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Strong Leadership
Active and Engaged Family and Community Stakeholders
Commitment to Student Success

March 7 – 9, 2022, Cognia conducted a virtual review of Gainesville City School System to determine organizational effectiveness based on the Cognia Performance Standards. Dr. Mark Quintana led the seven-member team of evaluators who had the opportunity to analyze evidence such as student achievement data and stakeholder surveys, and to conduct interviews with approximately 150 stakeholders, comprised of school and district leaders, certified and classified staff, parents/guardians, students, and community members, to determine the effectiveness of the 31 Performance Standards based on Leadership Capacity, Learning Capacity, and Resource Capacity. The Performance Standards are rated on a four-point scale (1-4), with the score of three being the goal and a four being considered exceptional. GCSS received the highest two scores in all of the standards.

Based on findings of an extensive, objective review of the district’s policies, practices, and culture, the Cognia Engagement Review Team has recommended Gainesville City School System for re-accreditation with commendations for well above average performance as measured by the Cognia Performance Standards.

Cognia is an internationally recognized, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that focuses on continuous improvement and quality education that result in “success for all learners and should be the goal of every institution.” The district was evaluated on 31 Standards within three Domains - Leadership, Learning and Resource Capacity. 

GCSS met or exceeded expectations in all areas
Leadership Standards
Learning Standards
Resource Standards

The districts performance on the three domains are as follows...

Leadership Capacity consists of 11 Standards and measures the fidelity and commitment to the district’s purpose and direction, the effectiveness of governance and leadership to enable the institution to realize its stated objectives, the ability to engage and involve stakeholders in meaningful and productive ways, and the capacity to implement strategies that improve learner and educator performance. GCSS met or exceeded expectations in all Leadership Standards.

Learning Capacity consists of 12 Standards and focuses on the impact of teaching and learning on student achievement and success. GCSS met or exceed expectations in all Learning Standards.

Resource Capacity consists of eight Standards and focuses on the use and distribution of resources to support the stated mission of the institution. GCSS met or exceeded expectations in all Resource Standards.

Cognia uses a scale of 100 to 400 to obtain an IEQ (Index of Education Quality) score to provide information about how a system is performing overall.  

GCSS earned an Index of Education Quality (IEQ) score of 331.71, which is over 50 points higher than the average institution’s rating. GCSS earned an IEQ score of 331.71, which is over 50 points higher than the average institution’s rating and over 53 points higher than our accreditation review conducted in 2017.The average range of all institutions evaluated by Cognia for accreditation in the last five years is 278.34 – 283.33.


  • Gainesville City School System (GCSS) parents and community are active, engaged, and work closely in alignment with the system to best serve the needs of the students in preparation for post-secondary education and employment opportunities.
  • The system’s diverse student population is engaged and committed to their preparation for postsecondary academics and/or a career path.
  • The school board recognizes its roles and responsibilities that permit the experts to manage education while appropriately providing guidance, input, and oversight on behalf of the community at large.
  • The staff is committed and caring to students’ best interests as the center of its teaching and learning practices.
  • The system’s ‘Hub’ is an innovative, full-service, and community-oriented operation that is designed to meet the academic, social-emotional, and physiological needs of system stakeholders
  • The superintendent, a stable leader, continues to lead the system through a period of transition for the makeup of the student body and overall community to one of increased diversity.
  • The system encourages and incentivizes staff to earn an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement to best meet the needs of its student population, which is commendable.