Norwich Free Academy
|The Norwich Free Academy|
|Type||Independent, Day & Boarding|
|Motto||Tradition & Innovation|
|Number of students||2384|
|Color(s)||Red and white|
Eastern CT ConferenceClass LL
The Norwich Free Academy ("NFA"), founded in 1854 and in operation since 1856, is a coeducational independent school for students between the 9th and 12th grade. Located in Norwich, Connecticut, the Academy serves as the primary high school for Norwich and the surrounding towns of Canterbury, Bozrah, Voluntown, Sprague, Lisbon, Franklin, Preston, and Brooklyn. It was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 2001. The class of 2016 graduated in NFA's 160th year of operation.
Incorporated in 1855 by an act of the Connecticut Legislature, the Academy is an independent school and operates as a privately endowed educational institution that is governed by its Board of Trustees. One of the state's three endowed, independent academies, the Connecticut State Department of Education refers to the Academy as "a privately governed, endowed, regional independent school."
In addition to serving Norwich and surrounding communities, NFA also educates private tuition students. NFA is a member of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools.
In 2017 the NFA administration protested against a Governor of Connecticut Dannel P. Malloy's Senate Bill 786, which requires trustees of any "incorporated or endowed high school or academy" to publicly post each "schedule, agenda and minutes of each meeting". SB 786 also allows for area school districts that send students to NFA to have seats on the NFA board of representatives. It also allows public hearings and reviews by area boards of education of portions of NFA's budget, as well as the auditing the NFA revenues each year.
The bill ultimately was modified; it continued to allow area boards of education to review the NFA budget and hold public hearings and requiring annual auditing, but the requirement that area school boards have representatives on the NFA board was removed. On March 24 the Education Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly approved this revised version. The NFA administration expressed satisfaction over this outcome.
NFA is located at 305 Broadway  across from Park Church and the Chelsea Parade. The 38 acre main campus contains seven buildings that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the most prominent being the Slater Memorial Museum.
Graduation Rate for Class of 2006: 93.6%
State Average: 92.2%
Varsity sport teams
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Track and Field
The oldest high school football rivalry in the United States is between Norwich Free Academy and New London High School. The first meeting between NFA and the Bulkeley School for Boys occurred on May 12, 1875; Bulkeley merged with Chapman Technical High School in 1951 to become New London High School and the rivalry with NFA continued. The games have been noncontinuous, interrupted by World War I and a 2-year hiatus after a brawl in 1951. Some years saw them play against each other more than once a season. The two teams played their 153rd game in November, 2014.
- John-Manuel Andriote (1976) - author and journalist
- Allyn L. Brown (1901) - lawyer, judge, and Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court
- Eric Campbell (2005) - professional baseball player (Hanshin Tigers)
- Andrew Carignan (2004) - former professional baseball player (San Francisco Giants)
- Scott Chiasson (1995) - former professional baseball player
- William J. Evans (1942) - Air Force general; former commander-in-chief of United States Air Forces in Europe
- John H. Fanning, ? - lawyer; member and chairman of the National Labor Relations Board
- Sidney Frank (1938) - businessman
- Henry Jerome (1935) - band leader and record company executive
- Bill Krohn (1976) - professional distance runner
- Wally Lamb (1968) - author (She's Come Undone, I Know This Much Is True)
- Edwin H. Land (1926) - scientist and inventor, co-founder of Polaroid
- Dominic Leone (2009) - professional baseball player (Toronto Blue Jays)
- William J. Mills, ? - jurist and last governor of New Mexico Territory
- Cathy Osten (1973) - Connecticut senator
- Robert J. Papp, Jr. (1970) - Coast Guard admiral; former Commandant of the United States Coast Guard
- Don Pardo (1937) - television announcer (Saturday Night Live)
- Matt Shaughnessy (2005) - professional football player (New Orleans Saints)
- Pete Slosberg (1968) - brewer, founder of Pete's Brewing Company
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