NEASC Returns to Morgan

Morgan Impresses NEASC Committee

The NEASC: New England Association of Schools and Colleges committee visited The Morgan School on Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16. The committee was visiting classrooms, speaking with teachers and students about our school, and evaluating our school environment as a whole. On Wednesday, November 17, the committee wrote their NEASC report. The committee members were truly impressed with Morgan’s “community, pride, and the importance of having connections with each other.”

The purpose of the NEASC visit was to evaluate the schools’ written curriculum, personalization of instruction, intervention, and student support. After the visit, the school renewed its NEASC accreditation, which means that a school is certified to provide a good education to students. The committee consisted of six members from schools around the state; Superintendent Sharon Cournoyer of Regional District #19 in Storrs, CT, Principal Anna Mahon of Amity Regional Senior High School in Woodbridge, CT, Music Teacher Ciara Cohen of Francis T. Maloney High School in Meriden, CT, English Teacher Cristina Kingsbury of Derby High School, Assistant Principal Christopher Siano of Trumbull High School, and School Counselor Jessica Slater of Newington High School.

Principal Keri Hagness worked very closely with a steering committee that was made up of Morgan faculty: English teacher Eric Carroll, Social Studies teacher Melissa Hagewood, World Language teacher Susan Peterson, Mathematics teacher John Madura, School Psychologist Steven Mendelssohn, Social Studies teacher Max Ames, and Literacy Specialist/Interventionist Victoria Fox. The purpose of this committee was to oversee the NEASC visitors and ensure that all their needs were accommodated during their visit by providing information on the various programs, a hotel, food, class schedules, and meeting space.

Mrs. Hagness’s role was more focused on preparing the school for the NEASC visit. She explained that the preparation was “a lot of work. The planning goes back to last year when we looked at some recommendations that the previous committee gave us, so we could make sure that we were addressing those. And then after the report, we had to plan for all the different meetings and classroom observations that they would have.”

On their final day at Morgan, the committee was asked what their impressions were of Morgan during their visit. Members said, “We were impressed with The Morgan School the first time we were here, and we’re even more impressed the second time. Between the students, the teachers, the administration, and the fact that everybody really has a great way of communicating how you are family, and that’s probably what stood out to us the most.” They described Morgan as “not The Morgan School, but the Morgan Family.” The committee truly enjoyed “walking through the hallways and seeing everyone smiling and interacting with each other. It was nice to see that people are having fun when they’re here.”

Since the committee members were from schools all over the state, we asked how Morgan compared to their own schools. Mrs. Mahon said, “This school is about a third the size of my school, and the building is beautiful, so as a school principal, it’s something to be envious of. Morgan has so many things that make it unique, and it exemplifies everything that is good about Clinton, Connecticut.” Another member mentioned that he works at one of the largest schools in Connecticut, so it was “fun to see how Morgan has an environment where you really get to know each other and speak to that sense of family.”

After the NEASC visit was completed, Principal Keri Hagness said,“I think that they were very impressed, not just with the facility, but with staff and most especially with the students. They saw that the students here are very articulate; they’re reflective, and they have a lot to say about their learning experience here. I think the committee got a real sense of what life is like at Morgan.”