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October 29--  The Georgia Department of Education released its annual report on school performance and it's not good news for Sally D. Meadows Elementary School in Vidalia.

The school's performance is 20 points below the state average of 77 including a school climate rating of three stars compared to five stars for the other Vidalia City schools.

Scott Stephens is the school's fourth principal in six years and he told the Vidalia school board the school experienced a personnel turnover rate of 37% from last year to this year, "We've had a large turnover in personnel and a lack of consistency with our personnel.  I believe those are the factors that have contributed to the lack of climate, and you see that in our climate rating.  With the lack of consistency in instruction, we've lost ground compared to the state.  We recognize those as problems and we're working on addressing those."

After being on the job for only a few months, Stephens informed the school board during a meeting at the school that he has a plan to make changes, "I can't just make massive changes in the middle of the school year.  That would create more chaos than it would serve, but I do have a plan in place to start the school year off next year.  There will be some pretty significant changes to make some improvements across the board as far as the school is concerned and very specifically in 4th grade."

The elementary school in our immediate area with the best rating is Toombs Central with 82.5 followed by Lyons Upper Elementary with 75.1 and Montgomery Elementary with 70.9.  Treutlen Elementary has the worst rating at 54.9, a drop of ten points from last year.