Community meeting at Grady High School to discuss SACS probation

Dear Grady Community,

On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) placed the high schools in Atlanta Public Schools on “Accredited Probation.” Please understand that our high schools remain fully accredited at this time. The SACS Report does not affect college acceptances or HOPE and other scholarship eligibility for the Class of 2011.

The SACS Report focuses solely on APS Board of Education governance issues. It is not in any way associated with the strength or quality of the instructional program or the curriculum in Atlanta Public Schools. The SACS Special Review Team found the Board to be in violation of SACS’ standards for governance and leadership. We, the Board, have been given six required actions that must be completed by September 30, 2011. There are two interim dates for reporting progress, and we intend to have ongoing communication with SACS to make certain that all proposed action is in full compliance with the SACS recommendations. The Board is firmly committed to doing anything and everything necessary to ensure that the system retains its accreditation, and to do so in an expedited fashion. 

I encourage you to visit the district website to read the full report and other information provided by SACS.  The web site is www.atlantapublicschools.us. APS will continually update the information on the website. I will also continue to provide you with ongoing information about immediate and long-term corrective actions and solutions.

Two upcoming events should provide some further clarity about the accreditation review and what it means for APS.  The first is the Atlanta Board of Education meeting on Monday, January 24, at which Dr. Mark Elgart, President and CEO of AdvancedED/SACS, will be present to answer Board member questions. This meeting will begin at 2pm at 130 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30303. On January 25th, I, along with Reuben McDaniel (At Large Board Member, District 8), will hold a community meeting to provide information and answer questions about our accreditation status. Brenda Muhammad, District 2 Board Member, has also been invited to attend. Together, we are the three Board of Education members for Grady High School. This community meeting will be on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 7:30pm in the Grady High School Theater located at 929 Charles Allen Drive, Atlanta, GA 30309.  

I am deeply sorry for the undue stress that the Board’s actions have put on the students, parents, teachers, and community of Atlanta Public Schools. We, as a Board, now have the responsibility to regain your trust. We will do that. I look forward to being able to speak to you in person on the 25th. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Cecily Harsch-Kinnane
Atlanta Board of Education, District 3
chkinnane@atlanta.k12.ga.us

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