DIXFIELD — Regional School Unit 10 board members voted overwhelmingly to discontinue funding for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, effectively ending the reaccreditation process for the district’s three high schools at the end of June.

All board members, except Barbara Chow of Dixfield and Peter Zanoni of Mexico, voted not to continue the funding.

The decision followed reports during the past three board meetings from the high schools’ principals describing the pros and cons of ending the accreditation process, based on what they learned from other high schools throughout the state.

Dirigo High School in Dixfield and Mountain Valley High School in Rumford are in the early or middle stages of reaccreditation. Buckfield Junior-Senior High School was due to begin the process later this year.

Superintendent Craig King said a decision should be made because Buckfield was about to begin reaccreditation, creating new financial and time commitments for several years.

“It would have been $22,000 for accreditation,” he said.


Rumford Director Brad Gallant said he had not heard one positive thing from the principals’ reports to continue with NEASC.

Dirigo Principal Mike Poulin said there are other oversight methods schools could use.

“Years ago, schools worked in isolation. It’s not so much anymore,” he said.

Mountain Valley Principal Matt Gilbert said he spoke with principals from neighboring schools that were not accredited.

“They were not impacted,” he said. “Two others in the Mountain Valley Conference are considering (not seeking or renewing accreditation).”

Regarding financial needs, King said he was worried about having enough teachers to teach and funds to pay utilities.

“With both finances and workload, it’s hard to push this forward,” he said of the NEASC process.

In other matters at Monday’s meeting, the board approved allowing several Buckfield high school boys to play on the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School football team in Paris. Parents or students will transport participating football players to Paris at the end of the school day for practice, Principal George Reuter said.

RSU 10 includes the towns of Byron, Buckfield, Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Hanover, Hartford, Mexico, Peru, Roxbury, Rumford and Sumner.

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