Cognia Notes CCSD’s Continued Progress Toward Full Accredited Status

The Clarke County School District has released the findings from the latest Cognia Monitoring Review Report, which indicate continued progress toward full accredited status. The district’s accreditation status remains Accredited Under Review, but Cognia noted that the district and Board of Education have made meaningful strides in initiating the directives identified in its December 2021 site visit.

“I commend the board for working collaboratively in order to build a productive, professional, and visionary board-superintendent team,” said CCSD superintendent Dr. Robbie Hooker. “We have made tremendous progress with only one standard remaining under review and are completely committed to the additional steps needed to return to full accredited status.”

Cognia’s Monitoring Review Team conducted a follow-up virtual site visit Dec. 12-13, 2022. During this visit, the team:

  • held meetings with the superintendent, seven district leadership team members, all nine school board members, and eight district leaders
  • conducted interviews with stakeholders, including seven principals and four parents/community members
  • viewed recorded school board meetings
  • reviewed evidence of improvements documented by CCSD in its written Progress Report.

Cognia’s February 2023 report documents the district’s progress on two Leadership Capacity Standards.

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, reviewing and revising policy, and completing analysis of personality traits to ensure strong teamwork. The team was also complimentary of Dr. Hooker’s work with the board thus far. However, the Cognia team observed that the board “still does not consistently operate in a manner that demonstrates clear knowledge and understanding of their roles and responsibilities” and that the interactions observed by the review team “stifled the move toward making timely decisions that ultimately could impact student achievement.” 

Standard 1.7: Leaders implement operational processes and procedures to ensure organizational effectiveness in support of teaching and learning. The Monitoring Review Team was complimentary of the board’s work to develop and implement a plan to ensure that board committee work does not pose potential violations of other board policies and/or state and federal regulations. Although the review team provided several recommendations for continuing this work, the Cognia rating for Standard 1.7 moved to “Improving.” Because of this, Cognia will not continue to assess this standard in the 2023 review.

“We believe that we are a healthier governance team who respect each other and work diligently to represent our constituents,” said Dr. LaKeisha Gantt, board president. “We take seriously the feedback that we received and will continue to build on our strengths, in preparation for Cognia’s visit (by) August 2023.” 

To read Dr. Gantt’s full statement regarding the 2022 Cognia Monitoring Review Report, click here

The district received its most recent comprehensive Cognia review and accreditation in 2018-19. The accreditation cycle is a five-year period, and CCSD remains accredited through the 2022-23 school year. The status of Accredited Under Review means the district must continue to address the leadership standard identified by the Cognia reviewers.

The Monitoring Review Team complimented the district for its progress and commitment to meeting the accreditation standards of all learners, and the district is expected to demonstrate additional progress regarding Standard 1.5 during a Monitoring Review to be conducted by August 2023. 

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