The Columbia County school system goes under the microscope beginning today.
Representatives from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement arrive in the county today to conduct a review of the school system.
Every five years, the SACS council visits school systems to judge whether they are worthy of accreditation.
"It's sort of like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval," Associate School Superintendent Lauren Williams said of accreditation. "It just says we're meeting very high standards of education for children."
In the past, the SACS council judged each school individually. For the first time this year, the council will judge a select group of Georgia school systems as a whole, including Columbia County.
"It's a real compliment to us," Williams said. "They looked around at the school districts in Georgia and choose systems that already have a very good school-improvement process in place."
On Monday, the council will interview Superintendent Tommy Price, district administrators, principals, school board members and community representatives.
The council will visit schools throughout Tuesday.
At a called Wednesday school board meeting, the council will present its findings to the board.
"They'll be giving us their exit report," Williams said. "It will be filled with some commendations as well as some suggestions for improvement, which is what we always want to do."
Possible points of scrutiny include the system's improvement plan, individual school improvement plans and priorities for improvement.
"It puts a little more responsibility back on the system itself to ensure that every school is meeting the standards they need to meet and continuing to improve," Williams said.
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