NEASC issues re-accreditation to NSHS, commends school’s programs, culture & more

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Construction of the new science labs at NSHS was completed in 2020.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – The New England Association of Schools and Colleges re-accredited North Smithfield High School this month, with a letter commending the school on a long list of observations including everything from the senior project program, to the facility’s safe and inclusive environment.

In a letter to NSHS Principal Amy Burns dated Wednesday, April 3, members of the Commission on Public Schools noted the decision comes following a visit to North Smithfield in March.

“The commission was impressed with many of the programs and services,” the letter noted.

NEASC commended the high school’s effort to develop and implement the “vision of a graduate,”; the use of technology to enhance learning; the mentoring program; professional opportunities; academic intervention strategies and more.

The organization issues accreditation every five years via a process that includes both internal and external assessment, with evaluation of various standards that NEASC uses to define the characteristics of a high quality, effective learning community.

“It also serves to assess the systems in place for ongoing institutional self-reflection and a school’s commitment to and capacity for continuous growth and/or transformation,” the organization notes on its website.

The letter to Burns states that NSHS met all of NEASC’s foundational standards.

When the 9-12 school received its last accreditation from the organization in 2020, the process did not go quite as smoothly. Then Principal Timothy McGee received a warning from NEASC regarding, among other concerns, the need to update the school’s science labs. Those improvements, and others, have since been completed – and NEASC’s evaluation process has also changed.

The school must now develop, submit and implement a School Growth/Improvement Plan prior to the deadline of October 1. NEASC is expected to follow up on that plan with another visit by a team of eight evaluators in December of 2025 to assess how improvements have been implemented.

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