NEASC affirms decision to place East Providence High School on probation

ephs sign

EAST PROVIDENCE — The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) affirmed its decision to place East Providence High School on probationary status, doing so in a letter penned to principal Janet Sheehan and submitted by Superintendent Kim Mercer to the School Committee at its meeting Tuesday night, Dec. 10.

Mrs. Mercer, who read the NEASC letter into the record, said she was “a little disappointed in the response, but I do understand.”

EPHS has been on “warning” status for the last five years, ever since a group representing NEASC visited the facility for a 10-year accreditation review back in early 2008.

Upon another tour of the building earlier this year, NEASC representatives deemed EPHS to still be in a state of disrepair.

In its most recent correspondence to the school department, the NEASC executive committee wrote it “unanimously” affirmed its decision to place the school on probation due to lingering questions with the six-decade-old EPHS structure.

The committee further noted its “ongoing and grave concerns” with many aspects of the building, including issues pertaining to a lack of science and technical capabilities as well as the poor hygienic quality of the school’s athletic, cafeteria and bathroom facilities in addition to the still as of yet formulated five-year plan to remedy the problems going forward.

The letter also noted the ability of the school department, through the school committee, to appeal the decision or it could accept it and submit an updated status report for review in May of next year.

Mrs. Mercer reminded the school committee and the public some $175,000 has already been allocated to update a science lab at the high school while other improvements are in the works or have been completed, like renovations of the gymnasiums and the addition of new dining tables and seating in the cafeteria.

Therefore, she recommended not to appeal, but to continue to perform the necessary tasks and revisit the matter with NEASC in May.

In concurring with the superintendent, School Committee Chairman Joel Monteiro said elected officials and administrators “need to stay focused and determined to address these issues.”

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4 Comments

  1. mmedeiros said:

    Time to knock it down and start with a new building. There is no hope for that Dilapidated structure. You can’t piece meal a building that has been neglected for too many years by too many city officials!

  2. Metacomment said:

    This is what happens when a town spends $30 million/year on police/fire and only $72 million on schools. Schools get ignored.

    Barrington spends $6 million on police/fire and $45 million on schools. Cranston spends $14 million on police/fire and $137 million on schools. Do you see the difference in ratio?

    EP is the only town in America that spends nearly half of what it spends on schools on police/fire.

    The teachers and students may be great, but we live in a superficial world. Nobody with children wants to move to a town with dilapidated schools. Real estate values drop. Incoming taxes drop. More local kids go to La Salle. Ex-Townies move to Seekonk.

    Wake up EP Town Hall, or you’ll be the next Warwick!

  3. Dd said:

    EP schools are not faring well. The high school is deplorable; however, like the Superintendent said they are making changes! I agree with Metacomment on this — if you let things fall apart for years this is what happens!! Our schools have been in need of many repairs but the funding is never there. I have been in the high school and it is not the most pleasant environment for staff and/or students.
    Again, our city schools are not faring well at all. Thus, we will have more people moving out of the city and less moving in because of the school system. Not everybody can afford to pay private schools!

  4. Stephanie Lowry said:

    That school needs to be redone. The paint on the walls in the classrooms is peeling off, the tiles on the ceilings of the classrooms are stained, and the floors are nasty as hell. They need to redo it now before a student gets ill.

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