Heartland Christian School has moved from application accreditation to full accreditation with Christian Schools International, recognized by the Iowa Board of Education.
School staff learned about the accreditation during a meeting with CSI officials after school on Thursday, according to Larry Gray, executive director of Heartland Christian School. On Friday, Gray sent a message to the Heartland Christian Community.
“This is a huge step for HCS and for our community – and God gets all the glory,” he said in the post. “Huge gratitude goes to the Wilson family, the Parton family and the founding board members who 20 years ago decided that Christian education was needed in our community, so they kept working to not let the ministry that was passed on by previous churches and dedicated people die.This accreditation is an extension of that dream and desire to persevere in establishing Heartland Christian School.
The school opened in the fall of 2001 after the merger of Loess Hills Christian School, led by Gary Wilson, and Victory Christian School, led by Carolyn Parton.
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Gray thanked the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, School Improvement Committee, staff, students and parents for making accreditation possible.
The news came after a site visit last week by a team from CSI, Gray said. A five-member team was on hand to conduct interviews, observe operations, and review policies and financial records. Heartland’s efforts to prepare for the visit paid off.
The pre-K-12 school received Candidacy Accreditation for all grades in 2019. Although it has always been accredited for elementary, this was the first time it had achieved this designation for grades 7 through 12.
“Over the past two years, the HCS Executive Committee, along with the Board of Trustees, School Improvement Committee and countless others have been preparing for our site visit in hopes of move from application to the final stage of accreditation,” said Gray. noted. “It was a long and difficult process, with everyone just dissecting everything that makes up HCS, from finances to staff, parent relations to board policies and everything in between. The best way to put it – we were put under a microscope, and nothing was left to chance!”
Accreditation is valid for five years before renewal is needed, Gray said.
“In the meantime, our Executive Committee, School Improvement Committee and Board of Trustees will continue to build on this success and prepare HCS to be an accredited school in Council Bluffs for many generations to come” , did he declare. “It will take all of us to continue the work and ensure our community knows we are here to serve them and meet their educational needs.”