High School works to renew accreditation

Jan 10, 2020

The high school is currently assessing itself as it works towards March and fall deadlines to renew its certification from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Wareham High School principal Scott Paladino told the School Committee at its Thursday night meeting that the school is working through a self-reflection process. The Association will be basing its 2022 assessment on five standards: learning culture, student learning, professional practices, learning support, and learning resources.

The school's goal, Palladino said, is to complete the first rough draft of its self-reflection report on Mar. 6, followed by a staff vote on the report's 'rubric ratings' the week of Mar. 8. The second rough draft will be released by the Steering Committee on Mar. 31.

The final report, he said, must be ready for the 'collaborative conference' between the school department and the NEASC in the fall of 2020, on a date to be determined, as part of a two-day visit. A School Growth Plan Development and Implementation proposal for 2020-2022 comes next, followed by the NEASC's official accreditation visit in 2022.

In the meantime, the school will be meeting with NEASC on Jan. 27, Feb. 3, Feb. 10 and Feb. 24.

Palladino emphasized the context of the 2020 accreditation study.  

"We have never lost our accreditation," he said.  "We are in a really good place. Ask any of our administrators."

He noted Wareham High School's first NEASC accreditation was in 1960.  

"We're in much better shape than we've ever been," he said proudly.

He called the current study "a huge process, an awesome task.  But I point out all of it is at no cost to the town."

Palladino said five staff members and two department administrators have attended 'decennial' visits to other Massachusetts schools as part of Wareham's self-reflection phase to compare itself to other school systems.

"I feel so blessed to be where we are now (in Wareham)," he said.