“I’d put our policy up against anybody’s,” Thornton said.
In other business, the subcommittee briefly discussed the district’s policy on bullying. Superintendent Jeff Mulqueen said that as part of a more comprehensive policy with language mandated by the state, the district has an 800 number and a drop box for students who wish to report bullying anonymously. He planned to add discussion on the bullying and the anti-discrimination policies to the agenda for the school board’s next meeting.
Earlier in the evening a subcommittee on Teaching, Learning and Accountability received a brief update from high school Principal Jon Seymour regarding the recent report by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges after its four-day visit to the district back in April.
Although the results of the review were not made public at the time, Seymour acknowledged some frustration that the NEASC team’s newly adopted set of standards did not easily apply to how things are done at Pentucket. For example, the NEASC reviewers didn’t seem to understand that what their rubric referred to as “21st Century Skill Development,” Pentucket calls its “Habits of Learning.”
“They didn’t quite get it,” he told the subcommittee.
Mulqueen said that other districts share Seymour’s frustrations with NEASC and superintendents are beginning to question whether it is “really the organization to give us the kind of feedback we need.”
The financial and human resources spent to prepare for a NEASC visit are tremendous, the administrators agreed.
As for the report from this visit, Mulqueen appeared non-plussed.
“Whatever it is, whatever comes down the pike, we’ll just address it and keep moving forward,” he said.