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January 26, 2017

The Georgia Department of Education today released the 2016 School Climate Star Ratings for all schools in the Newton County School System. The ratings reflect school climate data from surveys taken by students, teachers and staff, and parents during the 2015-2016 school year. Included in the final calculations are data from the Georgia Student Health Survey 2.0, Georgia School Personnel Survey, and Georgia Parent Survey, as well as student discipline data and attendance records for students, teachers, staff and administrators. 

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 is one measure that helps assess whether a school is perceived to be moving forward.

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.

All schools received star ratings of 1 to 5, 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.

Star rankings are explained below:

'5-star' schools ranked excellent;

'4-star' schools ranked above average;

'3-star' schools ranked average;

'2-star' schools ranked below satisfactory, or

'1-star' schools ranked unsatisfactory

According to the report, the majority of Newton County’s school scored a three or four rating. Each Newton County school’s final score and star rating is listed below:

“Our Newton County teachers and leaders are committed to ensuring that students are taught in environments that are supportive of their needs,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “A majority of our schools received three or four stars and one school posted five stars; however, just like last year, I’m still concerned about the reliability of the calculations used to arrive at the star rating.  We are once again researching a discrepancy with the Liberty Middle School star rating.  In addition to the concern regarding the reliability of the star rating calculations, this data is arriving far too late to be helpful. The 2015-2016 school year ended eight months ago, and, now, we’re only four months away from completing another school year. Receiving this data so late doesn’t help us, and most importantly, it doesn’t help our students. There must be a better way.”

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools, at