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First days of school in metro Atlanta

First days of school in metro Atlanta

CANTON, Ga. -- It's only mid-July, but many metro Atlanta students are preparing to head back to school.

Monday, July 15 is the first day of the 2013-14 school year for children at three Atlanta schools -- Boyd, Centennial Place and Hutchinson elementary schools -- and the Elite Scholars Academy in Clayton County.

RELATED | Year-round school begins Monday

In Cherokee County, the first day of school is Monday, Aug. 5.

Other school start dates throughout north Georgia include:

Thursday, Aug. 1
Decatur City
Paulding County

Friday, Aug. 2
Newton County

Monday, Aug. 5
Floyd County
Henry County
Rockdale County

Tuesday, Aug. 6
Coweta County

Freedom MS principal honored by Rachel's Challenge

Freedom MS principal honored by Rachel's Challenge

CANTON, Ga. -- Freedom Middle School's recently retired principal has been named the Rachel's Challenge Principal of the Year.

Karen Hawley received her honor at this year's Challenge Educational Summit, which was held last weekend at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas.

Rachel's Challenge is an anti-bullying program that promotes kindness and service. It is named for Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School massacre.

Freedom Middle has participated in Rachel's Challenge for the past five years. 11Alive is also heavily involved in the program.

Chattahoochee Tech among top 2-year colleges

Chattahoochee Tech among top 2-year colleges

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Chattahoochee Tech is one of the top 25 two-year colleges in the United States, according to a recent ranking.

The Cobb County-based technical college comes in at No. 25 on the list of 100, which is created every year by Community College Week magazine.

Chattahoochee Tech was scored on its certificates offered and the number of its students who finish their certification programs in one year or less.

The school also ranked No. 44 in the top 50 producers of associate degrees in the area of communications technology, technicians and support services, and No. 19 in the area of sales, merchandising and marketing.

Chattahoochee Tech has campuses in Acworth, Austell, Canton, Dallas, Jasper, Marietta and Woodstock. Learn more at chattahoocheetech.edu.

Cherokee County to launch cyber academy

Cherokee County to launch cyber academy

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cherokee County School District will begin a cyber program for middle and high school students this fall.

The Cherokee Cyber Connection Academy, or C3 Academy, will provide students with learning choices beyond the traditional classroom experience.

"Through the C3 Academy, our students will have yet another academic choice as they advance toward graduation and their future successes," superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo said in a statement.

C3 Academy students can customize their schedules to accommodate their personal interests, such as fine arts or career education courses. Registration is currently open and more information is available at cherokee.k12.ga.us.

Georgia shows improvement on 2013 CRCT

Georgia shows improvement on 2013 CRCT

ATLANTA -- Georgia's results for the 2013 CRCT reveal an improvement over the 2012 results.

The scores, which were released Tuesday morning, show 18 increases, five decreases and seven tests where the passing rates did not change.

"Our results this year on the CRCT show consistent progress and we continue to see many students scoring in the exceeds category," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in a statement. "This is a testament to the great work our teachers are doing to take students to higher levels of learning."

In Cherokee County, the percentages of students who met or exceeded standards on the 2013 CRCT include:

Reading: 96.81
Math: 85.34
Science: 85.82
Social Studies: 88.03

See the full results at 11Alive.com/CRCT.

58 Georgia educators earn "Master Teacher" certification

58 Georgia educators earn "Master Teacher" certification

ATLANTA -- Governor Nathan Deal announced on Tuesday that 58 educators of Georgia schools have earned the "Master Teacher" certification. 

The certification is based on how each teacher demonstrated excellence in student achievement and growth across the 2013 academic year, reported a spokesperson from the Governor's office. 

The "Master Teacher" program began in 2005 with the help of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. A Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) measured classroom performance and academic growth, along with the teachers' professional practice. 

The "Master Teacher" certification lasts seven years, and as long as they qualify, teachers can renew their certificates. 

Kelly Henson, Executive Secretary for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission said, "The 2013 Master Teachers join a group of Georgia's highly skilled and dedicated educators who share a passion for teaching and student learning." 

Seamless Summer feeds Cherokee students

Seamless Summer feeds Cherokee students

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cherokee County School District has joined the USDA's Seamless Summer program to feed children during the summer months.

Seamless Summer provides free breakfasts and lunches to children under age 18. No registration is required.

RELATED | 11Alive helps Smart Lunch, Smart Kid

"We work diligently to ensure we serve meals to as many children as we can through the summer," Cherokee County School District school nutrition supervisor Susan Turner said in a statement. "We take meals out into the community in an attempt to reach as many children as we can."

Cherokee County's Seamless Summer locations include:

Canton ES
June 11-21
Breakfast: 8:05 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.
Lunch: 10:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.