NEASC Takes Walpole High off “Warning Status”

NEASC Takes Walpole High off Warning Status

Dana Morrone

In 2009, rumors quickly spread that Walpole High School had “failed” a supposedly big-deal assessment. The rumors turned out to be true, but not many students were fully aware of its importance, or whether or not it was actually an impact on the school. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), reviewed Walpole High School in 2009 and put the school on what they called “warning status.” Walpole High had failed in the aspects of certain requirements, such as an advisory program and PLC, which would help improve student and teacher interactions. However, on March 12, 2012 Principal Stephen Imbusch was pleased to announce to his staff that Walpole High School was off warning status, and the high school is now accepted by the committee.
Several alterations to the schedules and schemes of the school have helped taken WHS off of the warning list, but the most recent change, and an important change in the eyes of NEASC, was the students’ report cards. Prior to the screening, NEASC believed that students lacked any guidance, in terms of grades, from teachers. Now, the students report cards consist of evaluations from each teacher including technology skills, oral communication, etc. With these new assessments on the report cards, students are able to gauge their progression in these specific areas throughout the year.┬áNEASC also gave positive feedback on Walpole High’s new technological advances. WHS added Wi-Fi to the school in the fall, which teachers hope will allow students to utilize their laptops and portable devices in order to do schoolwork online sometime in the near future. The NEASC committee was pleased to see these positive changes in the school.
Along with the letter sent to Mr. Imbusch about the positive news of our passing came a list of changes the school still needs to work on. The list given includes watching budget cuts, staff cuts, inordinate user fees, and the decrease in student services. The administration has been sent the list in order to be inspired and ready to make slight changes.
Although Walpole High and the administration has succeeded in passing the assessment, it does not necessarily mean that the school cannot keep improving. As a school, the students and staff still need to continue to work on how they interact with each other. PLC days should be the perfect opportunity for teachers to meet with each other to work through these specific problems. In the future, solutions should be set in stone; therefore, the school can be more prepared during future visits from the NEASC committee.
The new advisory program, along with PLC and the many technological advances WHS has recently made, has taken our school off of “warning status” for the next few years. Hopes for future passes from NEASC are in full swing as the school continues to work together in the collaboration of progress. Although there are still many changes to be made within the school community, Walpole High School is steadily improving, and it is hopeful that the school will continue to do so.