March 05, 2021

NHS reaches Level 1 certification in High Reliability Schools program

District sees first glimpse of success in school improvement model

Newton High School has earned its Level 1 certification in the High Reliability Schools program, signifying the campus’ success in creating a “safe, supporting and collaborative culture.” The creator of the program, Marzano Resources, says without this culture student achievement would be comprised.

HRS was created “to help transform schools into organizations that take proactive steps to ensure student success,” Newton High School Principal Bill Peters said in a press release. Educators learn to asses, monitor and confirm the effectiveness of their schools using a research-based, five-level hierarchy:

1. Safe and collaborative culture

2. Effective teaching in every classroom

3. guaranteed and viable curriculum

4. Standards-referenced reporting

5. Competency-based education

In order to become a high reliability school, Newton High School must master these five progressive levels of framework. Peters told Newton News all schools in the district have set reaching Level 1 certification as a goal and have engaged in a rigorous self-improvement program.

“The process is extremely thorough and provides NHS a path to improvement so that our students will be better served,” Peters said. “Education is an ever-changing game and it is critical that we seek outside expertise to evaluate our educational systems.”

Ann Nelson, library media center director at the high school, has been the “driving force” behind organizing the efforts of the entire staff in order for the campus to reach its Level 1 certification, Peters said. He also commended his faculty for achieving the first step in the five-level program.

“The success is directly attributed to the staff at NHS,” Peters said. “They work tirelessly to prepare students for future success. Ann Nelson deserves special recognition as she is the driving force behind the process. Her dedication to the staff and students cannot be overstated.”

Newton Community School District implemented Marzano Resources’ High Reliability Schools model in 2019 with the intent to empower its campuses while also attaining positive and significant impact on student achievement.

The district sent out surveys to parents, students, staff and administrators during the 2019-2020 school year in order to identify Newton’s areas of strength and areas of need.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or