In a Sept. 12 letter responding to AdvancED’s charges of stewardship failure on the part of the School Board and board interference in the district’s day-to-day operations, president School Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson listed 16 “systemic changes” she has made, with the school board’s approval, since joining the district a year ago.
“We welcome and embrace the assistance of AdvancED in ensuring we are meeting the standards,” Atkinson wrote.
The district’s response comes two weeks after CEO Dr. Mark Elgart outlined the allegations against the board in an Aug. 28 letter. The district has 30 days to respond.
AdvancED is the parent company of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools(SACS) which accredits the district.
Atkinson said the district has implemented financial and other plans to improve upon all standards and will monitor 2013 budget carefully for compliance.
“We are continuing to make necessary changes to address specific concerns that have been expressed by SACS, Board Members and community members,” she wrote.
Atkinson listed among the changes a forensic audit of the district’s financial records which she initiates, the implementation of a modified zero-based budgeting process, restructuring of the central office – which eliminated 303 personnel, and delivering a new curriculum.
In March, SACS allowed the school system to keep its accreditation on advisement after a review team said that it found some improvement.