hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

School News

September 12, 2013

Experts give high school positive review

$32M renovation and teaching reforms at 
HHS praised by experts

HAVERHILL — Things are looking up at Haverhill High School.

The panel of educational experts that threatened to revoke the school’s accreditation in the late 1990s has given HHS a glowing assessment in its latest review.

An Aug. 28 letter from the The New England Association of Schools and Colleges said the group recently voted to accept the Five-Year Progress Report of Haverhill High School and to continue the school’s accreditation.

Accreditation means a school meets critical standards for education, including a building that is in acceptable condition, has reasonable class sizes and modern technology, an atmosphere that promotes learning, and clearly defines educational goals and expectations for student achievement.

Educators say accreditation is important for students applying to college, as student transcripts note whether the school they graduated from is accredited, not accredited or is on probationary status, as Haverhill High was between 1998 and 2011.

The NEASC letter highlighted a long list of “positive aspects” and improvements at the school. They include: More spending on technology, raising money to eliminate student fees to play sports, better communication with parents, better tracking of student progress, and More Advanced Placement courses to help students get a start on college.

Superintendent James Scully praised the high school staff, Principal Bernard Nangle and the School Committee for the report.

“Bernie Nangle and his team have been instrumental in shaping the many components necessary to reach such success,” Scully said in a memo to the School Committee. “The commendations speak for themselves and I thank you on behalf of the students at Haverhill High School for your continued support of initiatives that are both timely and critical in keeping Haverhill High School competitive.

“This drama on accreditation has been unfolding since 1998 and you should all be very pleased that we have managed this well,” Scully said. “The (NEASC) letter affirms that very fact.”

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