School district’s accreditation plan recognized

Published 5:00 am Thursday, April 20, 2006

A regional accreditation body recently recognized the BrookhavenSchool District as a “Super System for Quality Schools” for itsefforts to accreditate all of the schools in the district.

“Oftentimes, only the secondary schools are accredited,” saidMarsha Bond, director of Institutional Programs for BrookhavenSchool District. “All elementary, middle and secondary schools inour district are accredited.”

The recognition comes from the Council on Accreditation andSchool Improvement (CASI), a division of the Southern Associationof Colleges and Schools (SACS). In addition to the standardaccreditation process required by the Mississippi State Departmentof Accreditation, the Brookhaven School District has sought outadditional supervision from SACS CASI to raise the standards of thedistrict’s performance.

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District officials say that such dual accreditation is rare inMississippi.

“Only 48 of 152 school districts in Mississippi are duallyaccredited. This speaks to the quality of our district,” saidSuperintendent Lea Barrett. “You can sit in-house and think you aredoing a good job, but it’s real important to haveaccountability.”

Officials also believe the dual accreditation impacts each childpositively.

“I just think our dual accreditation shows that we set ourstandards high,” Bond said, “and when you set your standards high,every child is affected because each child is challenged to meetstandards.”