To say Johnston High School Principal Zachary S. Farrell was thrilled after opening a recent letter from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) would be an understatement.
“This is exciting news,” he said of word from Alyson Geary, NEASC’s associate director, that Johnston High has been awarded new five-year accreditation by the organization’s Committee on Public Secondary Education.
“What a great way to begin the 2015-16 academic calendar.”
NEASC, which governs 650 secondary schools and 250 colleges and universities in six states, is the oldest regional accreditation association in the United States.
“The committee voted to accept our five-year progress report as well as to continue the accreditation through 2020,” Farrell said. “The committee praised our school’s completion of recommended capital improvement projects, technology upgrades, as well as impressive strides on improving curriculum, instruction and assessment.”
Farrell said the letter also commends Johnston High for the use of a graduation portfolio process to assess student progress, the addition of a web-based platform for use in the credit recovery program, as well as the adoption of a full-inclusion model for the school’s special needs population, providing them with access to an inclusive, rigorous education.
Farrell also emphasized that two things, in particular, really impressed the NEASC Accreditation Team during a visit to Johnston. Those were the new state-of-the-art athletic complex and new science lab.
“We really have to thank Mayor [Joseph] Polisena for the new complex,” he said. “The committee told us it’s the best around.”
NEASC also recognizes Johnston High for improving the four-year graduation rate of 67.2 percent to 88.5 since the decennial visit in 2010.