This year, the school system is up for review as a quality school system by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Accreditation and School Improvement.
“This shows how all our schools are working in harmony to achieve our shared goals,” said Dr. Carla Cohen, who serves as the school system’s assistant superintendent of educational programs, student support and professional development. “We want to demonstrate how we meet our standards and in many cases how we’ve surpassed them.”
The Cherokee system earned the quality district distinction in 2006. SACS and CASI require re-accreditation every five years.
To retain its accreditation, the school system must demonstrate how it meets SACS’ seven district standards.
Those standards include providing resources and support systems for students, maintaining relationships with parents and community stakeholders, having clear teaching methods, plans for school improvement and effective governance and accountability policies.
The SACS and CASI review team is scheduled to visit the Cherokee County School System from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2.
Meantime, Cohen said, school system officials will be gathering information from across the county, such as student scores of standardized tests, results of the Georgia High School Graduation Test and results of annual parent surveys.
“We are pulling documents to show how well we meet the standards,” Cohen said. “Any time you have a guest coming, you have to prepare for them.”
During their visit, the review team will meet with school system officials, principals, teachers and members of the county Board of Education before making a recommendation on the re-accreditation.
Before the Cherokee County School System earned the quality system distinction, each school in the district applied for accreditation separately.
In the event the school system is not re-granted the quality system distinction, each school will still retain their individual accreditations.
However, Cherokee school board Chairman Rick Steiner said he had no doubts about the school system’s success.
“This is a big thing and we welcome the process,” Steiner said. “I know our system is above par state-wide. We take the standards of SACS and go way beyond it.”