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Lincoln School Receives Official Continued Accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges

At its February 4–5, 2019 meeting, the Commission on Independent Schools voted to grant Continued Accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) to Lincoln School. The Visiting Committee’s Report identified many areas of commendation. They applauded the “caring, hardworking, skilled, professional, and committed faculty and staff and their commitment to a bold and deliberate process addressing program, culture, enrollment, and facilities. It also acknowledges the quality of the school leadership, outstanding governance, and dedicated board.” They were impressed with the school’s “clear mission–one built on strong traditions and timeless principles as well as recognition that good schools must constantly be looking to innovate. You are fostering a school culture that is challenging, rigorous, thriving, fearless, and deeply committed to educating girls to be 21st Century leaders.”

In addition, there were some recommendations as a result of this work which will help the school continue to thrive.  For example, the commission suggests that we continue to explore and articulate how our recently revised mission statement and Quaker principles can further shape the program, administration, and decision-making structures. Another recommendation suggests that we continue to develop the evaluative processes, creating well understood, data-driven systems for looking at programs, administration, leadership, faculty, staff, resources, and the student experience.

During the 2017–2018 school year, the school engaged in reflection about its work under the guidance of NEASC, which was founded in 1885 and accredits over 2,000 public and independent schools and colleges across New England. According to its self-study introduction, the process is designed to give specific attention to each of the dual purposes of accreditation: quality assurance and school improvement. Lincoln was last accredited by NEASC in 2007, and renewed its accreditation at this ten-year juncture.

The self-study measured the school’s performance using a set of fifteen standards, ranging from student experience to health and safety, an exercise in both big-picture thinking and examining the minutiae of departments and programs. This was a terrific opportunity to learn about what we do well as we move forward with our new initiatives. Input from faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumnae drove this year-long experience, which culminated in a visit from a team of faculty and staff from other New England independent schools, led by Harry Lynch, Head of The Newman School in Boston.

Lincoln School is positioned to take full advantage of the accreditation process and plans to engage the school community in responding to the recommendations of the self-study and the visiting committee.