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Students encouraged to read this summer

Students encouraged to read this summer

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has created a 2014 Summer Reading Challenge for students in all grades.

The program was announced Thursday at Timber Ridge Elementary School in Cobb County. Its goal is to close the achievement gap that widens during the summer months, when children often don't read.

"No student should have to start the school year having fallen behind," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. "That's what we know, and that's what we're committed to preventing, because that loss is preventable."

The challenge encourages students to read for at least 15 to 30 minutes every day. The GDOE outlined suggested summer goals for children based on their school years:

* K-2: 10 books
* 3-5: 8 chapter books
* 6-12: 5 fiction books and 5 nonfiction books

School system wins personalized learning grant

School system wins personalized learning grant

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. -- Henry County Schools recently received a sizable grant to help implement a personalized learning plan and vision.

The grant was awarded in two phases. The first included a $100,000 gift that will allow the district to study successful learning models across the country. That research will help administrators and teachers develop a plan for Henry County.

Six schools will benefit from the second phase. The district's personalized learning plan will be rolled out over the next five years at Hampton High, Hampton Middle, Henry County Middle, Locust Grove Middle, Luella High and Luella Mill. Henry County Schools will use the $313,000 grant to begin implementing the changes during the 2015-16 school year.

Luella ES educator named Gifted Teacher of the Year

Luella ES educator named Gifted Teacher of the Year

LOCUST GROVE, Ga. -- A Luella Elementary School teacher has been named the Georgia Association for Gifted Children's 2014 Gifted Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Cathy Schreiber has taught gifted children for 17 years, and has written or co-authored numerous articles about teaching and reaching such students. She has also presented at more than 20 conferences and workshops.

"Cathy is reliable, dedicated, caring and knows how to keep others upbeat no matter how serious or intense tasks may become on the job," Luella Elementary principal Dr. Carla Montgomery said. "She exemplifies the exceptional qualities that I look for in a teacher."

As this year's Gifted Teacher of the Year, Schreiber received a plaque and a letter of recognition. She was also invited to attend a summer conference on enrichment teaching at the University of Connecticut in July, and was given complimentary registration to the 2014 Georgia Association for Gifted Children Convention.

4 Henry high schools among America's Most Challenging

4 Henry high schools among America's Most Challenging

(WXIA) -- The Washington Post has unveiled its 2014 list of America's Most Challenging High Schools.

The newspaper determines the annual rankings through a ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests a school gives each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Four Henry County schools made the list, which features more than 2,000 high schools across the country. The listed numbers are each school's national ranking.

1575. Ola HS
1659. Eagle's Landing HS
1946. Stockbridge HS
2025. Dutchtown HS

See the full list at washingtonpost.com.

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

(WXIA) -- The U.S. Department of Education recently released its "Year Three" Report for the 12 states participating in the Race to the Top grant initiative.

Educational practices and successes in Georgia were highlighted throughout the report.

"We have taken on some major initiatives and our success is a direct reflection of the collaborative efforts between our department, other education agencies and the hundreds of participating teachers, principals and district leaders around our state," Dr. Susan Andrews, Deputy Superintendent of Race to the Top Implementation in Georgia, said in a release.

"While educational reform work is never easy, we are pleased with the significant progress that our state has made as reflected in this report," Andrews added.

Some highlights from the report include:

* Nearly 300 Georgia teachers were placed in state public schools from alternative certification programs.

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

(WXIA) -- A few seats are still available at Georgia Connections Academy for the 2014-15 school year.

Georgia Connections Academy is a virtual K-12 public school that allows students to learn at their own pace. It is fully accredited and open to all school-age Georgia children.

"We are enrolling 1,000 additional students across all grade levels for the coming academic year," lead principal Heather Robinson said in a release. "We have a waiting list as we open enrollment, so we encourage parents to get their applications in now."

Georgia Connections Academy will hold a number of information sessions across the state for parents who want to know more. Additional enrollment information is available at connectionsacademy.com/georgia-virtual-school.

Upcoming information sessions in the Atlanta area include:

2 Henry schools named AP Merit Schools

2 Henry schools named AP Merit Schools

MCDONOUGH, Ga. -- Two public high schools in Henry County were named 2014 AP Merit Schools by State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

An AP Merit School is a school where at least 20 percent of students take Advanced Placement exams. At least 50 percent of the exams taken at an AP Merit School earn passing scores of 3 or higher.

Ola and Union Grove high schools made this year's list.