special needs or dietary restrictions of the team members
  • Work with school’s accreditation coordinator to make sure the visiting team receives all necessary information in advance of the visit (self-study report, lodging information, directions to the school, where to park at school, what room to meet in, what meals are provided, etc.
  • Remind team members that all matters involving the accreditation process of a school are CONFIDENTIAL and should not to be discussed with persons other than the AAHSA staff, board, accreditation committee, and visiting team members.


Providing leadership to team during visit by:

  •  Conducting a comprehensive two-hour orientation meeting for the visiting team at the beginning of the visit.
  • Coordinating the reimbursement of team member expenses by school (travel, lodging, meals).
  • Working collaboratively with the team throughout the visit to: judge the adequacy of the school’s compliance with standards and indicators and determine the recommendation for or against accreditation


 The self-study -identify commendations and recommendations to be discussed in the report Writing and submitting visit report:


The chair will guide the team in the process of writing the visit report, being mindful that the school will benefit from clear, concise statements of commentary, commendation, and recommendation regarding what was presented in the self- study as compared to what was evidenced on campus.    The AAHSA timeline for submitting the visit report using the template provided by AAHSA is as follows: The chair will send the draft report to the visiting team members. Team members review the draft and reply to the chair with changes or suggestions.  Not replying within 7 days means acceptance of the draft version. The chair finalizes the report and e-mails the final copy of the report to AAHSA within 21 days of the visit. If for any reason the chair will not meet the 21-day submission guideline, the AAHSA office should be notified via email to: allamericanhighschoolassocation@yahoo.com.  If the school has requested additional areas of study by the visiting team beyond those required, additional time may be allowed. AAHSA will send the report to the head of school and to the school's board chair for review and comment before sending it to the AAHSA Accreditation Committee. The Accreditation Committee votes on the recommendation of the visiting team and makes the final decision regarding a school’s accreditation status.


Other Questions? Contact AAHSA Accreditation Services at:    allamericanhighachoolassociation@yahoo.com or 1-888-353-1122