Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In


 School Climate

The National School Climate Center defines school climate as “the quality and character of school life” that is based on the “patterns of students’, parents’, and school personnel’s experiences of school life.”[1] School climate can be influenced by the norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, instructional practices, and organizational structures within a school. Research has found that schools with positive school climates tend to have better test scores and graduation rates; in contrast, schools with negative school climates as a result of unsafe or hostile environments tend to have lower academic performance.[2]

 A sustainable, positive school climate supports people feeling socially​, emotionally and physically safe.  In a positive school climate people are engaged and respected.  By contrast, disruptive and aggressive behavior such as threats, bullying, teasing and harassment creates a hostile school environment that interferes with academic performance.  A hostile school environment fosters increased absenteeism and truancy because students feel unsafe at school.  If a child is not physically and mentally in attendance, learning cannot take place.

 [1] National School Climate Center. (2014). School Climate. Retrieved from
[2] Thapa, Amrit, Jonathan Cohen, Shawn Guffey, and Ann Higgins-D’Alessandro. 2013. “A Review of School Climate Research.” Review of Educational Research 83(3): 357-385.

School Climate Star Rating

What is the School Climate Star Rating?

In response to the compelling body of research that underscores the importance of school climate, Georgia is the first state in the nation to include school climate as an early indicator in its academic accountability system, the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). State law (O.C.G.A. § 20-14-33) requires the development and use of a "star rating" to address school climate. The School Climate Star Rating is a diagnostic tool to determine if a school is on the right path to school improvement.

How is the School Climate Star Rating calculated?

The School Climate Star Rating is calculated using data from the Georgia Student Health Survey 2.0, Georgia School Personnel Survey, Georgia Parent Survey, student discipline data and attendance records for students, teachers, staff and administrators.  The School Climate Star Rating provides school-level data on the following components:

1) Survey – a measure of student, teacher, and parent perceptions of a school’s climate;

2) Student Discipline – a measure of student discipline using a weighted suspension rate;  

3) Safe and Substance-Free Learning Environment – school discipline incidents and student survey responses on use of illegal substances and the prevalence of violence, bullying, and unsafe incidents within a school; and

4) Attendance – the average daily attendance of teachers, administrators, and staff members and the percentage of students with less than six unexcused absences.

 Each of the components will be given equal value. 

What does the rating mean?

Each school will receive a 1-5 star rating, with five stars representing an excellent school climate, and one star representing a school climate most in need of improvement.  Schools will have access to a comprehensive report which will allow them to identify areas in need of improvement, and plan targeted student interventions to improve achievement for all students.

Where can I find the School Climate Star Ratings?

The first School Climate Star Rating will be reported in the 2014 CCRPI reports.  Click here to view the CCRPI reports.  Click here to view the School Climate Star Rating Data Calculation Guide.  

2015 School Climate Star Ratings


2014 School Climate Star Ratings

Click here to view the 2014 School Climate Star Ratings.

Click here to view the 2014 CCRPI Reports.

Click here to view the School Climate Star Rating Data Calculation Guide.

 School Climate Resources

 School Climate Improvement

 Student Discipline Data

Improving Student Attendance

School Climate Surveys 

Bullying Prevention

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)




​ ​​​​


 Contact Information

Marilyn Watson
Program Manager
Safe and Drug-Free Schools
Phone: (404) 651-7179
Fax: (404) 463-0441


Jeff Hodges
Program Specialist
Safe and Drug-Free Schools
Phone: (404) 463-7891
Fax: (404) 463-0441