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High school probation continues

'The only criterion left is to build a new school'

April 27, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Citing a recent letter from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the School Committee confirmed that the high school continues to be both accredited and on probation.

"Consistent with its policies, the Commission determined that the school should remain on probation for the standard on Community Resources for Learning until all concerns have been satisfactorily resolved," wrote NEASC reviewer Janet Allison April 14.

That standard, several committee members noted, primarily refers to the building itself. Earlier this year, the state and Town Council approved funding to replace the century-old school with a new middle/high school on Torrey Road.

School Committee Chairman John Jovan said he received three recent calls claiming they'd heard "rumors" the school had lost its accreditation, so he felt it necessary to read the NEASC letter on camera.

"For as long as I've been on the committee, Southbridge High School has been on probation, largely due to its condition," he said.

Superintendent Dale Hanley agreed, noting NEASC found it "deficient" in five of its accrediting areas back in 2005.

"We have come off the warning for every one of those except the building," she said. "For all intents and purposes, the only criterion left is to build a new school."

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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