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Dooly Schools accredited but under review | News

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Dooly Schools accredited but under review

Dooly County received its accreditation in April, but we've learned a national accreditation agency will keep watch over the district anyway. Julie Harrelson, the county's school superintendent plans to move the district forward, and she discussed that plan Tuesday.

"This is the validation of the needs that I saw and so then we started moving forward," Harrelson said.

She has been Dooly County Superintendent since January and is talking about the recommendations from AdvancED. That agency gave them accreditation, but the group still has some concerns.

"We are accredited we do have the AdvancED accreditation," Harrelson said.

There are conditions though, and a time period in which to measure up.

"Accredited under review means you received the accreditation, but it just means instead of waiting five years to come back, we're going to over the next two years. We're going to revisit and just kind of hold your hand and make sure you're on the right track," Harrelson said.

The review report of Dooly schools found the system was plagued with discipline problems, parents felt their students were disadvantaged when going to college, and the district was understaffed. She has been working to address the issues that the agency AdvancED wanted to see corrected.

"The thing is it's not just about filling a position. It's about making sure you have the right people in the right position," Harrelson said.

She said the most important thing is to rebuild the community's trust in the school system.

"Really doing what it takes to put kids first and build that camaraderie and that trust back in the community. It's not a lot of trust between parents and the school right now," Harrelson said.

She said earning that trust back means keeping the focus on the students they serve.

"I'm willing to give 110 percent to make sure that when they leave here, if they don't have what they need, it's not because we didn't do everything that we could to give it to them," Harrelson said.

Dooly County Schools are still also fully accredited by the Georgia Accrediting Commission, but since the AdvancEd accreditation is under review, the State Department of Education is required to hold a hearing to see if the county Board of Education members should be suspended with pay.

The state would then take over control.

That state Board of Education hearing is scheduled for November 5th.


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