By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – School Committee members are concerned that an accreditation process for Marlborough High School (MHS) is being stalled by Dr. Anthony Pope, the superintendent of the Marlborough Public Schools, they said at a meeting May 31.
According to Mayor Arthur Vigeant, who also serves as School Committee chair and member Katherine Hennessey, after a review was conducted at MHS by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in 2010, the school was issued a “warning” status. At that time, NEASC submitted a list of concerns to the school district for its review. The district was then to submit a report with recommendations on how to remedy those concerns back to NEASC by November of last year.
Pope told the board that he talked to officials at NEASC and asked for an extension until the end of May 2012, which was granted. He also stated he had taken over the responsibility of preparing the report rather than have retiring MHS Principal Debra Roy do so. He added that Roy's replacement, Craig Hardimon, who starts in July, would be a better choice to do the report.
“We would like a clear articulation of committee members working on the report,” said Hennessey to Pope.
Vigeant agreed and asked that a full list of those involved, as well as a draft report to be sent to NEASC be presented at the School Committee's June 12 meeting. He also asked that the final report be completed for review by the committee's June 26 meeting. A majority of the committee agreed with his request, but members Margaret Dwyer and Jennifer Hardy were opposed.
According to its website, NEASC provides accreditation services for more than 2000 public and private institutions in the six New England states for all levels, pre-K through university. The accreditation process involves a team of representatives from the school itself, as well as peers from other districts, to evaluate every aspect of a school. Recommendations are then made to the school and then monitored to ensure that those changes are made in the established timelines.
Vigeant asked that a review of the district's school budget also be on the June 12 agenda, using a “line-item” approach.
“So we can all understand what we need and acquire it all together,” he added.