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SKHS 'heading in the right direction'

May 31, 2012

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – Last fall, South Kingstown High School underwent decennial accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The newly released report details the findings and lists commendations and recommendations for South Kingstown High School.

According to SKHS Principal Bob McCarthy, the overall findings of the report are positive.

“We’re definitely headed in the right direction, this is a good school, a very good school,” he said. “And I think that the report reflects that.”

Sixteen voluntary educators from other schools in New England served as testers and spent four days at the school. They visited classrooms, interviewed teachers, students and others affiliated with the school. The testers did not find any major issues at South Kingstown High School that could have prevented it from receiving accreditation.

In fact, the report states, “The South Kingstown school community provides a safe, positive, respectful and supportive culture that fosters student responsibility for learning and results in shared ownership, pride and high expectations for all.”

Due to its encouraging review, the school did not have to provide any one-year special reports to NEASC on the school, resulting from additional assessment.

According to McCarthy, this indicates, “[NEASC feels] as long as we continue to do what we do, we’re headed in the right direction…it’s an affirmation of the hard work that people have done here.”

SKHS was judged on seven standards. These include: mission and core values, curriculum, instruction, assessment, leadership and school culture, school resources and community resources.

In light of these standards, McCarthy said the report positively highlights the way SKHS developed its mission statement, the way they measure efficiency for students, the support services they provide and the great community support SKHS receives.

Despite the primarily positive findings, there are still areas where the report indicated that SKHS needs improvement. McCarthy said that the school is already aware of these issues as a result of a previously conducted self-study.

These areas include, the need to differentiate instruction, the continued use of formative assessment as a way to monitor what kids need to know the need to continue to create interventions for kids who are struggling.

Until 2021, when the next accreditation will take place, SKHS will work to improve based on the recommendations they received from NEASC. Some recommendations they are required to address within the next two years and others within five. In eight years, SKHS will begin another self-study to determine its own strengths and weaknesses.

Despite the work that still needs to be done to improve from, what McCarthy called a “very good” school to a “great” school, he is pleased with the results of the report.

“I’m very proud to be principal of this school, in this community,” he said. “And I’m very proud of the work that the teachers have done…and how the students conduct themselves on a day to day basis.”

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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