POLAND – Poland’s controversial high school and middle school are now fully accredited.

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, a private organization that evaluates schools, announced this week that it has approved Poland Regional High School and Bruce M. Whittier Middle School. The move lends credence to the 4-year-old schools, which have come under fire from parents for their unusual grading styles and student requirements.

“It’s an affirmation of our program, and a resounding one at that,” said Principal Derek Pierce.

The accreditation comes after four years of studies, self-evaluations and site visits by an association team.

In its evaluation in February, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges commended the two Poland schools for their wide range of assessments, their student-led parent conferences, their student progress reports and their universal grading rubric. It recommended that school officials complete a comprehensive assessment system and work to ensure that grading and assessments were consistent throughout the school.

Although colleges usually look for students from accredited high schools, Pierce said Poland Regional High School students haven’t had trouble getting into college. Admissions officials understood that the school was new and had been working toward approval, he said.

But some parents, Pierce said, have been wary about enrolling their children in an unaccredited high school.

“Hopefully those folks will be assuaged by this great news,” he said.



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