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Sylacauga City School system renews accreditation through Cognia


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Sylacauga City School (SCS) system announced Thursday, April 13, that it passed an accreditation audit through the Cognia group.

SCS goes through the accreditation process every six years to guarantee that its meeting every institutional standard required, and Sylacauga’s school system has gone 75 years with consistent accredited certification.

The SCS accreditation team, led by superintendent Dr. Michele Eller and Dr. Jennifer Rosato, SCS’s Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, applied for Cognia’s review of the system.

Cognia is a non-profit organization that, according to its website, is a “global network of enthusiastic educators” focused on “accreditation and certification, assessment, professional learning, and customized improvement services.

If an accreditation audit done by Cognia receives a score of 300 or better, it is deemed good enough of an institution to meet accreditation.

The SCS received a score of 330.

“Though a lot of hard work goes into the preparation for an accreditation review, that task is made simpler when the school system already is on the right track,” said Dr. Eller. “While policies and plans of action are important, they mean nothing without the dedicated efforts of a great staff, which we have right here at Sylacauga City Schools.”

The results of Cognia’s report showed strengths and weaknesses of the school system.

Positively, the the school was noted by Cognia for the following:

– Promising practices supporting a learning culture
– Research-based practices in place
– Focus on building leadership capacity
– Use of data to guide decision making process
– Great sense of family and community
– Continuously engaged in improvement efforts
– Improvement in student engagement activities

Cognia also suggested that the SCS could improve in areas dealing with:

– Monitor practices of retaining qualified staff and attracting a diverse pool of candidates for future staffing needs
– Consistent procedures to assist students and colleagues in the instruction process
– Engage learners in instructional activities, experiences, and interactions based on their individual needs

According to Dr. Rosato, the accreditation team was comprised of 20 teachers and administrators who met throughout the fall semester.

“The teams had a challenging task and worked very hard to be sure the narratives truly reflected the great work happening in our schools,” Dr. Rosato said.

Cognia’s comprehensive review of every element of public education at SCS reinforces the system’s vision of “Equipping Everyone for Excellence.”

“The results of the Cognia accreditation review certify that SCS is excelling in all areas of the system, from instruction and staff development to utilizing all available funding sources to maintain facilities and provide the highest level of safety and security,” Dr. Eller remarked. “This is where our mission rings true, that in partnership with our community, Sylacauga City Schools encourages, equips, and empowers all students to own their future by providing diverse pathways to an excellent education.”

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