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District gearing up for accreditation
Teams visit next month
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Forsyth County News

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For more information on Forsyth County Schools’ accreditation process, visit

Eight Forsyth County schools will represent the system when it goes through the accreditation process next month.

Teams of education leaders from accreditation company AdvancED will tour the schools Feb 13 and 14. They will also review the school district’s profile and standards assessment reports.

“We look forward to the opportunity to undergo district accreditation, which is a method of ensuring that the district adheres to the highest possible standards for student learning and system effectiveness,” said Superintendent Buster Evans.

“Our staff members have completed a detailed and purposeful self-assessment in preparation for the review.”

The system first became accredited in 2007. Prior to that, all schools in the system had to be individually accredited.

With the district approach, just a few schools need to go through tours and reviews, instead of all 36.

Forsyth was the second school system in Georgia and one of the first 100 in the nation when it pursued district accreditation in 2007.

Accreditation is important not only for the level of distinction for the system, but for the benefits to students.

The status allows students to transfer credits from one school to another and get greater access to loans, scholarships, colleges and military programs, which require them to come from an accredited institution.

The status must be renewed every five years, which is why the system is gearing up for round two.

During Thursday night’s school board meeting, Associate Superintendent Lissa Pijanowski reviewed the process.

AdvancED will focus on school visits and standards assessments, she said.

Among those standards are: vision and purpose; governance and leadership; teaching and learning; documenting and using results; resources and support systems; stakeholder communication and relationships; and commitment to continuous improvement.

Pijanowski said the teams likely will be impressed with the system’s work, but the highlight will be when they visit the schools.

Those include: Mashburn, Brookwood, Coal Mountain and Midway elementary schools; Lambert and Forsyth Central high schools; and Piney Grove and Liberty middle schools.

“We’re thrilled that they’re going to get to see these eight schools,” she said. “They could have gone to see any of our schools and I think they would have been wowed.

“The schools always make us shine. That’s where the magic happens.”

Pijanowski also noted schools that are not being visited still have a chance to be heard during an interview process.

The AdvancED team will talk with Evans, school board members and principals, as well as students, parents and teachers.

It will announce on Feb. 15 whether the system’s accreditation will be renewed for another five years.