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Lighthouse American School, NEASC accredited

"LAS is a safe, caring learning environment. Students' respect toward their peers, teachers, leadership, and visitors is impressive. The energy of the school is upbeat, optimistic, and exciting. The LAS learning community should be applauded for their efforts to create such a growth-minded environment."

Jeffrey C. Bradley, Director of the NEASC Commission on International Education

We are happy to share the report of the NEASC audit of Lighthouse American School, for which Lighthouse has just been accredited:

· Environment

The physical campus has been beautifully renovated from a private home to a purpose-built facility. The classrooms are spacious and bright. The outdoor learning spaces are well maintained and blend well with the surrounding neighborhood. The anticipated expansion to add a Middle School building will take place in front of the current space, and should allow for seamless integration with the current building.

LAS leadership and teachers have created a safe and supportive learning environment. Additionally, they have created a support system for those students who have experienced difficult social and emotional situations in previous schools. Families expressed gratitude, agreeing that their children are in "a safe and respectful place where they feel welcomed."

Conversations with the families described their children's positive emotional transformations on arriving at LAS. The atmosphere in the school is one of kindness and empathy, which the teaching team modeled at all times.

· Learning dimensions

LAS students work to develop skills that will be applicable across disciplines and contexts. The school works diligently to develop growth across cognitive, dispositional, and social-emotional domains. The school should be applauded for employing two psychologists to serve a relatively small student population, a testament to its commitment to the social-emotional growth of its learners.

The climate of trust promotes a growth mindset in which it is easier to receive constructive feedback. At LAS, teachers create opportunities to engage learners in their growth.

“The climate of trust promotes a growth mindset in which it is easier to receive constructive feedback. At LAS, teachers create opportunities to engage learners in their growth.​
· Learning perspectives

The LAS community is to be commended on the general atmosphere of well-being at the school, where students feel safe, valued, and able to take risks without being judged. The children are autonomous and show empathy for their classmates and teachers.

Students at LAS are consistently attentive and engaged in their learning. As the cohorts are so small and there are ten to twelve students in each class, individual attention is consistently given, all the students are invited to participate in the discussions, and learner performance is easily gauged. Teachers drive the discussions using deep-thinking questions, mostly avoiding "giving" the answer to the students.

Students at LAS demonstrate a high degree of autonomy in how they pursue their learning. There is an evident appreciation of a strong connection between the teachers, Director, and students, where open dialogue is constantly encouraged and all ideas are considered and valued.

As to autonomous learning, most of the "choices" the students have are not related to the content itself, but rather to how the content is addressed.

· Research and reflection on learning

School staff and the Director partake in professional development aimed at moving the school forward, they have a clear idea of where they want to take the school, and these ideas are aligned with the ACE principles.

All of the members work together towards a common purpose: to give their students the best learning experience possible and transform their teaching and learning. They have some meeting time to plan collaboratively, and all their documents are on a common shared drive.

“Students at LAS demonstrate a high degree of autonomy in how they pursue their learning. There is an evident appreciation of a strong connection between the teachers, Director, and students, where open dialogue is constantly encouraged and all ideas are considered and valued.”
· General conclusions

It is clearly evident that all stakeholders are deeply satisfied with how they are treated and included as members of the community. Many parents commented on how they feel like they are part of the LAS family. Some comments included "We feel like this school is part of the family; they listen when we have concerns, and they are always responsive to our requests," and "Parents and kids have an emotional bond with staff, and this is a very important thing for us." Parent surveys also support this.

Additionally, teachers express satisfaction with the opportunities for input and support they receive: "I have been here since we opened, and I feel like we are all doing this together," and "We are happy, we are like a family." The feeling of being treated and included as community members was also consistent among students, as evidenced by the surveys and students discussing their comfort level at the school and their feeling of being part of the LAS community.

Parents commented on the self-esteem and confidence their children have as it relates to academic performance, social interactions, and problem solving. Teachers expressed that they all have a say in decision making and that everyone's ideas are welcomed. Interactions among staff members are incredibly positive, and a culture of support and respect is shared.

LAS ensures that its learning community stays engaged, informed, and involved. Parents have a direct line to leadership and staff in such a small, intimate school. Weekly newsletters are sent to inform parents of their students' activities, school-wide events, and happenings in the school community. When meeting with the Visitors, parents praised the school in many areas. Interactions among parents and school personnel are positive and reassure the parents that their children are in an enriching and safe environment. Teachers expressed a feeling of being involved and aware of the goals and desired Learning Impacts.

LAS is a safe, caring learning environment. Students' respect toward their peers, teachers, leadership, and visitors is impressive. The energy of the school is upbeat, optimistic, and exciting. The LAS learning community should be applauded for their efforts to create such a growth-minded environment.

It is clearly evident that all stakeholders are deeply satisfied with how they are treated and included as members of the community. Many parents commented on how they feel like they are part of the LAS family.

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