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SACS presents district with review
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An academic accreditation review team visited Dawson County schools last week and presented the board of education with an overall positive report.


An official with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or SACS, addressed the board at its Feb. 2 work session.


The report was the first of two the school district will receive, according to Jennifer Oliver, vice president for communications for SACS.


“The oral report is just an overview of the team’s observations from the visit,” Oliver said. “The written report will actually contain details of the evidence found to meet accreditation standards.”


According to its Web site, the accreditation process is in place to ensure that districts are meeting national academic standards.


Roger Slaton, school board member, said the feedback from the work session was “excellent news.”


“From the school board standpoint, we’re very appreciative of the people who came and examined the school,” Slaton said. “They did a meticulously good job.”


Superintendent Keith Porter said the news is preliminary, but “their recommendation [to the SACS committee] will be that we receive continuing accreditation.”


“We’re excited about that,” he said.


A positive oral report is generally reflected in the more formal report, a copy of which the school district will receive within the next several days.


“All of our reports always contain required actions for further work, as well as any positive reflections about the school system,” Oliver said.


Porter said continued accreditation is a group effort from all schools in the district.


“Even if one school had not met all standards, then the system would not have been recommended for accreditation,” Porter said. “However, all of our schools, individually, met all standards [in the initial report].”


The SACS team visits school systems every five years to examine the district as a whole to determine how well it works to meet the needs of students.


According to its Web site, SACS is one of six regional accreditation organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.