Some South Georgia schools are not making the grade - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Some South Georgia schools are not making the grade

What's the learning environment at your child's school?

Some South Georgia schools get failing grades while others get top scores.

For the first time, The Georgia Department of Education has given every public school in the state a School Climate Star rating. It's designed to give parents an idea of the culture of schools and whether the schools are on the right path.

"This is the first time this has been delivered. These results have been delivered. I think the principals and the staff at these schools will learn the importance of getting more people involved," R.D. Harter, Dougherty Co. School. 

Schools are ranked on criteria including parent and worker surveys, public health records, and absentee records for students and staff.

"Dr. Mosely has stressed to the principals and the teachers in the county meetings across our system that attendance is very important. As student needs to know the teacher is going to be there. If a student misses a day, it could affect their learning," said Harter.

Southside Middle, Albany High, and Turner Elementary got the lowest possible rating of one. Three Dougherty County schools also got the highest 5-star rating, Robert Cross Middle Magnet and Jackson Heights and West Town Elementary Schools.

"It's important that that we take our climate seriously. Our climate speaks to our school culture and whether or not we're leading class in an organized environment that's controlled and a good environment for learning," said Harter.

The parent of a Robert Cross student told us the numbers are encouraging.

"It makes me feel proud to know that my child is getting top notch, to prepare them for high school," said Derrick Jackson.

And they're also encouraged that the whole system is moving in the right direction.

"That gives you a great feeling to know that the board is on top, and they jumped quickly for things like that," said Harter

And Harter said he knows the parents will help too.

"We try to drive up parent engagement. If a parent is engaged, a student will perform better. A student will attend better. And, will respond better to what we're trying to do in our system," said Harter.

Harter also mentioned the new system is in its early phases.

One positive thing not listed in the new report is that the district had improved by 7 points as a whole in the past two years.

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