Incorporated in 1854, Norwich Free Academy has always operated as a privately endowed secondary school governed by its appointed board of trustees. The campus-like atmosphere, with its unique architectural spaces, accommodates the community and helps develop creativity and exploration for students. NFA’s independent status safeguards traditions and fosters innovative responses to the needs of their students. The rich history, distinctive traditions and independence encourage generous financial support and active participation from trustees and alumni. NFA’s large, culturally diverse population supports rich, broad course offerings, outstanding athletic programs and numerous clubs and activities — all designed to develop the intellect, engage and employ the interest and instill a passion for learning. NFA students become productive and responsible adults. Norwich Free Academy draws strength from independence and balances commitment to excellence with care for each student.
One of three endowed and incorporated academies in the state of Connecticut, NFA serves the city of Norwich and eight surrounding towns: Bozrah, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Franklin, Lisbon, Preston, Sprague, and Voluntown. As a school of choice, NFA accepts students who choose to attend, and by agreement, their sending communities fund tuition. NFA also accepts private tuition students attracted to the school’s unparalleled programs, welcoming community and distinctive campus.
The NFA 42.5-acre campus is located in the city of Norwich in southeastern Connecticut. A majority of the main campus buildings are in Norwich’s Historic District and range in ages from the mid nineteenth century to the early twenty first century. A visitor’s initial impression of NFA is one of the grace and intimacy of a small college campus with generous open, green spaces and buildings. One of the lawns is home to the largest single collection of Japanese cherry trees north of Washington D.C. A satellite campus with 2 buildings on 3 acres is located at 90 Sachem Street.
One of only two secondary schools in the U.S. with a professionally managed art museum on campus, Norwich Free Academy is home to the Slater Memorial Museum, named for the 19th century industrialist and philanthropist John Fox Slater. For more than a century, the Museum has remained true to its mission as an educational resource for the Academy and the community. The Slater Memorial Museum’s relationship with the Norwich Art School has maximized the Academy’s ability to train young artists while contributing to the cultural life of the greater community.
Norwich lies at the confluence of three rivers: the Yantic, the Shetucket, and the Quinebaug which come together to form the Thames River which flows through New London south to Long Island Sound. Legend has it that Norwich is called the Rose of New England because of the city’s rose-petal like appearance when one looks at the hills above the Norwich Harbor.
The Board of Trustees has launched a comprehensive search for the next Superintendent/Head of School of the Norwich Free Academy to begin their responsibilities on July 2023. The next Superintendent/Head will ideally be an individual of outstanding character, whose personal and professional skills match the School’s culture and who will inspire and enable NFA to achieve its vision for the future.