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Delbarton Welcomes Middle States Visiting Team
Jessica Fiddes

Accreditation is a self-evaluation process where schools are examined in a holistic way to measure performance and chart a strategic course for sustained school improvement. At Delbarton, our Middle States process began in May 2022, when the school began working towards receiving its reaccreditation by the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS), a worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. 

After nearly two years of hard work led by Internal Coordinators Dr. Jon Cote and Mr. Dan Szelingowki, the culmination of Delbarton's reaccreditation process has finally arrived. 

On Sunday, March 10, a Middle States Accreditation Visiting Team of four guest educators arrived on campus to launch a rigorous assessment of our Middle States Plan for Growth and Improvement. Over the next three days, the team will navigate a busy schedule of stakeholder meetings with the goal of validating a detailed plan to guide the school for the next seven years through 2031.

Our Visiting Team includes Chairperson Mr. Gregory GuldinSt. Andrew’s School (DE), Director of Special ProjectsMrs. Megan SullivanPope John Paul II HS (PA), Assistant Principal for Academic AffairsMrs. Kathleen McCarthyIona Prep (NY), Theology Department Chair Emerita; and Ms. Keara DeMaio, St. John the Apostle Catholic School (Clark, NJ), Assistant Principal.  On March 10, our guests checked into their accomodations in Vincent House, then enjoyed a campus tour led by a Student Ambassador followed by a cocktail reception in Old Main with Headmaster Fr. Michael Tidd, O.S.B. and the thirty-two member Delbarton Planning Team of faculty and staff members, students, parents, administrators, alumni, Regents, and Benedictines.

Student musicians and vocalists performed during the reception...

-- and the delicious hospitality of our Sage Dining staff was also on display.

Pictured below are Dan Szelingowski, Gregory Gulkin, Kathleen McCarthy, Megan Sullivan, Keara DeMaio, Jon Cote and Fr. Michael Tidd, O.S.B. (Photos courtesy of Planning Committee member Jamie Bell P '15,'17,'19,'24)

 After much work and self-analysis, Delbarton identified these three core objectives for growth and improvement:

  • Academic Integrity - By the year 2031, Delbarton School will have created a climate and culture that fosters student commitment to and practice of the highest standards of academic integrity.
  • Student Flourishing - By the year 2031, Delbarton School will have better empowered each student to discover and actualize his unique potential, God-given gifts, and place in our community.
  • Staff Development & Formation - By the year 2031, Delbarton School will have policies and practices to recruit, train, and support faculty and staff to deepen their commitment and effectiveness as Benedictine Catholic educators.

Cote and Szelingowski have been busy putting the finishing touches on this week's Visiting Team agenda which concludes on March 13 with a celebratory event for the Visiting Team, Planning Team, faculty and staff in Pizzo Family Field House's Van Rooyen Family Reception Hall. 

Both Cote and Szelingowski are grateful for the assistance of Planning Team members who have been working together on this accreditation process for nearly two years. Others generously volunteered to be a part of objective subcommittees, and the outcome of this hard work and institutional self-reflection will guide Delbarton with focus, purpose and strength into the next decade.

The Delbarton community extends a warm welcome to our four honored Visiting Team guests!