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July 15. 2014 8:52PM

NEASC votes to reaccredit Central High

MANCHESTER — The New England Association of Schools and Colleges has officially voted to reaccredit Manchester High School Central, although the organization has placed the school on warning.

In a letter dated June 25 to then-interim principal John Rist, NEASC Director Janet Allison offered some praise for Central, but said the school was placed on warning, requiring the administration to submit a “special progress report” by April 1, 2015.

The committee cites a number of shortcomings, including an “inadequate number of professional and support staff members” to meet the learning needs of students; “outdated and inadequate numbers of textbooks”; “inadequate technological support” to staff; and “HVAC issues throughout the facility.”

The letter noted that the committee was equally concerned about the “negative impact of the serious fiscal constraints under which the school continues to operate.”

At the same time, the NEASC commended the school on several counts, such as the “authentic pride in the core values of the school”; the availability of “authentic learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom”; and the “dedication shown by the faculty to make use of limited supplies and share resources within departments.”

These conclusions were outlined in a 71-page report released in May.

The vote by the NEASC Committee on Public Secondary Schools to accredit Central occurred June 17, according to the letter. The document was publicly distributed and discussed for the first time at Monday’s Board of School Committee meeting.

Superintendent Debra Livingston told board members that she was pleased to inform them that Central had received accreditation, although she didn’t mention that it was on placed on warning.

Assistant Superintendent David Ryan said the district would report back to the NEASC by April of 2015, and the principals at the school would work to implement the NEASC recommendations.

The NEASC accredits approximately 650 schools in New England, with the goal of ensuring “equitable, quality education,” according to its website. Its last review of Central High occurred in 2013.

tsiefer@unionleader.com


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