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Schools earn top marks

By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle Schools met one of the highest benchmarks that exist in secondary education and has been recommended by a five-member visiting team for SACS/AdvancED accreditation.
The announcement was followed by loud applause from the estimated 30 school board members, central office staff members and members of a SACS District leadership team that had gathered to hear the review team’s oral report.
Dickens said Hartselle’s accreditation, after review and approval by the AdvancED Commission in Atlanta, Ga. will be for five years and will include all five-city schools under its umbrella. He said a written report of the review will be provided within 30- days and a progress report on recommendations will be required after two years.
As a followup, superintendent Dr, Mike Reed and other school officials will be invited to attend the next annual meetings of SACS in April 2010 where they will be recognized and receive a banner and plaque to commemorate the school system’s accreditation status.
“You are to be commended for choosing to become accredited system-wide as opposed to each school being accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS),” Dickens said.
AdvancED, which was first offered two years ago, is the largest education accrediting organization in the world, representing 31 states and 65 foreign countries.
During their four-day visit the five-member team of educators interviewed more than 150 stakeholders, ranging from the superintendent and school board members to students and their parents.
Dr. Nancy Horton, director of instruction, said the most labor intensive and time-consuming part of the year-long review process was the preparation of a standards assessment document, which was presented to the review team six weeks in advance of their visit.