Fred Ward, Superintendent, Lafayette School District was recently notified by the Executive Directors of the Commissions on Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Schools of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) of receiving special recognition to those school districts where all eligible elementary, middle, and secondary schools are accredited. The district is considered a "2002-2003 Super District for Quality Schools," and was congratulated for it's schools accreditation accomplishments and continued success in improving educational opportunities for the young people served."

Ward said, "This could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of the entire staff. I am very proud of our staff and they are to be commended for their accomplishments."

For 2002-2003, there were 512 school districts in the 11 state SACS region that qualified for this recognition. There were 39 school districts in Florida.

SACS accreditation is non-government and voluntary, and it helps educational institutions improve through a systematic process of evaluation that focuses on improving teaching and student learning. SACS accreditation assures not only that an institution meets minimum standards, but also that it demonstrates a commitment to continuously providing quality educational programs.

An alliance between SACS and the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA), which is comprised of the six regional accreditation commissions and several related organizations, as the National Council for Private School Accreditation and the National Study of School Evaluation provides every elementary, middle, and secondary school that holds SACS accreditation the additional benefits of national accreditation and international recognition through CITA.

SACS accreditation ensures benefits to a school and its community, including:

* A mission and goals focused on improving student performance and the school's capacity to improve teaching and learning.

* A collaboratively developed improvement plan that includes methods for measuring student progress and involves key school stakeholders.

* An effective framework that integrates all types of school planning and evaluation requirements.

* Qualified staffing and limited class size.

* Regular review of the school's programs by a team of outside peer professionals.

* Accountability and value for tax dollars spent.

* Regional, National, and International recognition as an accredited school.

Founded in 1895 and headquartered in Decatur, Georgia, SACS is one of six regional accrediting bodies in the United States and as an association is comprised of three Commissions. SACS serves 11 Southern states from Virginia to Texas, as well as American-International schools in Latin America. It accredits more than 13,000 institutions (public, nonpublic, early childhood centers and kindergartens: elementary, middle and high schools; vocational-technical schools, military schools; colleges and universities).

For additional information check the Association's web page at

This Week's Circulars