Iowa School for the Deaf and Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired have officially earned five-year accreditation status by the Cognia Global Commission. Cognia is the not-for-profit private accrediting organization we used to provide measurable, meaningful evaluation and feedback to help our schools discover and maintain strengths. Cognia also identifies and implements processes to improve weaker areas. The designation was active June 17.
Like other schools, Iowa Education for Deaf & Blind undergoes accreditation about every five years to validate the high quality of our programs and services.
This was the first time IEDB sought unified accreditation. “Former Superintendent Gettel deserves credit for working with Cognia to make this possible,” said John Cool, interim superintendent. The accreditation process begins approximately a year before the Cognia accreditation team’s site visit. Cognia conducts intensive interviews and discussions, reviews stakeholder surveys, and the self-study document to ensure IEDB implements education for BVI and DHH students with the utmost integrity. In other words, the schools do what they say they do. This year, the site visit was conducted via Zoom. The evaluator stated the team was impressed with how we keep our focus on the students.
The Cognia team told us:
- Stakeholders commented we have a clearly defined mission.
- Our programs are student-focused, inclusive, and supportive.
- ISD and IESBVI are resources for people to come to, and we positively impact families statewide.
Areas to explore further include:
- Clarify the role of IEDB to increase stakeholder understanding and ownership.
- Continue expanding conversations with school districts and AEAs to ensure mutual understanding and benefits of programming and services.