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Ga. Teacher of the Year to be announced Friday

Ga. Teacher of the Year to be announced Friday

(WXIA) -- The 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year will be announced Friday during a special luncheon.

Georgia State Superintendent Dr. John Barge will reveal the winner at around 2:45 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.

The 10 finalists include:

Nick C. Crowder
Forsyth County Schools
Teaches engineering education at South Forsyth HS

Rhonda Lokey
Cobb County School District
Teaches 6th grade social studies at Campbell MS

Amanda Miliner
Houston County Schools
Teaches 4th grade at Miller ES

Paul D. Mixon
Heard County School District
Teaches journalism and economics at Heard County HS

Michelle Peace
Early County School District
Teaches Spanish at Early County HS

College and Career Readiness: Paulding County

College and Career Readiness: Paulding County

ATLANTA – We now have the latest information on how well Georgia students are performing academically.

The Georgia Department of Education released its latest College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) Monday morning.

The CCRPI measures on a scale from 1-100 how schools are performing. It adds another 10 points to schools with students enrolled in high-level academic courses or with high performing students in certain areas, including special education, those learning English and in high poverty areas.

To make sure there is an "apples to apples" comparison of the scores, the state has revised last year's numbers to make them more in-line with this year's calculations.

The state first released the CCRPI in 2012 as a new statewide accountability system. The release of the scores in May 2013 was considered a "study year." The DOE received feedback from school district and this year revised the CCPRI.

Fights in schools: Paulding County

Fights in schools: Paulding County

(WXIA) -- This week, 11Alive News received a shocking video clip from a viewer. The footage showed a teenage boy being repeatedly punched in the face in a locker room at Parkview High School in Gwinnett County.

WATCH | Teen beaten at school

The video prompted an investigation into reports of violence and fights in Georgia's public schools. The Georgia Department of Education provided 11Alive News with four years' worth of discipline incident reports for every school in the state.

WATCH | 11Alive's Doug Richards investigates violence at school

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:

1 Paulding school named AP Access and Support School

1 Paulding school named AP Access and Support School

HIRAM, Ga. -- Hiram High School was named a 2014 AP Access and Support School by State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

An AP Access and Support School is a school where at least 30 percent of Advanced Placement exams are taken by students who identify as African-American and/or Hispanic. At least 30 percent of the exams taken at an AP Access and Support School earn passing scores of 3 or higher.

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.