High School granted continued NEASC accreditation

Sep 5, 2019 by

Published September 5, 2019


NORTH READING — Superintendent Jon Bernard and the School Committee announced the continued accreditation status of North Reading High School during the committee’s August 26 meeting.

“I’m happy to share with you a very favorable letter that was received on the second of August regarding the high school’s accreditation status,” Bernard said. “Maintaining accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) indicates that a school has successfully met some pretty rigorous standards and is a value to students to say that they’ve graduated from an accredited high school.”

Bernard led the last accreditation review as principal of NRHS in 2014, and stated that it is a pretty significant undertaking and takes a lot of hands in order to be successful.

In a letter to NRHS Principal Anthony Loprete, Associate Director of NEASC William Wehrli wrote: “The Committee on Public Secondary Schools (CPS), at its June 23, 2019 meeting, voted to accept the Five-Year Progress Report of North Reading High School and to continue the school’s accreditation.”

Bernard noted that the CPS highlighted a number of accomplishments made at NRHS during the five years between reviews. These highlights included:

• The time and resources allocated for teachers to review and revise the curriculum, and develop and implement cross-curricular experiences for students

• The system established to gather and compile quarterly assessment data of student progress in achieving the school’s 21st century learning expectations

• The collaborative process – the Graduate Vision Task Force – used to clearly identify key qualities, skills, and aptitudes for a graduate

• The establishment of a biennial protocol for the transparent review and revision of the school’s core values

• The work conducted to align the written and taught curriculum

• The training for and development of common assessments and efforts to calibrate grading practices.

• The establishment of a school data leader to analyze and gather data relevant to assessment, curriculum, and student achievement of the learning expectations

• The use of Power Block assignments with freshman advisors to increase student connection

• The establishment of weekly collaborative time for teachers along with objectives and expectations for the work within that time

• The increase in staffing to meet growing enrollment, address class sizes, and support equity

• The work conducted to embed the core values, beliefs, and learning expectations into the curriculum

• The sharing of online portal information between co-teachers and review of student assessment data by curriculum specialists in addition to focused professional development on effective co-teaching practices.

• The implementation of a 1:1 Chromebook initiative and professional development to support teachers,

• The use of the Freshman Seminar curriculum to provide students Google-applied digital skills education

• The use of online mathematics textbooks for some students and Khan Academy accounts for all students

• The steps taken by the English Department to increase the coherences and consistency with respect to supporting student critical writing and thinking

• The introduction of the Seal of Biliteracy for bilingual students through the world language program.

Two recommendations made

In addition to these noted highlights, the CPS made two recommendations for which Loprete will have to file a Special Progress Report by January 2, 2020.

The recommendations were to establish a reporting system that will communicate whole-school progress in achieving the school’s 21st century learning expectations to the school community, and to ensure that there is a formal, on-going program(s) or process(es) through which each student has an adult in the school, in addition to the school counselor, who knows the student well and assists the student in achieving the school’s 21st century learning expectations.

Bernard stated that he has already met with Loprete and Assistant Principal Joseph Hehn to discuss their plans for completing the Special Progress Report. He noted that both recommendations are very achievable and should not jeopardize the accreditation of NRPS in any way.

“I’m very grateful to the administration and the staff and all of the constituencies that have a vested interest in the high school for doing the work that needed to be done to maintain accreditation, which has great value to our town,” Bernard said.

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