Wilton High School receives NEASC accreditation

Following a four-day evaluation process last spring, Wilton High School has again been accredited by the Committee on Public Secondary Schools of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

NEASC accreditation is an “ongoing, voluntary” system of accountability based on standards that “define the characteristics of good schools and colleges,” according to the association’s website.

The NEASC accreditation process is a standards-based system of accountability that occurs every 10 years and consists of a self-study, peer review and follow-ups.

“The process is really, really comprehensive,” Wilton High School Principal Robert O’Donnell told The Bulletin last April, “and you definitely want to be accredited because it ascertains the fact that you have met the standards outlined by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.”

According to the NEASC website, schools that receive accreditation demonstrate:

  • Substantial compliance with established qualitative standards.

  • Integrity in statements to the public describing the institution’s program.

  • Institutional commitment to improvement.

  • Sufficiency of institutional resources.

A NEASC visiting committee, comprised of 16 educators, arrived at Wilton High School on May 1, 2016. Over the course of four days, the committee members toured the high school, held meetings with school staff, collected data, presented reports, and debriefed with one another.

Last spring, O’Donnell reported that the committee examined “every aspect” of the school — from facilities, student life and school climate to curriculum, instruction and assessment — and students were “extensively involved” in the process.

The high school received its decennial accreditation report from NEASC in December, and O’Donnell said the NEASC visiting committee had been "very impressed” with the school and its programs and “offered many commendations” in its report.

O’Donnell said the report will be used to assist the school in developing priorities for further improvements.

"We have initiated a follow-up program to review the self-study findings and the visiting committee report to establish the order in which recommendations will be carried out,” said O’Donnell.

After reviewing the visiting committee's report, according to O’Donnell, Wilton High School’s NEASC Follow-up Committee began compiling the committee's recommendations.

“We are currently engaged in a comparison of the recommendations from the report with the critical needs identified as part of the 2015 self-study, and our two- and five-year plans,” he said.