Board of Education: RESPONSE TO SACS ANNOUNCEMENT

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Ms. Brenda J. Muhammad, Chair
Atlanta Board of Education
RESPONSE TO SACS ANNOUNCEMENT
October 31, 2011

• We are pleased and we are elated to announce that another milestone has been reached in our quest for excellence.
• Today, we’ve been notified that the SACS monitoring team voted to grant our high schools full accreditation and move the district from Accredited Probation to Accredited on Advisement, the second highest rating given by SACS. This puts us in this same category with DeKalb and Cobb County schools.
• The monitoring team documented that four of the six Required Actions are complete. Required Action 1 (Communications) and Required Action 3 (Transparent Governance and Leadership) were documented as showing significant progress. These two items require that we demonstrate sustainability, and that, of course, cannot be done in the short term. Aside from that, everything else is complete.
• SACS has requested to hear back from us by September 30, 2012 to ensure substantial and sustained progress on the following two action items:
o Develop and implement a long term plan to communicate with and engage stakeholders in the work of the district to achieve the Board’s mission for educating the students of Atlanta Public Schools. The plan should focus on efforts that will regain stakeholders’ trust and confidence in the governance and leadership of Atlanta Public Schools.

o Ensure that the actions and behavior of all board members are aligned with board policies, especially those related to ethics and chain of command, and AdvancED/SACS CASI Accreditation Standards and policies.

• We took this work very seriously and the Atlanta Board of Education has worked diligently and cohesively to reach this great outcome.
• This is another indication that APS is moving forward.
• It is important for the public to keep in mind that APS high schools remained accredited throughout this process, meaning that our graduates have always been eligible for admission to colleges and universities throughout the country and for scholarships that require recipients to be graduates of accredited high schools.

• The Atlanta Board of Education has been focused on resolving the issues that led to the accreditation sanction since January, holding weekly meetings within a structured project framework managed by the district’s Strategy & Development Division. The Board feels that these issues have been resolved through this focused work.
• I want to publicly thank all of the members of the board, Superintendent Davis as well as Dr. Alexis Kirijan and her team for “developing a model process” as described by SACS to get us through this challenging experience.

• The district will continue to partner with SACS as we ensure the sustainability of the results of the Board’s hard work over the past year.

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