EHHS Hosted Decennial NEASC Visit With Great Success
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, a nonprofit organization that assesses schools, was at EHHS from April 3rd to 5th to evaluate the school. Founded in 1885, they visit every ten years, their last visit being in 2011. Their most recent visit was supposed to be in 2021, but was delayed due to Covid. This year, about eight representatives visited every teacher in the school during their lessons.
Many teachers in the school have worked at EHHS during a NEASC visit in the past. Additionally, multiple teachers are on a committee dedicated to preparing for the visit. Instructional leader Mrs. Lisa Veleas and English teacher Mrs. Lisa Gardner are the chairs of the committee.
Teachers in the school felt prepared for the visit, but a little anxious. There were stressful last-minute preparations to be done, but teachers were ready to show off the school regardless.
Students in the school seemed uninformed about the visit, according to teachers. Mrs. Gardner said many students seemed to think the Vision of the Graduate was only for the NEASC visit, when it is really a state-wide expectation that would have been implemented anyways. Teachers were trying to educate students so they felt more prepared for the visit and for the questions NEASC asked.
To prepare, teachers were organizing themselves and getting new lessons ready. Many were doing collaborative activities for the visit. The committee was making sure the student ambassadors and presenters were prepared to escort the visitors around the school and show off their work.
Teachers expected the visit to go smoothly, and for the representatives to see how the school has grown. They knew there would be plenty of areas to improve upon.
To the teachers at EHHS, the NEASC Accreditation validates the work the school has been doing over the course of the past twelve years. English teacher Ms. Haley Lutar says the accreditation is “a badge of honor” for teachers, students, and the school. Psychology teacher Mr. Mark Tolla says it helps EHHS prepare for the future of its education.
Many teachers were expecting the visit to go smoothly, and for NEASC to see all the hard work the school has been doing. Furthermore, teachers looked forward to receiving feedback for what areas the school can improve on. EHHS Principal Mr. Vincent DeNuzzo said in a newsletter,
“Additional next steps include being more strategic and inclusive of all stakeholders in the school improvement planning process, developing a plan to communicate student progress towards meeting the expectations of the Vision of the Graduate and using student standardized assessment data such as the SAT during our Professional Learning Community (PLC) time identify trends so that appropriate instructional interventions could be developed.”
The chair of NEASC, Carol Luckenbach, said, “It provides a huge sense of pride in what is being accomplished and recognized at EHHS by NEASC,” in reference to NEASC’s Accreditation.
The feedback provided by NEASC’s visit will allow EHHS to improve in all areas and create a better learning environment for future students.