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At Thursday night’s regular meeting of the Coffee County Board of Education, Dr. Morris Leis, School Superintendent, announced to the board that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) had issued its accreditation report for the Coffee County School System.
“We received what can best be described as a glowing report in many areas,” said Dr. Leis.
SACS granted the system full accreditation for the next five years.
In particular, Dr. Leis mentioned the area of governance, a particular part of the SACS review that had gotten the school board in trouble several years ago.
“The most glowing report came in governance,” said Dr. Leis.
SACS did make two recommendations for the system: the development of an advocacy program for students and the development of a data management system. The school system has five years to put these two programs in place.
“I’m very proud of our system. Everyone has worked hard to get where we are today,” said board member Mona Moore.
Ronnie Johnson, who was on the board when the system ran afoul of SACS a few years ago, said, “We did something right.”
The board also recognized the participants – both students and employers – of the system’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Internship program. The STEM Internship came from School, Business, and Industry President Scott Smith. The program puts STEM students to work with local businesses and industries to provide real-world training in STEM-related fields. The first year of the program was 2013; 11 students and eight local businesses participated. This year, 21 students interned at 16 local companies. Since the internship wrapped, four more businesses have expressed interest in participating in the program next year.
The local businesses that took part in the STEM Internship are Coats and Clark, the City of Douglas, Thompson Machine, StaffMate, Southwire, South Georgia State College, Premium Waters, Pope Trucking, PCC Airfoils, Optima Chemical Group, Lewis Construction, Coffee Regional Medical Center, the Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Authority, Elixir Industries, Fletcher Oil, and the Coffee County Board of Education.
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