Two years of hard work now boils down to intense scrutiny over the next three days for Clayton County schools.
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Title: Director of Fine Arts and District SACS Chair for Clayton County Schools
Education: Graduate of Florida A&M University; earned leadership certificate from Florida Atlantic University; masters in math education from Nova Southeastern University and educational specialist degree from the University of West Georgia.
Career path: Math teacher and assistant principal in West Palm Beach, Fla.; assistant principal at Jonesboro High School; principal at North Clayton Middle School before assuming current job in May 2012.
Family: 7-year-old son D’Allo, whom she co-parents with her ex-husband, Gabriel Wiley, an assistant principal at a middle school in Henry County.
Aspirations: She’s pursuing a doctorate in school improvement at the University of West Georgia.
What the SACS team will be examining:
The SACS review team visits school districts every five years as part of the normal district accreditation process. In that time, criteria and guidelines are often updated or changed. For example, there will be greater focus on students and teachers in the classroom this year. More than half of the SACS’ requirements are focused on what’s happening in the classroom. Here are some key points the 12-member team will focus on during its April 14-17 visit:
- How teachers use student test results to guide instructions.
- Greater emphasis on student achievement in all academic areas, not just state tests such as the CRCT.
- Greater uniformity among schools in terms of policies, process of improvement and the use of data to improve the schools and district. In the past, there was less structure.
- Greater focus on providing students with an adult advocate. The advocate is someone on staff who serves as a mentor to students helping them with a variety of things ranging from just getting through the school day to planning their school year. The advocate goes beyond the duties of a guidance counselor.
Source: Mark Elgart, president and CEO of AdvancEd, parent company of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Clayton Schools and SACS: A Timeline
November 2007: Several members of the Clayton County school board file complaints with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools citing what they consider to be unethical behavior by fellow board members.
August 2008: SACS revokes accreditation for the Clayton County School District. It is the first school system in 40 years to lose its accreditation. The loss is not due to academics but to a dysfunctional school board, ethics complaints and violations of the state’s open meeting law. Gov. Sonny Perdue removes four school board members, saying they violated their duties.
May 2009: Accreditation is restored on a probationary basis.
August 2011: The Clayton school system celebrates accreditation being fully restored.
January 2012: Reports say board members have been preoccupied with personality clashes, sanctions against fellow board members and other drama.
September 2012: Clayton school Superintendent Ed Heatley receives a “letter of concern” from SACS. The letter questions whether the school board is having issues similar to those that caused the system to lose accreditation in 2008.
April 14-17: A review team of 12 evaluators is slated to visit Clayton schools as part of a regular five-year accreditation review.