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Liberty schools renew accreditation
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Thirteen schools in Liberty County School System have been recommended for accreditation with quality from the Georgia Accrediting Commission, Executive Director of Special Programs Sonja Duncan announced at the regular Nov. 13 school board meeting.

“Accreditation by GAC has always been a way of recognizing schools with good educational programs,” Duncan said. “Its standards continue to serve as guides for those who want to develop sound educational programs.”

As part of the accreditation process through GAC, Duncan continued, school leaders annually certify that their schools still meet the standards for the current accreditation status. With GAC, the four statuses are non-accredited, provisional, accredited or accredited with quality, Duncan said. In addition, schools must also undergo a visit every five years, and during the visit, a certified GAC consultant reviews documentation related to specific standards, she said. 

“In August and September of this year, our principals and their school leadership teams gathered artifacts to support the GAC standards within their respective grade spans,” Duncan said. “There are grade spans of kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school and pre-k.” 

The elementary principals did double the work, Duncan added. The elementary principals did the standards for both elementary and kindergarten. The consultants visited in October, and reviewed the evidence that was compiled for them. The consultant visited classrooms as well, Duncan said. 

“She observed that our staff was working on ways to improve teaching and learning opportunities for students throughout the district while being cognizant of academic expectations, safety and interventions,” Duncan said. “She was especially complementary of our abundant technology, school maintenance and grounds, school nutrition and transportation, as evidenced by the letter from the consultant.”

All 12 of the schools and the Pre-K program have been recommended for accredited with quality status. The Horizons Learning Center and Liberty College and Career Academy were not eligible, Duncan continued.

The GAC executive board will meet in the spring to officially approve the status, she said. With this most recent visit, LCSS are still fully accredited by two outside accreditation agencies: Georgia Accrediting Commission and AdvancEd.

“The leadership provided by principals to ensure evidence was gathered, organized and presented in a way to showcase all the good things going on in our system was greatly appreciated,” Duncan added.

The schools and central office staff took the opportunity to recognize their staff and students in each school, presenting them with certificates of accomplishment and recognition.

Anesia Sims and Dwight Collins-Vega represented Liberty County High School and the state at the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists in Boston, Chief Academic Officer Patti Crane said. The academy was found on the belief that prospective medical talent must be identified at an early age, Crane continued. These leaders received an official Award of Excellence certifying their successful completion of the academy.

The junior and senior 4H teams competed at a state competition in Land Judging, where students evaluate and make recommendations on the readiness of soil plots, she said. 

“Our junior team placed first in the contest with Makayla Nash as the overall high scorer in the junior division,” Crane said. “Our senior team placed second. Some of the students also participated in the 4H Food Challenge where they worked in teams to create a dish using mystery ingredients and then shared a presentation with the judges about food safety and nutrition. Our two junior teams earned second and third, and our senior team earned fourth place.”

Snelson-Golden Middle School received recognition for being named a Military Flagship School. According to a Georgia Department of Education press release, the Military Flagship School Award recognizes schools “going above and beyond” to provide a supportive environment for military students and families.

“The faculty, staff and administration at Snelson-Golden are excited to be included in the inaugural group of six Georgia schools recognized as Military Flagship Schools,” SGMS principal Roland Van Horn said. “We understand the unique sacrifice military families face and we are proud to offer the extra supports necessary to meet the unique needs of our military families.”

Other groups recognized included the elementary, middle and high school custodians who work behind the scenes to help make the schools run smoothly.

“Your work is greatly appreciated,” Crane said. “It takes the efforts of everyone who works in LCSS to get our students where they need to be so they are College and Career ready when they leave. Our custodians play a vital role in making our schools and buildings ready for students to learn.”

In other school board business, the board approved an out-of-state travel request from Midway Middle School to travel to Hardeville, SC and from the Bradwell Institute Bible Club for a college visit in Pensacola, FL.

On recommendation from Interim Chief Operations Officer Jason Rogers, the board unanimously approved the bid from Norvell Fixtures and Equipment to provide new freezers. Rogers assured the board that previous interactions with Norvell have been positive, and they have previously supplied freezers to LCSS. The bid of $290,426 will be paid out of school nutrition funds, Rogers said. 

The Executive Director of Technology Melissa Roberts presented the CCRPI (College and Career Readiness Performance Index) to the board members. LCSS’s CCRPI score increased from a 72 in 2017 to a 75.3 in 2018, making them number seven in RESA rankings, Roberts said. A complete breakdown of Liberty’s CCRPI scores can be found at

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