Team finishes review of Meridian schools

By By Steve Gillespie/staff writer
Feb. 22, 2002
The chairman of a school accreditation team said Thursday that Kate Griffin Junior High and Meridian High School offer adequate educational programs.
Hugh Dickens, a former public school teacher, principal and superintendent, said that he found "neither school had a breach in standards."
Dickens and others with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools ended a two-day visit Thursday during which they studied Meridian's middle, junior and high schools.
SACS was founded in 1895. Schools accredited through the association are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. All of Meridian public schools are currently accredited by SACS.
The accrediting teams sat in on classes and interviewed teachers, students, administrators and parents. SACS will release an official report sometime within two weeks.
On Thursday, though, the team discussed preliminary findings with school administrators. Those findings were not released and the meetings were closed.
Schools accredited by SACS assess themselves by identifying strengths and weaknesses. They then develop an improvement plan which SACS members were in town to review.
Dickens, who holds a doctorate in school administration, has served with SACS for more than 35 years and chaired the SACS review of Meridian's elementary schools two years ago.
Phillip Daniels, principal of Kate Griffin Junior High School, said the main goals of his school are to increase reading and math scores through intensive tutoring.
On average, he said, those students receive about two hours of tutoring from teachers before during and after school. Daniels said targeted students are also being removed from their elective classes to have additional tutoring time.

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