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Schools Fulfill State Mandate

March 29, 2005
By RACHEL GOTTLIEB, Courant Staff Writer

With the recent accreditation of five schools - Martin Luther King, Kinsella and Wish elementary schools, and Bellizzi and Fox middle schools - the Hartford school system has fulfilled a state law that it receive accreditation for all of its 32 schools.

The state legislature passed the mandate when it wrote the law to take over the school system in 1997.

Kennelly and Simpson-Waverly elementary schools earned accreditation on March 19, 2001, the first two schools in the system to do so.

It's customary for high schools to seek accreditation, but fairly unusual for elementary and middle schools to pursue it. The near-loss of Hartford Public High School's accreditation was the major factor that led the state to the unprecedented move of taking over the entire school system. The system returned to local control when a new board of education took office in December 2002.

The accreditation process requires a two-year self-study, the production of a report identifying strengths and weaknesses and a visitation for several days by a team of educators coordinated by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges.

The accrediting committees analyzed seven areas: curriculum, instruction, assessment, leadership, community resources, school resources and mission.

The mission of the accrediting teams was to validate self studies. The greater challenge will be for the schools to maintain accreditation. To do that, each school prepares five-year plans to address its weaknesses and then, after five years, must submit a summary report demonstrating progress in addressing those problems.

"This is a very significant achievement," said Superintendent of Schools Robert Henry. "It is very rare, if not unique, for every school in a district to go through this process and to receive accreditation. It is a great testimony to our teachers, principals and support staff. I'm very proud of them all."

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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