PLEASE READ NOW!
This is an URGENT notice to every local high school council, including charter high school governance council, and PTSA in DeKalb County.
Earlier this year, DeKalb Schools stakeholders and local elected officials asked Superintendent Thurmond and the DeKalb Board of Education to allow every high school in DeKalb to seek dual accreditation, should a local school council and high school community desire to do for its students. The Georgia Accrediting Commission accredits schools throughout Georgia, many of which also have accreditation by SACS.
Prior to making a decision, the Superintendent asked for research of the GAC costs, timelines, standards, and other considerations. This information was provided to him promptly. After a two-hour meeting this week, the Superintendent continues to delay on his decision.
Does SACS permit dual accreditation? Yes! Dozens of precedents already exist in Georgia. Additionally, the AdvancED Accreditation Policies and Procedures for NCA CASI, NWAC, and SACS CASI Accreditation makes no reference to a prohibition on dual accreditation nor does it fall under any of the five guidelines as cause for a school district to lose its accreditation.
The timeline is critical. Unless the dual accreditation process begins NOW, it will not happen before December 2013, when SACS has advised that it will make another determination on whether or not DeKalb remains on probation or loses accreditation entirely.
DeKalb students deserve a safety net. Whether or not the School Board is successful in keeping SACS accreditation, dual accreditation is a win-win for the schools that opt to seek it. While the GAC is not recognized nationally as a regional accrediting agency, it carries considerable weight by admission departments as a state accrediting agency. Parents have talked to admission departments at Ivy League, top tier, and other out of state colleges and universities and have been assured that dual accreditation would definitely help applying students if DeKalb loses SACS accreditation.
The cost is modest, less than $2,000 (community donors can fund the cost). The documentation required for accreditation is already available in each school. Certain criteria, including class sizes that are out of our control are already waived by GAC for schools throughout Georgia.
Superintendent Thurmond must make a decision NOW, allowing DeKalb high schools to pursue dual accreditation.
Email our school board representatives and Superintendent Thurmond: urge them to give our students the safety net they deserve by permitting DeKalb high schools to seek dual accreditation by the Georgia Accrediting Commission.
NOTE below: CORRECTED e-mail address for John Coleman …
Forward this email to friends, neighbors, colleagues, and anyone concerned about accreditation for DeKalb high schools.