According to surveys conducted during the 2013-14 school year the climate, or quality and character of school life, of Newton County's middle schools are above average.
The Georgia Department of Education released its first School Climate Star Ratings for all schools in the Newton County School System recently. The ratings reflect school climate data from surveys taken by students, teachers and staff and parents during the 2013-2014 school year. The ratings represent a conglomeration of survey results from the previous school year.
The School Climate Star Rating is one measure that helps assess whether a school is perceived to be moving forward.
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, Newton County’s school scores ranged between 2 and 4 stars, with most schools scoring a three or four. Each Newton County school’s Star Ratings is listed below:
School Star Ranking
East Newton Three
Flint Hill Three
Live Oak Three
Middle Ridge Three
N.C. Theme-Elementary Three
Oak Hill Four
Rocky Plains Four
South Salem Three
West Newton Four
Indian Creek Four
N.C Theme-Middle Three
Veterans Memorial Four
“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. “While there is great speculation regarding the calculations and validity of the Star Rating System, we intend to study the data to make our own assessments.”
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.
“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.”
Woods added, “Students cannot learn in environments that do not support them. 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.”