The announcement, elatedly delivered by Schools Superintendent Dr. Darrell Sorrells during Tuesday nights board meeting, drew a standing ovation from the audience and cheers of congratulations from school administration officials.
Sponsored by the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA), the Board of Distinction classification is an award recognizing local boards that have achieved and verified compliance with the GSBA standards, and have distinguished themselves in additional key areas of organizational structure. The Polk County School Board has been working towards earning this distinction since 2005. There are 181 school boards statewide.
In order to become a Board of Distinction, the board met criteria set by GSBA including the implementation of a GSBA governance accountability self-assessment.
This summer, Sorrells received official word from the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) that Polk had met the requirements of becoming a Standard Board. Becoming a
Standard Board is also a requirement of the Board of Distinction classification.
Before being labeled as a standard board, a committee of parents and community leaders met with the local school board to determine if the GSBA requirements had been adopted.
The initial meeting where the committee was given a 17-page summary to review was held on June 15. The committee reviewed the material and concluded that the Polk Board of Education had satisfied all GSBA requirements several weeks later.
The committee determined that the board was functioning properly in several areas, including vision, philosophy and goals; systematic improvement; organizational structure and other key areas of board function, policy and fiscal planning.
The board also conducted formalized superintendent evaluations that incorporated district goals and provided a copy of the boards goal-setting model and a listing of districts goals.
The implementation of technology integration at the school board governance level of the local district is also a requirement to be called a Board of Distinction. As additional requirements, the school board has made meeting agendas available online and created a web link to the local districts policy manual that is posted on the Internet for public access.
Boards of Distinction must also identify the budgeted amount of money that has been targeted for student improvement strategies that define how local, state and federal dollars are being used.
The board of education will be honored for their achievement at the GSBAs annual convention at the Waverly Hotel in Atlanta on Dec. 1.