Clayton County Schools to undergo SACS accreditation review

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

A team of 12 evaluators, from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, arrived in Clayton County on Sunday. They will begin the review early Monday morning.

JONESBORO, Ga. - Administrators, board members, and parents with Clayton County Schools are gearing up for a high-stakes accreditation review that is set to begin on Monday.

It will be the district's first five-year review since the district lost accreditation in 2008. Clayton County Schools regained full accreditation in 2011.

"It is as if you were driving down a highway, and a state trooper comes up behind you, you know you aren't doing anything wrong but you are still a little nervous," explained Tony McCrear, who has two children who go to Clayton County Schools. He will be monitoring the visit very closely.

A team of 12 evaluators from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, arrived in Clayton County on Sunday. They will begin the review early Monday morning.

"The next few days are very important and could lead to a decision of their accreditation for the next five years," Dr. Mark Elgart, the director of SACS told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman.

"It is the most high states evaluation that a system will go through," Elgart said.

For 18 months, the school district has been preparing for this crucial visit. Evaluators will interview administrators, board members and parents, and determine whether the district is meeting all accreditation criteria.

In the fall, the district received a warning from SACS that board members were veering off course. But Elgart said they have worked with the district since then.

'"They have done a good job to date of managing those concerns so they don't re-appear the way they did several years ago," Elgart.

"We are pretty confident we will maintain our accreditation. That is our prayer and our hope," McCrear said.

On top of the accreditation visit, students will be undergoing the state administered standardized test in the coming days.

The SACS visit will last three day, and SACS is expected to issue a report with their findings within 30 days.