Fulton County Schools see sharp increase in School Climate Star ratings

New Fulton County Superintendent Jeff Rose has said school culture is something he’s observing during his first year. (AJC FILE PHOTO)

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New Fulton County Superintendent Jeff Rose has said school culture is something he’s observing during his first year. (AJC FILE PHOTO)

Twenty Fulton County Schools received top scores on state "School Climate Star” ratings, officials said Thursday.

In 2015, only four schools received 5-star ratings, which is an “excellent” rating, according to state school officials.

The ratings released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Education are derived from a variety of sources, including surveys of parents and school staff and discipline and attendance data.A five is the top score, and 312 schools statewide ranked there versus 259 in 2015. Seventy-five schools scored at the bottom, down from 87 the previous year.

“Our schools saw notable improvements from the previous year,” Superintendent Jeff Rose said in a release. “This shows the incredible progress that happens when leadership and staff make a concerted effort to excel and make sure the learning environment is safe and nurturing for students. It also shows the powerful impact of parents and community support.”

In Fulton County, 17 of the 100 rated schools received scores below satisfactory, including two that received 1-star ratings.

Georgia Department of Education officials say a link exists between a positive school climate and grade-level reading.

“The data makes a compelling case: the better a school’s climate, the higher its percentage of students reading on grade level by third grade,” officials said.

In schools with a 1-star rating, approximately 12.7 percent of third-graders score as proficient learner of above on 2016 Georgia Milestones. In 5-star schools, the number is 43.5 percent.

You can find school climate ratings, test scores and more about your school in the Ultimate Atlanta School Guide.