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Mammolina Montessori’s NEASC Accreditation Journey

What is NEASC?

Through professional assistance, accreditation, and the pursuit of best practices, The New England Association of Schools and Colleges or NEASC, an independent, voluntary, non-profit membership organization, works with over 1500 public, private, and international schools in the US and around the world to evaluate, support, and promote high-quality education for all students. The goal of NEASC is to offer a method for significant, continuous entire school development that respects the particular context and culture of each institution served.

NEASC was established in 1885 and has a rich history of promoting educational reform in all six New England states as well as over 85 other countries. NEASC Accreditation, a worldwide recognized level of excellence, attests to a school’s superior calibre and honesty.

NEASC Accreditation

Relying on the experience and knowledge of working educators since 1885, NEASC Accreditation is a recognized, successful, and tried-and-true approach to school development. It is a continuous, voluntary cycle of thorough internal and external assessments, short-and long-term strategic planning, and regular reporting supported by expert collaboration and assistance rather than a singular event. It is meant to act as a framework to help schools achieve their own distinct learning objectives for students while staying in line with the standards for accreditation, which are based on research and outline what makes for excellent, productive learning communities. It also evaluates a school’s commitment to, and ability for, continued growth and/or change, as well as the mechanisms set up for ongoing institutional self-reflection.

Mammolina Montessori’s NEASC Accreditation Path

4 years ago, we started the application process for NEASC by submitting our application for candidacy. We then had to demonstrate that we had the Foundation Standards (which consist of structures, systems and policies) in place to support a quality learning environment. Once these Foundation Standards had been approved, the accreditation cycle moved to the next stage which is the Preparatory Phase.

The Preparatory Phase required us to submit a preparatory report and then host a preparatory visit which happened in April 2023. The visit was designed to prepare us for the Internal Reflection phase of the cycle and a team from NEASC spent several days with our school team, engaging in deep conversation, learning activities and workshops to guide the Internal Reflection committee members.

After the Preparatory Phase, we then spent around one year focusing on Internal Reflection, this is a very important part of the accreditation path and as such it takes a significant amount of time. Once we have completed this phase, we will complete and submit an internal reflection report to NEASC in October 2024. And this is where we are currently in the cycle.

neasc accreditation path

Working on Neasc Internal Reflection

The final phase for this cycle will be the External Review where a team from NEASC will spend one week with us to conduct learning observations and engaging in structured conversation with our learning community, we expect this to happen on December 9, 2024 . Once the External Review is completed, this cycle will be finished, however, we will spend the next 5 years performing annual updates as well as reflection and reviews to be fully prepared for when the process begins again for us in 2029.

neasc accreditation cycle

NEASC Accreditation Cycle