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HCS Earns Highest Marks on Accreditation Renewal

Submission Date: August 20, 2021

Release Date:  For Immediate Release

Contact: J.D. Hardin, 770-957-6601 ext. 01161,

(Release # 0004-08-2021)

HCS Earns Highest Marks on Accreditation Renewal 

HCS Earns Highest Marks on Accreditation Renewal

Process completed in spring of 2021 made official by national accrediting agency Cognia

HENRY COUNTY, GA – Henry County Schools has received official word through Cognia, the global agency responsible for the accreditation of education institutions, that the district has been reaccredited for another five-year period running through June 30, 2026, after having received some of the highest marks possible on the agency’s rating system.

“We are thankful once again to have successfully completed this review and receive so many favorable comments from the team responsible for this extensive and comprehensive look into the operational and educational components of our schools,” said Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis.  “Our board works hard to ensure a high-quality, world-class education for every student while empowering them with exceptional opportunities and access for success on the world stage.”

Certification of the successful reaccreditation process was formally received in July after the process was completed back in March 2021.  The Cognia Global Commission took action at their recent annual meeting June 14-15 to approve the recommendation of the Cognia Engagement Review Team for full reaccreditation.

Key observations and findings from the review team’s visit were shared with the board during the Board of Education study session on May 10.  Dr. Greg Benton, Assistant Superintendent for Policy, Planning, and Systems Improvement shared that Henry County Schools earned high marks from the team responsible for rating the district’s adherence to performance standards, assurances, and policies; quality assurance through internal and engagement reviews; and continuous improvement.

Overall, the district was scored in three domains and 31 total standards.  The domains encompass leadership, learning, and resource capacities.

The review team of eight educators from Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, South Carolina, and Indiana reviewed nearly 150 different samples of evidence relating to the school district’s performance, conducted 131 interviews with various internal and external stakeholders, and utilized over 11,000 student survey responses to support their final report.

Noted strengths of the district according to the review team include:

  • A high-performing district that is grounded in policies and a clear focus on teaching and learning.
  • Values the capacity of teachers and leaders by creating structures of tiered support to improve student performance and organizational effectiveness.
  • Ensures high-learning expectations with an aligned curriculum and clear outcomes.

The 31 standards are rated, from low to high, as insufficient, initiating, improving, and impacting.  Henry County Schools had 24 standards rated at the highest level of impacting and seven standards rated at the next highest level of improving.  And with a final score of 339.52, the district scored 59 points above the average range for Cognia reviews. 

The strong ratings are a reflection of the work of the district since the last visit by the review team, and the improvement in the number of standards receiving the highest ratings comes even during one of the toughest times ever experienced in public education.

Additional notes from the review team revealed their high regard for the success of the school district, the board governance team, the professional motivated staff, excited and engaged students, parental and community support, curriculum structures, support for students served in special education, planning and resource management, and the overall family atmosphere.

Board Vice-Chair Annette Edwards shared her thanks with the district and the public after the release of this information.

“I am well pleased with this report,” said Edwards. “This speaks volumes to the amount of work that this district has done. It’s a good feeling to get this report and know that everyone had a part in this. I want to thank everyone who took part in this to make sure we were prepared for this important process.”

For more information on Henry County Schools, visit