Educator Reacts to End of SACS Probation

Now that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has taken the Savannah-Chatham school system off probation and placed it on what's called warned status, many are wondering, will it stay that way? It's good news for everyone involved, but teachers are hoping the board continues to work together and not let past mistakes cloud the school system's future.

Teacher and Chatham Association of Educators president Jocelyn Schilling is off for summer vacation, but school issues are not far from her mind. She's somewhat skeptical of Monday's announcement by the school board.

"I'm glad they're off probation, but it's not a cleaned slate," she said.

For Schilling and her fellow educators, last fall's announcement that the school system's SACS accreditation was in jeopardy came as a shock. "We earn that accreditation, and for the actions of our elected officials to get that revoked is really a scary thing."

Schilling says the teachers and staff worked hard to get the SACS accreditation, and they were devastated last fall when that status was threatened in part by school board members. Now the school system is back on track, but educators hope board members now focus on their jobs and not personal issues.

"They need to think about our children first, and not their personal reputations," Schilling said. "Not political aspirations, but what's happening in schools."

Something board members have been working on by attending countless workshops and training sessions with outside consultants.

And educators say they are seeing a difference. "I think that's the one improvement that we've seen, they've begun working as a team more," Schilling told us.

She just hopes it continues so the schools' accreditation status is secured and the school system can move beyond its past errors.

The school board won't know until November if the system's SACS status will be changed from warned.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti,