LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Willie Ross School for the Deaf has been awarded national accreditation by the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD), becoming one of only 25 schools in the United States to receive the prestigious certification.

The accreditation process for the school began two years ago and was made possible by a grant from the Beveridge Family Foundation. The school underwent a self-study, a review of all of its programs and services, and this was completed in 2022. After this, CEASD assigned an accreditation team to visit the campus, observe its programs, and interview students, parents, staff, and board members.

“It really tells the community and parents and school districts of the quality of the products that we provide. That we are up to snuffing all the standards that are evaluated through this accreditation,” said CEO and President Bert Carter.

In March, the team visited for a four-day period, and, following the visit, the school was recommended for full accreditation pending CEASD board approval. The board gave approval in April 2023.

In addition to the accreditation, the school is also the recipient of CEASD’s highly competitive Diversity Mini Grant, which provides $2,000 to support staff and faculty with diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism training.

Willie Ross School for the Deaf offers a comprehensive educational program that emphasizes academic excellence for students from early childhood through high school. The school also has a partnership campus in East Longmeadow.

According to Bert Carter, the President and CEO of the Willie Ross School for the Deaf, “This is a significant accreditation for the Willie Ross School. This gives our students and their parents and families and any family looking at the school the assurance that we meet the highest standards in our industry. This process required us to look internally and closely on our school community, and we are thrilled with the result of achieving this accreditation.”

The school worked with a consultant, Rebecca Falbo, who supported and guided them through the accreditation process with CEASD.