June 25 2015

NEASC Accreditation Discussion Continues at School Committee

By: Rich Hosford

There was another packed house at this week’s School Committee meeting as parents of high school students came out once again to raise concerns about the school’s standing with the New England Association of School Committees, or NEASC. 

As reported on BNEWS, some parents raised concerns earlier this month after realizing that in 2012 Superintendent Eric Conti decided to drop out of the NEASC accreditation process. 

After a group of parents came out and spoke against the decision in the last couple of School Committee meetings, which also prompted other parents to call his office with their own concerns, Conti said the high school re-joined NEASC, something he was planning to do later this year. 

Currently the school has a “candidate” status with NEASC and must perform an evaluation process to become accredited. Conti said that process will likely begin next year, possibly in the spring, and will take at least a year to complete. 

Due to the timing of when the high school’s accreditation actually expired, the Class of 2016 will be the first class to graduate from Burlington High School while it has “candidate” rather than “accredited.” Conti said school officials have been contacting college and university admission offices in the past couple of weeks to ask if being a candidate school would have an impact on graduates’ chances of being accepted and of getting financial aid. He said he has been told by everyone they contacted that it would not. 

Some parents, however, were not convinced. They said nobody can be sure if not have accredited status will have an impact, especially if a Burlington graduate is in close competition with other applicants. They asked that school officials try and fast-track the evaluation process by getting into a round this fall. 

Conti said it is unclear whether fast-tracking the process is even possible at this time. Currently Assistant Superintendent Patrick Larkin is in training to lead the school's evaluation process and that itself takes time. 

Watch the full video of the School Committee meeting.  

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