During an external evaluation, the school's program, facilities, curriculum, operations and teacher certification are inspected to ensure that the school meets all basic statutory requirements.
An External Evaluation Committee is appointed under the Independent School Act to conduct the inspection. Committee chairs are experienced acting or retired school administrators.
Before the evaluation
Schools are asked to provide an inspection form to the committee, with an up-to-date summary of the school’s philosophy, administration, educational program, facilities and resources. The committee verifies this information during their visit.
To prepare for an external evaluation schools should:
- Refer to Inspection Documents for Independent Schools
- Check E-board weekly –principals and school authorities can login to access important updates and other communication that may affect the school
- Contact the Independent Schools Branch to ask questions or get information
During the evaluation
External evaluations may be scheduled at any time; however, the main evaluation period is October to December.
Independent school authorities need to assist the External Evaluation Committee by:
- Making the principal available to the committee during the entire visit
- Making relevant information available (e.g. curricular compliance documentation, teacher planning, student assessment, summary of school staff, school financial audit and budget, school floor plan, school timetable, parent/student/teacher handbooks, and school policy documents)
- Providing access to all areas of the school, including classrooms during instruction
- Access to student record files, including IEPs for special education students
- Designating a small room with computer connectivity where the evaluation team can meet and work
- Providing time for the evaluation team to meet with staff at the start and end of the inspection
After the evaluation
Once the evaluation is complete, the committee reports its findings, including:
- Information about whether the school meets the requirements for a specific group classification
- Follow-up concerns that the school authority is asked to rectify and provide a written response
- A recommendation regarding the granting or renewal of certification
Upon receipt of the external evaluation report, an independent school authority may request a change in writing if it believes the report contains factual errors.