Most Barrow County schools earned an above average climate rating in 2016.

The Barrow County Board of Education got a look at its 2016 School Climate Star Ratings on Tuesday. The Georgia Department of Education released the ratings last week and every school in the Barrow County School System earned an “average” or higher rating.

Most schools scored “above average” and “excellent” except for Auburn Elementary and Kennedy Elementary, which both scored “average.”

The climate star rating “refers to the quality and character of school life” according to the GADOE.

Its rating is measured considering surveys of students, teachers and parents; student discipline; whether it’s a safe and substance-free learning environment; and attendance.

Schools are ranked between 1-5 stars, with 5 being excellent; 4 being above average; 3 being average; 2 being below satisfactory; and 1 being unsatisfactory.

The district outperformed the state in the percentage of schools scoring in the top categories.

Of the district’s 14 schools, 86 percent scored a 4 or 5, compared to the state average of 55 percent.

Forty-three percent of the district’s schools scored the highest rate, 5, while the state average was 15 percent.

Also at its meeting, the board learned the district received a 4 on its financial efficiency rating. The Financial Efficiency Star Rating considers a school district’s financial efficiency and student performance (based on the CCRPI).

“Specifically, the rating is based on a three-year average of per-pupil spending, which is then associated with the district’s CCRPI score,” according to the GADOE. “Each district receives a rating ranging from one-half star to five stars; a five-star district can be described as having strong academic outcomes and lower levels of expenditures in comparison with other districts.”

The district is one of 19 school systems in the state to receive a 4 or above in both financial efficiency and in climate.

CONSENT AGENDA

Items added to the consent agenda to be voted on at the Feb. 7 meeting are:

•a bid from TechOptics totaling $93,100 for Epson interactive projectors and a Hitachi projector system for Winder Elementary School.

•several policy updates including: changes to the overtime pay policy for classified personnel (to include considerations of maintenance department workers who are often on-call all week); and the replacement of a policy for local school councils (to include more specific regulations for school governance teams).

•a revision to a bid approved last month for Commvault licensing for $46,900.

The low bidder, PCM-G of Chantilly, Va., decided it cannot honor its bid. The bid may be awarded to the second lowest bidder, Insight of Tempe, Ariz., which said it would match PCM-G’s price.

OTHER BUSINESS

Also at its meeting, the board:

•got a report on purchases between $10,000 and $24,999 during the month of January. Most purchases included school bus repairs, except for a Title I purchase of 60 Chromebooks for Kennedy Elementary.

•learned Winder-Barrow High School plans to construct a pavilion near the tennis courts, creek and practice field.

The materials will be donated by Lowe’s grant and the Sims Academy Construction Department will help construct the facility with oversight by the maintenance department.

•heard plans to begin a Newcomer Academy at Sims Academy next year. The program, which will be for English-learner students with low proficiency, would include students from both high schools. Participants will still take some classes at AHS and WBHS. District staff thinks the program would help students who are new to the United States and new to the English language.

•heard of a new guitar techniques class for eighth grade students at Haymon-Morris Middle School.

The class is intended for students who are interested in learning a musical instrument but are not currently enrolled in band or chorus.

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