PLYMOUTH - Terryville High School will be having an accreditation visit from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Oct. 20 to 23.
The school recently completed a two-year self-study in preparation for the visit. NEASC, founded in 1885, is the oldest accrediting agency in the country and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the sole agency that awards accreditation to Pre-K-12 schools, elementary schools, middle schools and high schools in New England.
Bob Nave, social studies department coordinator at Terryville High School and chair of the school’s NEASC committee, said that twelve educators and school administrators from New England will be meeting with parents, school administrators, the Board of Education and the entire school faculty between Oct. 20 and 23. The visitors are all volunteers who are assisting with the evaluation.
“Every school is accredited on a 10-year cycle so that the diplomas we give out have value,” he said. “They will compare what they see to our self study and I think we wrote about ourselves very honestly. They will evaluate us on standards based on curriculum, instruction and assessment and they will be looking at our classrooms. They want to make sure that students are learning 21st century skills that will be applicable when they go out to find jobs.”
Nave said that he is optimistic about Terryville High School doing well in the evaluation.
“We are a solid school,” he said. “But, like every school, there are things that we do well and things that can be improved.”
When the Plymouth Public Schools were getting ready to return for the fall semester, Superintendent of Schools Martin Semmel identified what he considered to be the strengths and weaknesses of local schools.
On the positive side, Semmel said that Terryville High School had increased the number of AP classes from six to nine over the past three years. In 2008, 20 percent of students had taken at least one AP course and in 2019 that number had increased to 50 percent. The school had also added a fire science course to help prepare students for a career as a firefighter and the district had also begun to implement social emotional learning.
However, Semmel said that Terryville High School still too high of an absenteeism rate for his liking. He did acknowledge though that some progress had been made, with the rate declining from 10% to 8% between the 2017 to 2018 school year and the 2018 to 2019 school year.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or .