DCF investigation finds no signs of abuse at Fisher Hill Elementary School in Orange


One of two state investigations into staff misconduct allegations at an Orange elementary school has been completed.

Superintendent Tari Thomas told 22News that the Department of Children and Families completed their investigation into staff misconduct allegations early this month and they found no abuse or neglect occurred at Fisher Hill Elementary School.

They are still waiting on the Department of Elementary of Secondary Education to complete their investigation.

Thomas said the school’s principal and three other staff members have been on paid administrative leave since the start of the DCF investigation. She said the details of the allegations must remain confidential until the DESE investigation is completed.

“It’s unfortunate because so often families want answers to questions that I can’t share,” Thomas explained. “And it’s frustrating for folks.”

Fisher Hill Elementary School Principal Maureen Donelan told 22News that students’ behavior has gotten far worse since the time she and the other three staff members were placed on paid leave. 

Superintendent Thomas said Fisher Hill is revising safety and trauma trainings as well as conducting an analysis of recess and lunch routines.

Thomas expects the DESE investigation to be completed by the end of January.

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