The team wrapped up its scheduled visit to the school district this month and has prepared its exit report to SACS.
According to Clayton County Board of Education Chairwoman Pam Adamson, Ed.D., the report would include the team’s recommendation as to whether the district continues being accreditated for another five years following this investigation, which included interviews with a variety of school stakeholders.
The team visited schools, observed classrooms and, as Adamson said, “got to know Clayton County schools.”
According to Clayton County Public Schools Director of Communications David Waller, the external review team's report, after its findings are presented to the school board, will then be forwarded to SACS with its recommendation regarding continued accreditation of the Clayton County School System.
"SACS will then take the external review team's findings and its recommendaton as to accreditaton into consideration before rendering its final decison within 30 days," he said.
"If SACS's decision is to continue our accreditation, it will be good for five years," Waller said.
Adamson emphasized to the board, Clayton school teachers and administrators, students and parents that the district needs to stand together in solidarity of purpose and commitment to its objectives.
The exit report of the team was scheduled to be given to stockholders and would identify areas of strength as well as any required needed action the team felt the school system needed to work on, Adamson said.
“Let’s stand together Clayton County as our school district strives to obtain the prestigious accomplishment,” Adamson said.
“We have come a long way and are in reach of one of our ultimate goals, district accreditation,” she said.
Last September, the district received a letter of concern from Mark Elgart, Ed.D, president and chief executive officer of AdvancED, which, Adamson said, cited specific factors he wanted to address prior to the district hosting the review team this month.
“The district responded to Dr. Elgart’s concerns in January of 2013 and received his positive and supportive response soon thereafter,” Adamson said.
Clayton County has had a “tumultuous history with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its present organization, AdvancEd for many years, starting in the early 2000s,” Adamson added.
After years of warnings and failed opportunities to comply with its standards, SACS withdrew accreditation from Clayton County Public Schools in 2008.
The district had become, in Adamson’s words, a “swinging door of instability with regular staff turnovers, including leadership at the highest levels.”