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BOE member to be named SACS liaison

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Board of Education will take a stronger role in regaining the district's accreditation.

Saturday, the BOE plans to appoint one of its members as a liaison with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). "We're not saying anyone isn't telling us everything that's going on with the accreditation," said BOE Chairperson Alieka Anderson. "We just want to make sure we are meeting all of the mandates. We want to work hand-in-hand with SACS on this ... I feel like its my job, it's our job, to make sure we're meeting the mandates outlined by SACS."

Anderson said the board wants to make sure its has representation during meetings between the school system and the accrediting agency.

The appointment will come during a called meeting on Saturday, at 8 a.m., in the Professional Learning Center, located at 1087 Battle Creek Road, Jonesboro.

Anderson said the ideal liaison is a board member, who is "an effective communicator," listens well, will work hand-in-hand with SACS, and can make sure information from those meetings is provided to other board members.

The proposed BOE appointment has the blessings of SACS President Mark Elgart.

Board member Pamela Adamson said the board was determined to have a presence during accreditation meetings. Many of the SACS mandates for regaining accreditation were directed at improving the school board. Chief among them are establishing a fully functioning governing body, removing outside influence, reviewing policies, and consulting with a conflict-resolution expert.

"Accreditation is something the board has to be involved in, especially since the former board's actions played a large role in why we lost our accreditation," said Adamson.

SACS will send a review team to the district in April to check on progress being made toward meeting its mandates. If it sees sufficient progress, it could recommend the restoration of the district's accreditation.

During the called meeting, the board will also approve a construction bid for a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school near Lovejoy; amend use of previously approved undesignated funds; hear an update on the strategic planning process, and offer nominees for the district's Citizens Budget Advisory Committee.

After the called meeting, the board will hold a training session on how to conduct a search for a new superintendent, and how to deal with school system's budgets.