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Long schools reaccredited for five years
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Long County School Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters, Long County Board of Education Chairwoman Janet Watford and board member Denis DeLoach attend the boards April 13 meeting in Ludowici. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle

The Long County Board of Education on Monday learned that the school system has been reaccredited for five years.  
Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters said the system received district accreditation from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission. As a result, he said, all schools in school system are nationally recognized as quality schools.   
“District accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school system on the primary goal of improving education in Long County,” Waters said. “The accreditation process involves several components including meeting high-quality standards and engaging in quality assurance through internal and external review. The district’s accreditation is for a five-year term with regular monitoring of progress and reporting.”
The outside review team consisted of educators from Georgia, Kentucky and Alabama, he said. The internal-review process involved system administrators, school administrators, teachers, support staff, students, parents and community members. Waters said the internal and external reviews demonstrate the system’s commitment to excellence and a desire to improve on behalf of Long County students.
Dr. David Barnett, lead evaluator for AdvancED, praised the school system’s efforts in preparing for the review.
“It was obvious to the external review team that a great deal of time and effort had gone into preparing for the visit,” he said. “The evidence provided, coupled with classroom observations, interviews and school visits, provided the team the necessary information needed to complete a comprehensive review. The external review team noted that the Long County Schools Central Office and school-level leadership facilitates the development of a culture of teamwork and caring.”
Waters also told the board that Georgia Milestone testing will take place between April 20 and 24. He said the teachers have been working hard to prepare students for the upcoming test and that it also is evident that the students have been working hard. Waters said the makeup days for the test would be April 27-28.
“This is a big deal, and I want to encourage all of the parents and guardians to make sure that their kids get a good night’s sleep before their tests and also eat a good breakfast,” he said.
Also Monday, the board approved a class-size resolution allowing classes to be larger than recommended by the state. Waters said that as a result of the tough economic times, the waivers in the classes had to be made. He said an example of how the waiver works is that in kindergarten, the recommended class size is 20, but with the waiver, the class could have up to 22 students.
The board also passed the Investing in Educational Excellence, or IE-Squared, resolution that gives the schools more flexibility. Waters said that the system had three options: remain as they currently are, pass a charter-school resolution or adopt the IE-Squared resolution. He said that making the choice it did gives the district more flexibility at the local level, but requires more accountability at the state level.
The board also approved holding a budget workshop at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 29.

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