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Ga. high school graduation rate increases in 2013

Ga. high school graduation rate increases in 2013

(WXIA) -- The public school graduation rate in Georgia continues to climb.

The Georgia Department of Education announced Wednesday that the state's graduation rate was 71.5 percent in 2013 -- almost two points higher than in 2012 and four points above 2011's rate.

Every state uses a U.S. Department of Education-mandated four-year adjusted cohort rate to calculate graduations. It tracks the number of students who graduate from high school within the standard four years.

State superintendent Dr. John Barge said the more rigorous calculation method still shows an increase in Georgia's graduation rate.

"Despite the economic challenges our districts are facing, we have more high school students graduating today than we have had in several years, which is a testament to the hard work of our students and teachers," Barge said in a statement.

Gwinnett County's 2013 four-year graduation rate was 72.7 percent.

GED registration begins on new website

GED registration begins on new website

(WXIA) -- Registration for the 2014 General Educational Development tests is now open on the new MyGED website.

The site, located at ged.com, offers study plans, skills assessments and other resources to help adults receive the equivalent of a high school diploma.

The 2014 GED program launches on Jan. 2. It was overhauled to better prepare GED candidates for higher education and the working world, and ultimately allow them to find jobs with higher pay.

The website also features a list of GED testing centers across metro Atlanta.

Reward Schools: Gwinnett County

Reward Schools: Gwinnett County

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- The Georgia Department of Education has released the 2013 list of Reward Schools throughout the state.

Reward School distinction is given in two categories.

A Highest Performance School is a Title I school, or a low-income school that receives federal funding, with the highest student performance on statewide exams over three years.

High Progress Schools are Title I schools with the most improved performance among all students on statewide exams.

Gwinnett County's 2013 Reward Schools include:

Highest Performance
* Harris ES
* Knight ES
* Lovin ES

High Progress
* Benefield ES
* Lilburn ES
* Meadowcreek ES
* Partee ES

119 Ga. schools 'Mix It Up at Lunch' to battle bullying

119 Ga. schools 'Mix It Up at Lunch' to battle bullying

(WXIA) -- More than 100 schools across Georgia will participate in this year's National Mix It Up at Lunch Day.

The annual event is sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and was created in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month. Roughly 6,000 schools nationwide are expected to participate.

"Mix It Up is a positive step that schools can take to help create learning environments where students see each other as individuals and not just as members of a separate group," said Maureen Costello, director of the SPLC's Teaching Tolerance project. "When people step out of their cliques and get to know someone, they realize just how much they have in common."

On National Mix It Up at Lunch Day, students are asked to sit with new friends in the cafeteria. Its goal is to foster understanding and respect among young people.

Participating schools in metro Atlanta include:

Donation to support Gwinnett's ELL students

Donation to support Gwinnett's ELL students

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- The Wells Fargo Foundation has donated $10,000 to the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund.

The money will be used to support English Language Learner (ELL) students.

All 24 Title I elementary schools in the county will benefit from the donation, according to the GCPS Foundation.

The county plans to use the funds to purchase kits to help teachers reach ELL students. The kits include information and assessment tools that determine benchmarks students must meet throughout the school year.

Learn more about the GCPS Foundation at gcps-foundation.org.

Teacher's humor inspires kids to excel in school

Teacher's humor inspires kids to excel in school

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga - If you spend time in Bill McAuliffe's class at Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology (GSMST), it doesn't take long until you're smiling and laughing, but it's not because the subject matter is silly.

On the contrary, Bill McAuliffe teaches Advanced Placement World History, a tough course.

But, last year, students received an 83% passing rate on the AP History exam. 

McAuliffe teaches with both heart and humor.

His students are his biggest fans.

His students comments about him explain why he's so popular:  "He's amazing. This is the first class where I haven't fallen asleep in"; He's not normal. We're not normal, so it all works together"; He knows when to be serious and teach, but he also knows when to make class fun"; "He makes jokes he has really weird ways of remembering things, but they work."

He's done things from shaving his beard  to wearing crazy T-shirts.

Gwinnett to participate in International Walk to School Day

Gwinnett to participate in International Walk to School Day

LILBURN, Ga. -- Safe Kids Gwinnett has pledged to participate in this year's International Walk to School Day, which will be Wednesday, Oct. 9.

Representatives from the organization will greet students at Camp Creek Elementary School in Lilburn as they walk to classes.

"On International Walk to School Day, parents and caregivers teach and model safe pedestrian behavior," said Tania Diaz with Safe Kids Gwinnett. "Our children learn by mimicking what they see. By walking out with them on International Walk to School Day, we can show children how to walk safely."

Diaz added that walking to school is an excellent way for young people to get daily exercise.

About 250,000 students nationwide participate in International Walk to School Day every year.