AdvancED/SACS Accreditation Review
March 28 Meeting
ATLANTA BOARD OF EDUCATION
Meeting on SACS Accreditation Response
March 28, 2011
SUMMARY OF EVENTS
Community Input: The meeting started at 5 p.m. with the monthly Community Input session, in which people who signed up spoke to the Board about the SACS accreditation response for up to three minutes each. Nine community members provided input to the Board during the session, including three APS high school students who stressed the importance for the Board to continue its efforts to resolve the accreditation issues because of the impact the potential loss of accreditation would have on them. A petition was presented by the Step Up Step Down parent organization requesting that the board chair step down. Other community members asked that the board have less redundancy in the decision-making but complimented the board on their progress to date.
Community Engagement Committee Meeting: This was the first meeting of the Community Engagement Committee, (LINK TO MEMBERSHIP) which was developed by the Board in accordance with SACS Required Action #1 to involve the community directly in the SACS accreditation response work. Each member was asked to introduce him or herself and state the specific groups they represent, including business and community organizations. The committee members were provided packets containing information on the APS Project Management Framework and the 6 AdvancED/SACS “Required Actions”. The committee was divided into groups and spent the better part of an hour rotating to six stations setup around the room, where Board members explained the 6 “High-Level Action Plans” that the Board developed for addressing the 6 SACS “Required Actions”. Community members seated in the audience were then invited to join the Community Engagement Committee members in another rotation of the 6 “High-Level Action Plans” stations, where they provided input to Board members and APS staff on the action plans. Community members from each of the six tables then reported out to the entire group the specific community input they had received from community members regarding the action plans. The next scheduled meeting of the Community Engagement Committee is April 25. It will begin with a Community Input session at 5 p.m., followed by the second meeting of the Community Engagement Committee from 6 - 8 p.m. and the board debrief from 8-9 p.m.
Other action: Following the Community Engagement Committee meeting, the Board discussed various ways of communicating the progress being made on the 6 SACS “Required Actions” to students and other groups that may not be prone to visit the district’s Web site (www.atlanta.k12.ga.us), where the SACS accreditation work is updated on at least a weekly basis. Board members also discussed the concept of “Radical Transparency” presented by a member of the community engagement committee, which encompasses the use of all communications avenues in promoting the Board’s SACS accreditation work.
Upcoming meeting: The next Board meeting on the SACS Project work will be held Monday, April 11 from 6 – 9 p.m. A community input session for the superintendent search process will be conducted simultaneously from 6 – 8 p.m., in which the executive search firm will receive the input. The agenda for the regular SACS Project meeting will include a continuation of the work to develop the Board’s Long-Range Communications Plan and an assessment of the work to date regarding the SACS accreditation response. Both sessions will be held at district headquarters.