Mohawk earns 10-year re-accreditation
BUCKLAND — The Mohawk Trail Regional High School has passed muster with its accreditation, which is in good standing for the coming decade.
Last fall, a 16-member re-accreditation committee spent four days at Mohawk. They reviewed the self-study documents prepared for them, met with administrators, teachers, other school and system personnel, students and parents. They shadowed students, visited classes, and interviewed teachers to determine how much the school meets the Committee’s Standards for Accreditation. Since the evaluators represented public schools, central office administrators, and the public, diverse points of view were brought to bear on the evaluation.
The self-study extended from April 2011 to September 2012. The visiting committee reported that students, parents, and school committee members joined the professional staff in the self-study discussions.
Mohawk School Committee Chairman Robert Aeschback of Plainfield — who has participated in at least a dozen visits to others schools, as part of a New England Association of Schools and Colleges team — said he was pleased with Mohawk’s report.
“I see that it validates a lot of things we’re doing, and that it gives a road map for what we need to work on,” he said.
In her school news report, Principal Lynn Dole said the committee’s final report provides the school committee “with a valuable perspective on the work we are doing ... and on the work we need to do in our ongoing improvement efforts.”
Dole said many of the recommendations made in the report have already been started by school officials.
Aeschback said school officials are planning to give the Mohawk School Committee a full accreditation report at its June meeting.
Also, the Mohawk principal is required to make a two-year report and a five-year report on what progress Mohawk has made on NEASC’s recommendations.
∎ Mohawk was advised to develop 21st-century learning goals and to make sure they are part of the curriculum.
∎ The school is to “develop a collaborative and inclusive process for decision-making,” driven by core values, learning expectations and research-based proven practices.
∎ Provide enough time for teachers to learn a curriculum model, to write or revise existing curriculum.
∎ Develop a protocol to ensure that field trips reinforce the school’s curriculum.
∎ Consider adding health education as a graduation requirement.
∎ Ensure that teachers have regular, structured opportunities to collaborate and discuss teaching practices.
∎ Use evaluation and supervision of teachers consistently and equitably with all staff.
∎ Create committee to assist in the decision-making issues that arise.
∎ Allow the principal autonomy to lead initiatives within the building that meet district initiatives.
∎ Proper staffing in the library includes a library media specialist, and the library should be open before, during and after school hours.
∎ Develop an assessment tool to annually assess the effectiveness of special education services.
∎ Develop a transparent process for budget development.
∎ Develop a preventive maintenance plan, to be pro-active in building needs and repairs before they reach a critical level.
∎ Develop a plan to address changing student enrollment.
∎ Improve communication of long-range planning for programs and services, facility needs, capital improvements and updating technology.
∎ Create opportunities for parents to interact with faculty and administration on a routine basis.