One Cobb elementary school among the best statewide in attendance

Belmont Hills Elementary  (SARA HOPKINS/SPECIAL)

Belmont Hills Elementary  (SARA HOPKINS/SPECIAL)

State education officials commended Belmont Hills Elementary School in Smyrna as one of the 12 schools with most-improved attendance.

Belmont is one of three elementary schools applauded by the Georgia Department of Education on Wednesday.

"The schools being recognized today are doing an excellent job improving their school climate, increasing student attendance, and working with their communities to eliminate barriers to getting to school," Richard Woods, state school superintendent, said in a news release.

Those schools had the largest percentage declines in the number of students missing 15 or more days of school over the past two school years, the GDOE said.

If an eighth-grader in Georgia misses less than six days of school, their graduation rate is at least 80 percent, said the agency. Missing 15 days or more, that rate drops to 38 percent.

Check out The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Ultimate School Guide for more about test scores and get other useful schools information.

"Reducing chronic absenteeism has a marked impact on students' ability to learn, achieve, and grow," Woods said.