NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to “assess, support, and promote high quality education for all students through accreditation, professional assistance, and pursuit of best practices.”
FHS is currently on warning status to lose NEASC accreditation for several reasons, all of which are directly related to the current FHS facility:
- A lack of accessibility and ADA compliance (as required by Federal law)
- Limitations on educational programming
- Limitations on academic offerings
FHS has been on warning status since 2016. It has not advanced beyond this level solely because the Town is currently in the process of creating a plan to address all issues related to accreditation. The proposed new high school building will bring us into full NEASC compliance. Should the June 3 referendum fail, we will likely be placed on probationary status – bringing us one step away from a loss of accreditation.
A loss of accreditation would be devastating – not just for the students but for the entire community.
Consequences for our school and students include:
- FHS would not be eligible to apply for Federal grants
- FHS would not be able to serve as a hosting site for AP tests and SATs
- Students would not be able to apply to some colleges and universities
- Students would not be able to apply for and receive some scholarships to cover college tuition
- Graduates would not be considered for some jobs
For town residents, including those who do not have students in our schools, a loss of accreditation would be substantial. Towns that have lost high school accreditation have seen significant, negative impacts to their property values and real estate markets.
Watch the statement from Kim Wynne, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, at the April 20, 2021 FHS Building Committee’s Union Neighborhood Presentation (beginning at 50:47 of the video).