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Hall, Gainesville schools rated good on climate, finances
State rankings measure learning environment derived from feedback, data
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Click HERE for a link to the full list of Georgia school rankings, CCRPI scores

Local schools’ climate ratings

5 rated schools

Gainesville: New Holland Core Knowledge Academy, Centennial Arts Academy, Gainesville Exploration Academy, Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy

4 rated schools

Hall: C.W. Davis Middle, Martin Elementary, Chestatee High, Sugar Hill Elementary, Chicopee Elementary, Myers Elementary, Spout Springs Elementary, Mount Vernon Elementary, Friendship Elementary, Chestatee Middle, Wauka Mountain Elementary, East Hall Middle, West Hall Middle, North Hall Middle, East Hall High, North Hall High, Flowery Branch Elementary, Oakwood Elementary, Riverbend Elementary, Chestnut Mountain Elementary, Lula Elementary, Sardis Elementary, South Hall Middle, Johnson High, Lyman Hall Elementary, McEver Elementary, Tadmore Elementary

Gainesville: Gainesville Middle, Fair Street International Baccalaureate, Gainesville High

3 rated schools

Hall: Lanier Career Academy, World Language Academy, West Hall High, Flowery Branch High, White Sulphur Elementary, Lanier Elementary

Gainesville: The Academy at Woods Mill

Schools in Gainesville and Hall County are offering their students a safe and inviting environment that’s conducive to learning, according to a rating of “climate” standards released this week by the Georgia Department of Education.

Local schools for the most part rated four stars and several earned the highest five-star rating.

The score is derived from student, teacher and parent survey feedback, along with student discipline data and attendance of students and teachers.

Gainesville Superintendent Wanda Creel credited a team effort for the high climate rating.

“As ‘One Gainesville’ we are each working to inspire, nurture, challenge and prepare our students by providing safe environments where academic, emotional and social growth takes place for everyone,” Creel said.

The state report also rated school districts based on financial efficiency — a score that looked at the average per student expenditure in fiscal year 2014 through FY 2016 — along with College and Career Ready Performance Index scores.

Over the three-year period, Hall County school district spent on average $7,749.17 per student, and was given a 4 rating by the state.

Gainesville school district spent on average $7,982.67 per student over the same time period and received a 3 rating. No district mustered a top score of 5 and only a handful reached a 4.5 rating.

Georgia spent $9,202 per student in 2014. Nationally, $11,009 was spent on public education per student, according to the U.S. Census Annual Survey of School System Finances.

Hall School Superintendent Will Schofield said that only about 18 percent of all school districts have a 4 star or higher rating in financial efficiency.

“This school board has stressed the importance of continually seeking efficiencies while providing a world class education for our boys and girls,” Schofield said.

Gainesville school district officials released a statement underscoring that its financial resources “continue to be focused on meeting the ever-changing needs of our students, while ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used responsibly.”

The district also pointed at having increased its fund balance by more than $5.5 million in the past two budget cycles, a better than AA bond rating, and “clean” annual audit reports to demonstrate that its finances are sound.

Schofield indicated that he anticipated the average costs to rise with additional compensation to teachers and other personnel. He said salary and benefit costs make up 85 percent of expenditures.