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March 16, 2015 – The Georgia Department of Education today released its first School Climate Star Ratings. The 2014 ratings are based on survey results and data from the 2013-2014 school year.
School climate refers to the quality and character of school life – the “culture” of a school. A sustainable, positive school climate fosters youth development and student learning, which are essential elements for academic success, career-skill improvement and overall quality of life. The School Climate Star Rating helps determine whether a school is on the right path to school improvement.
“Research has shown us that school climate has a strong impact on student achievement,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “The data used to develop the 2014 Star Ratings proves this once again. If your school has a positive climate, it’s giving students the environment they need to learn. You’ll likely see high achievement there – or a school that’s on the right track toward high achievement.”
Each school in Georgia received a 1-5 star ratings, with five stars representing an excellent school climate, and one star representing a school climate most in need of improvement. School Climate Star Ratings are an informational tool for schools, administrators, and parents; they do not affect the school’s College & Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) score.
Interpretations of the star ratings are below; this information can also be found in the School Climate Law.
'5-star' schools ranked excellent according to the school climate index;
'4-star' schools ranked above average according to the school climate index;
'3-star' schools ranked average according to the school climate index;
'2-star' schools ranked below satisfactory according to the school climate index, or
'1-star' schools ranked unsatisfactory according to the school climate index.
School Climate Star Ratings are required by law; they also serve as a companion to the Department of Early Care and Learning’s Quality Rated program, which includes an assessment of the learning environment.
“Students cannot learn in environments that do not support them,” Superintendent Woods said. “Georgia is committed to measuring the quality of its learning climates, and this aligned approach helps us assess that quality from preschool all the way through 12th grade.”