By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Every 10 years, each high school in Bristol goes through an accreditation process under the authority of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
In January, Bristol Central High School was awarded accreditation by NEASC, the oldest of six regional accrediting agencies in the nation. Bristol Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ellen Solek announced the accreditation during a recent Board of Education meeting.
Formed in 1885, NEASC’s governing body is the Board of Trustees, which supervises the work of four commissioners, including the Commission on Public Schools. This commission is made up of the Committee on Public Secondary Schools (CPSS)—the responsible agency for accreditation of public secondary school member institutions.
The accreditation program for public schools is a three-fold process, which includes a self-study completed by local professional staff, an on-site evaluation conducted by the committee’s visiting committee and the follow-up program carried out by the school to implement the findings of its own self-study and the recommendations of the visiting committee and those identified by the follow-up process.
In its official letter to Bristol Central High School Principal Peter Wininger, NEASC commended 60 different aspects of the school. During the meeting, Solek read aloud some of these items, which included “the core beliefs, values and learning expectations that reflect the priorities of the school community” and “the hard work and dedication of teachers to implement the curriculum and co-curricular activities with the available supplies, funds, resources, materials and technology.” NEASC also commended Bristol Central for its implemented plan “to identify and integrate the school’s adopted 21st century learning expectations explicitly in curriculum documents” and “the safe and respectful atmosphere and positive school culture developed and spearheaded by the principal and his leadership team.” In addition, NEASC noted the school’s “passion and commitment to improving a school environment.”
“The committee was impressed with many of the programs and services,” NEASC said in its letter.
Now that Bristol Central received accreditation, the school will undergo a two-year monitoring process to ensure it has met the recommendations made by NEASC.
By LISA CAPOBIANCO