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February 1--  The Montgomery County school board held a called meeting Wednesday and released the report of a monitoring team from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools which visited in December.

{mosimage}The report noted the school board has completed three of eight actions needed to get the school system off SACS probation.  However, the team reported interviews it conducted with employees claim a "perceived environment of fright, intimidation and vindictiveness still exists."

School board chairwoman Deloris James reacts by saying, "We were disappointed, I'll admit that, but we are pleased with the progress and we'll work to rectify the five required actions that are works in progress."

The SACS team interviewed 48 people ranging from teachers to community members and concluded, "Two distinct factions within the community are working against one another to perpetuate a divisive force that is capable of destroying the remaining positive work of the school system.  If not rectified, the situation could ultimately cause the loss of accreditation for this school system."

"Mr. Rodgers is in the process of working with his staff to come up with suggestions and a game plan to see if we cannot all come together on common ground for the children of Montgomery County.  He's looking at having some group meetings to let these people air our their differences and hopefully we can all come to an agreement," the chairwoman said.

James also denies an allegation in the report that relatives of school board members have been hired.

"This board has not hired anyone who is related to anyone on this board or to Mr. Rodgers.  That bullet in the report is baffling to us and we're not sure where they are coming from," she says.

The school system remains on probation for the rest of this school term and will undergo another review team visit this summer.

You can read the full eleven-page report on the Montgomery County school system's webpage at www.mcboe.net. Click on the Monitoring Visit Report dated December 5-7, 2011 at the bottom of the page.