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Cognia awards CCSD full accreditation, closes book on board overreach review

The Clarke County School District has released the findings from the latest Cognia Monitoring Review Report, which indicates that the accreditation status has been amended to Accredited.

“The Board of Education has done the necessary work of building a productive, professional, and visionary body with whom I am proud to partner,“ said Dr. Robbie Hooker, CCSD Superintendent. “I commend them for their commitment to working together to close out this chapter so that we can focus on the important work that needs to be done to support our students, faculty, and staff.”

Cognia’s Monitoring Review Team conducted a follow-up virtual site visit Aug. 29-30. During this visit, the team:

● held meetings and interviews with the superintendent, all nine school board members, and nine district leaders

● conducted interviews with stakeholders, including eight principals and six parent/advisory council members

● reviewed artifacts and viewed board meetings

● reviewed evidence of improvements documented by CCSD in its written Progress Report.

Cognia’s November 2023 report documents the district’s progress on the remaining Leadership Capacity Standard under review following the February 2023 report.

Standard 1.5: The governing authority adheres to a code of ethics and functions within defined roles and responsibilities. The Monitoring Review Team commended the board’s focus on professional learning sessions to enhance their knowledge and understanding of their role as a governing board. The report also commended the board on their progress toward “establishing a culture that embraces trust and mutual respect.” Further, it acknowledged the work done to develop best practices and protocols to enhance Board efficiency and effectiveness. Further, the team was complimentary of Dr. Hooker’s leadership through the development of the district’s new Strategic Plan which solicited input from both internal and external constituents and focuses on three main priorities – Connected Culture, Optimized Talents, and Thriving Students.

“We’ve endured some of the most significant challenges in the recent past. Yet, the Board’s ability to work effectively through difficult experiences while strengthening our effectiveness as a team is commendable,” said Dr. LaKeisha Gantt, Board President. “The vast majority of our most vulnerable constituents are unable to vote, but they depend on a strong governance team - which I’m proud to say we are. We remain committed to continuing our progress and sharpening our focus on improving outcomes for our children.”

Click here for Dr. Gantt’s full statement.

The district received its most recent comprehensive Cognia review and accreditation in 2022-23. The accreditation cycle is a six-year period, and CCSD remains accredited through the 2028-29 school year. This determination of Accreditation closes the book on a special review initiated in 2019 due to complaints of board overreach.

For more information about the Cognia Special Review, click here.

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