PARIS — The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) has agreed to evaluate the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School for accreditation as a comprehensive high school.

OHCHS Principal Ted Moccia and Oxford Hills Technical School Director Shawn Lambert told the SAD 17 Board of Directors at its meeting Monday night that the organization agreed to judge the school as one entity based on standards and goals that will be established for both the academic and technical and career aspects of the comprehensive high school.

Previously, both were judge by the NEASC by separate committees on standards written for public secondary schools and technical and career institutes.

“The reality is this is a very collaborative model,” Moccia said of the comprehensive high school.

OHCHS is one of about 60 public Maine schools that has its accreditation through NEASC including  Poland Regional High School, Telstar Regional High School in Bethel, Lewiston High School and Edward Little High School in Auburn. Private school, colleges and other educational institutions may also go through the voluntary accreditation process.

The awarding of accreditation signifies that the school has met Commission Standards at an acceptable level and is willing to both maintain those standards and to improve its educational program by implementing the recommendations of a visiting committee from NEASC and the Commission, according to information provided by NEASC on its webpage..

There are five main steps in the accreditation process including; self-reflection, collaborative conference; school growth plan development and implementation; decennial accreditation visit and growth plan revisions and progress reports.

One of the main components of the process is the writing and implementation of a school improvement/growth plan.

The NEASC agreed , after conversations with Lambert and Moccia, to review it as a comprehensive high school and not as two separate educational components.

“It felt like they got us,” Moccia said of agreement to see the school as one unit.
Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School was initially accredited in 1962. It’s next review for accreditation determination is scheduled for 2021 but the work that leads up to the writing and implementation of a comprehensive school plan and meeting other NEASC standards is underway now.

In other news, the board voted to approve the Superintendent Rick Colpitt’s nomination of Jennifer Grover as elementary librarian for the remainder of the school year. Grover, a certified librarian, is currently the district’s library secretary. but agreed to fill the elementary librarian vacancy till the end of the school year. Grover has indicated to Colpitts that she wishes to return to the sec retrial position at the end of the school year.

Directors also approved the Superintendent’s nomination of Robert Hendry as 20 hour per week custodian at Oxford Hills Middle School South Campus. Hendry has five years of custodial experience. He has been working as a long term substitute custodian at OHMS North Campus since the beginning of the current school year.

The board also voted to accept a $2,500 donation with $750 from Ann Gavin and $500 from Marianne Tenore, to be matched by BAE Systems for the purpose of helping homeless and struggling students at OHCHS.

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