Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

June 13, 2013

AHS scores official seal

With accreditation secured, now real work begins

Andover High School has officially been reaccredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. But with a list of recommendations aimed at improving the school and its student culture, officials say they still have years of work ahead of them.

In a June 7 letter to school officials, NEASC Director Janet Allison announced the continued accreditation of Andover High through 2022.

The report offers 23 commendations praising the school, and then 15 recommendations for areas that need improvement.

Having gone through the process before, high school Principal Chris Lord said he has “never seen 23 commendations recognized in this way.”

“That’s definitely something to celebrate,” he said.

While the school has to merely maintain those qualities, a two-pronged list of recommendations awaits immediate action, the report reads. Six of the recommendations must move toward resolution by a report deadline of Feb. 1, 2014, while the remaining nine must have plans in plans by Oct. 1, 2014.

Though the school already spent the last few years preparing for the fall reaccreditation visit, high school Steering Committee Chairman Greg Waters said the real work is about to begin.

“Now that we have our rating, the follow-up team has to sit down. Whether that be in the next couple weeks or the first week of September, (we need to) break these recommendations down,” Waters said. “It’s going to guide us and, within five years, we should have all our recommendations under way, if not completed.”

The report is “a cornerstone for the school to meet strategic plan goals and meet some of the other directives that Dr. Lord has been trying to implement,” Waters said.

DUE IN FEBRUARY

Six action items are outlined in the report that require immediate attention from the high school.

First on the list is to “clearly define” the term “21st century learning expectations” that is used throughout the district’s strategic planning.

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