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High School Accredited, But Placed on Warning List

Officials raise concerns with curriculum and community resources for learning during review.

was awarded continued accreditation, but was placed on a warning list by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges Inc. Commission on Public Secondary Schools. 

The high school was placed on warning list after the committee reviewing the school's accreditation had concerns with standards on curriculum and community resources for learning. 

School officials have to prepare a special progress report by November 1. The report will need to address the following concerns:  

  • provide adequate textbooks and instructional materials for all teachers
  • cease the practice of propping open fire doors
  • develop and implement a plan to address space limitations and class scheduling in Library/media center
  • develop a short-term plan to address all facilities concerns
  • address all health and safety concerns

High School Principal Mario Almeida said that he has started addressing some of these concerns already. He said at the time of the review, the school did not have Earth Science textbooks because the curriculum was being written. It is common practice to write a curriculum, pilot a book and then pick and purchase a textbook that best fits that curriculum, Almeida said. 

The practice of propping the doors will also be stopped, Almeida added. Due to their warning status, school officials are required to submit a two-year progress report as well.

In October, 15 educators came to the high school and visited with teachers, shadowed students, and spoke with parents and residents.

The purpose of their visit was to determine what had been done since the previous evaluation 10 years ago and if any standards had been violated. The committee then had to determine if the quality of education could be improved and if there were any obstacles in the school's way. 

Other concerns in the study were:

  • The lack of handicap access to several sections of the building, 
  • the outdated HVAC system, 
  • lack of storage for science chemicals and 
  • inadequate number of science laboratories. 

The lack of handicap accessibility and the outdated HVAC system were cited as being concerns in a previous review 20 years ago. Some of the items on the list may require a referendum to fix, Almeida said. 

The school did receive acknowledgements for the following:

  • their newly instituted administrative council 
  • the ratio of students to guidance counselors
  • variety of materials and technology in their library/media center 
  • student support service programs. 

For those who want to see the report, a copy will be at the and on the school's website, http://rockyhillps.com. 

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