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School Accreditation Report Urges Changes to Budget Process

The final report of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges also recommends that the whole school community — parents, students, teachers, administrators and officials — forge a mission and expectations for learning.

Editor's Note: To read the report, click on the report icon to the right.

The final report of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges was based, in part, on the 15-member NEASC team's visit last fall to Swampscott High School for four days, Oct. 31-Nov. 3.

The team shadowed students, met with teachers, administrators and parents, and observed classrooms.

The report was also based on a self study by the school over nine months during the 2008-09 school year.

The self study, however, was hindered by lack of consistent leadership, the study states.

The school has been led by six different principals over nine years, the report states.

Significant findings listed in the report include a harsh assessment of how the school budget is set.

As it stands, the teachers and administration must base their budget requests on the dollar amount provided to them as opposed to letting the district's needs determine the budget, the report states.

Without the involvement of parents, teachers and administrators in the budgetary process, the school community's ability to meet student needs is adversely affected, the report states.

The report also says the district lacks a broad consensus from the school community on expectations for learning and the school's mission.

Positives in the report include recognition that the new high school building meets 21st century needs.

In addition, it states that the "interactions between and among students, administrators, and faculty and staff members is supportive, positive, and respectful."

The report's findings also say that parent involvement is limited, despite the school's efforts to improve it.

The report calls for the principal to prepare two-year and five-year reports in response to the visiting team's findings.

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