The visiting team chairperson plays a major role in the accreditation process. He or she represents the Commission on Public Schools in the field and is given the responsibility to lead the peer review process. Chairpersons and assistant chairpersons are chosen from among team members who have served successfully in various roles on visiting teams and who have been recommended by other chairs for the position of assistant chair or chair. Each chair is provided with training.
Chairpersons are, first and foremost, the leaders of the visiting teams on which they serve. It is their primary task to know the Standards for Accreditation, understand the accreditation process, and organize and enable a team of practitioners to gather evidence to write an effective report that accurately reflects the strengths and needs of the school seeking accreditation.
Chairpersons organize the visit in conjunction with the school principal and the school's accrediation coordinators; collaborating on the visit arrangements, schedule, and communications; and ensuring that the self-reflection and appropriate supporting materials are in place and uploaded to the online accreditation portal for the team members. The CPS office will provide training and orientation opportunities for visiting team members prior to the visit. In addition, chairpersons orient and train the visiting team members on-site, and provide support and encouragement as the process moves forward.
Chairpersons finalize the report by working with the Commission staff liaison, reviewing it to ensure that it reflects the findings of the team, and asking the school principal to check for factual accuracy.
Chairs volunteer for this work with no reward but the intrinsic awareness that they are giving a part of themselves back to the profession and supporting their peers at the same time, and the Commission appreciates the hard work and dedication of all its chairpersons.