Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry reassured a crowd of stakeholders that the school system remains accredited.
Perry added he thinks it will continue to remain accredited. At the June 12 school board meeting Perry addressed a larger than normal audience, primarily parents of LCSS students. Perry went over some of the steps the board is taking to complete directives set-forth by AdvancED, the national accreditation agency for the district.
AdvancED notified the school system on May 8, that they were being placed under review primarily as a result of the board’s behavior. Being under review means a system is one step away from losing accreditation.
But Perry said AdvancED is currently reviewing their own processes.
“AdvancED has three levels,” Perry said. “Accreditation, under review and loss of accreditation. And what I can tell you is right now they (AdvancED) are in the process and they’ve realized that they need another step and that is what they are working on now.”
Perry said the reason AdvancED is reviewing its process is due to state law. The law was written after Clayton County lost its accreditation in 2008 and protects school districts from losing accreditation due to the behavior of board members.
“The state board of education is required to have a hearing and determine whether they will make a recommendation to the governor to remove all board members,” Perry said. “That is the safety that the district has before losing accreditation.”
Perry said he has been in contact with officials at the state level and assured the crowd that no one wants to see a school system lose its accreditation.
Perry also reminded the attendees that the board members have started to work on directives and that the LCSS staff, teachers and stakeholders were regarded highly by AdvancED.
“People are panicking…first of all we are not at this level because of academics,” he said. “Our academics in this system is second to none.”
Perry went over some of the directives the board has already completed. He presented some of the goals they intend to complete between now and September.
Perry said some of the goals will be accomplished with newly elected board members to ensure they are being trained to the AdvancED directives and state board standards.
Ironically, the board completed a few of the directives the same day they received notice they were being placed under review.
There are several items that will be taught to the board by the Carl Vinson Institute through web courses and onsite training.
“I want the public to know we have a plan,” Perry said. “It is a very detailed plan and it satisfies everything that AdvancED says we need to do. And we are moving forward with the plan.”
Absent from the meeting were board members Dr. Yvette Keel and Carolyn Smith-Carter.
Both board members said they see no point in wasting the taxpayers’ monies on more training.
Carter said the district has spent $57,000 on training of which the current board has failed to internalize.
Both board members said they don’t plan to attend meetings until they’ve heard back for the state board of education or AdvancED.