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November 9, 2013

School reaccreditation can be lengthy process for schools

Accreditation for schools is a long, costly process

(Continued)

Districts working to improve

Most school districts make a concerted effort to get off probation and warning lists, even though it could require a significant investment in resources, Allison said.

“Within five years, it’s an expectation it’s going to be resolved,” she said. “The majority of schools are working to resolve their issues.”

Pelham High School has been on the warning list since 2008 because the aging building no longer meets standards, Lecaroz said.

That’s the same year Salem High was removed from the warning list once the district made improvements to the school library, Collyer said.

The library was too small and often used as a hallway by students to get from one end of the building to another, she said.

To prepare for its upcoming evaluation, Salem High has established a steering committee to guide the district’s self-study.

That steering committee oversees seven subcommittees — each with approximately 20 members — that ensure the district is meeting standards in areas such as curriculum, instruction, assessment, and core values and beliefs.

Collyer said the only major concern at the school is the condition of the 46-year-old school building, which has never been renovated.

“We do have an older building that we know will come up (during the evaluation),” she said. “It’s an old building that needs some help.”

Collyer said the facility is cramped and outdated.

“It is just difficult to support the technology that they have for classrooms these days,” she said. “We don’t have very much storage — we are using hallways for storage; we are using classrooms for storage.”

She said the district has done what it could over the years to make minor upgrades, including installing more electrical outlets, but a substantial renovation is needed.

That’s why the School Board will ask voters to approve funding for the work in March. Pelham will do the same thing — request money from voters to expand the school, Lecaroz said.

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