Clayton School Board must still prove itself to SACS



CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - The Clayton County School Board is still not in the clear after learning it is not expected to lose its accreditation.

After learning the good news from the head of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the school board’s interim superintendent sent a memo saying that the board still has to prove itself.

“I want them (SACS) to know that the board is making progress,” interim superintendent Luvenia Jackson said.

Jackson said she wants to reassure parents and the public that the school board is being advised to look forward, not backward, as it responds to a letter of concern from SACS.

Such a letter is considered standard when a school system is looking at district-wide accreditation. Still, the agency noted an issue with board member behavior and influences from outside agencies.

School Board member Charlton Bivens said he wants SACS to call out board members. He said they have learned valuable lessons from 2008, when the district was the first in decades to lose accreditation.

Bivens said he wonders if the passion of the board is misunderstood.

“If we had a lot of little quiet mice on the board, I think that would be a problem. I really do,” Bivens said.

SACS is praising the board for hiring a firm to conduct a national superintendent search.

Board Vice Chairman Mary Baker said, as a parent herself, she is comfortable with the feedback they’re getting.

“As a parent, you want your child to have accreditation. You’re going to be looking at colleges and some colleges take that very seriously,” Baker said.

Parents who have questions and concerns are asked to come to Monday’s school board meeting or to the community meeting at Clayton State Monday night. There they will be able to get answers from the head of SACS, who will be at both meetings.

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