Private Schools

In accordance with state law, the School Committee will approve a private school when it is satisfied that the instructional program of the school equals that of the town's public schools in thoroughness, efficiency, and progress made.

Acting reasonably and in good faith in carrying out its statutory responsibilities to approve a private school, the School Committee bears no legal responsibility and/or assumes no liability for any actions of the private school.

The Committee recognizes that many worthwhile contributions are made to this community by parochial and other private schools.  Therefore, it will cooperate with these schools in matters of mutual benefit when law does not expressly prohibit this cooperation.

The private school is on notice that it is required to, or obtain, the following in order to operate:

i) Certificate of Occupancy 
ii) Fire inspection 
iii) Safety inspection 
iv) Elevator inspection, if applicable 
v) Compliance with lead paint poisoning prevention (for children under 6 years old) 
vi) Compliance with other applicable federal and state health and safety


A private school may demonstrate its program is through, efficient and effective through either:

  1. Provision of evidence of accreditation by one or more accrediting organizations recognized by the U. S. Department of Education (http://www.ed.gov/accreditation?src=accred);


2.  Directly providing evidence on the following indicators to the School Committee:

1) Curriculum

The curriculum offered is comprehensive, including but not limited to the following instructional areas:

i) mathematics 
ii) science and technology 
iii) history and social science 
iv) English 
v) foreign languages 

vi) the arts 
vii) physical education 

2) Educational Materials

Textbooks and individual instructional materials, including computers and other technology, are adequate.

3) School Staff

The instruction provided is "thorough and efficient" based on:

i) teacher qualifications 
ii) adequate student/teacher ratio 
iii) regular evaluation of staff 
iv) the school principal reviews criminal offender record information (CORI) and FBI Fingerprinting of current and prospective employees and volunteers, as required by law 

4) Administration

The school has a clearly defined organization that facilitates its objectives.

5) Records

A. The school maintains an adequate system of student records (e.g., attendance, health, discipline, progress reports).

B. The student records are kept in a secure and organized manner that is consistent with federal and state student record laws to the extent applicable.

C. The school maintains and timely provides transcripts in response to requests of students and former students in accordance with G.L. c. 71, § 34A.

D. The school is prepared efficiently to transfer transcripts of all students and former students to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and/or other schools should it cease operation, in accordance with G.L. c. 71, § 34G.

6) Student Services

The school provides adequate pupil personnel services for all students (e.g., health care procedures, guidance and counseling programs, discipline policy).

7) Student Learning Time

The school provides adequate student learning time (length of school year and school day) and hours of instruction in each subject.

8) Student Performance Assessment

The school periodically evaluates students' skills, competencies, and knowledge and documents their progress.

SOURCE:  MASC and “Advisory on Approval of Massachusetts Private Schools
Pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws c. 76, § 1” MA DESE, 10/2/2007.

LEGAL REFS.:  M.G.L. 40:4E71:4871:71D71B:474:4 through 74:7A76:1


Adopted: April 7, 2016