Atlanta’s Public Schools’ high schools are no longer on accreditation probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and schools, the district reported on Nov. 1.

The system now has “accreditation with advisement” status, meaning the school board has a couple of issues to clear up.

Atlanta Board of Education Chair Brenda J. Muhammad said in a press release the board was given six required actions and SACS rated four completed.

The two uncompleted action items are:

o Develop and implement a long term plan to communicate with and engage stakeholders in the work of the district to achieve the board’s mission for educating the students of Atlanta Public Schools.

o Ensure that the actions and behavior of all board members are aligned with board policies, especially those related to ethics and chain of command, and SACS standards and policies.

“These two items require that we demonstrate sustainability, and that, of course, cannot be done in the short term,” said Muhammad said in the press release. “Aside from that, everything else is complete.”

Atlanta has been working on its accreditation since January.
“It is important to remember that APS high schools remained accredited throughout this process, meaning that district graduates have always been eligible for admission to colleges and universities of their choice throughout the country, as well as for scholarships that require recipients to be graduates of accredited high schools,” Muhammad said in the press release.

Cynthia Briscoe Brown, parent of two APS students and co-President of North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools, said she was pleased by the news.

“Lifting the ‘accredited probation’ status is entirely justified,” Brown said. “We have seen the BOE learn to work with one another and with APS administration to accomplish the shared goal of providing the best possible education for every APS student. We’ve also seen the entire APS community pull together in support of our schools and our children.

Now that SACS has ruled, we can refocus our attention and energies on moving forward for the success of all Atlanta’s children.”

District 4 School Board Member Nancy Meister, “I’m thrilled we worked very hard for this day and I don’t think we could’ve done any better. The two things we have left on advisement are just long term things. It’s just a great day.”

When asked if Atlanta Public Schools can finally move forward past this issue and a school cheating scandal, Meister said, “I think we have. I know we have internally and this presents to the public that we have and we are and we will continue to.”