Our network

Schools

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

(WXIA) -- This weekend will be a holiday for Georgia families in more ways than one.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended construction-related lane closures on all major interstates and highways within five miles of malls and shopping districts.

This will allow parents and students to enjoy the tax-free shopping weekend without the added stress of road delays.

"The sales tax holiday is an opportunity for Georgians to save a little money during these challenging economic times," GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said. "The department is glad to offer some relief from lane closures as families prepare for school."

11Alive Ways to Save reporter Valerie Hoff has some of the best tax-free weekend deals. Find out how to get the most bang for your buck.

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

(WXIA) -- More than 80,000 Georgia children are enrolled in the state's Pre-K Program for the 2014-15 school year.

Pre-K is open to all 4 year olds, regardless of household income. Assistant commissioner Susan Adams said that it is the first school experience for many children.

"For this reason, we take our roles very seriously, and we work really hard to provide Georgia's children with positive and meaningful experiences," Adams said in a release.

In Pre-K, students study language, literacy and math while making new friends and building foundations for lifelong learning. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning recommends parents visit their children's classrooms in advance to familiarize them with their new surroundings, and dress them in comfortable clothes and shoes every day. If students have a tendency to feel lonely, parents can send them to school with family photos to cheer them up, and blankets or stuffed animals to snuggle at naptime.

19 Cherokee students placed in Reflections contest

19 Cherokee students placed in Reflections contest

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Cherokee County students fared very well in the 2013-14 Reflections contest.

Nineteen students placed first, second or third at the state level in their respective categories, while seven more received honorable mentions.

Three students placed first and received entry into the national competition:

Madeline Gilmer, Etowah HS
Film production (10th grade)

Joseph McCann, River Ridge HS
Musical composition (12th)

Olivia Pettway, Cherokee HS
Photography (11th)

This year's Reflections theme was "Believe, Dream, Inspire." All of Cherokee County's winners will be recognized by Cherokee County Council of PTA President Dawn Stastny later this month.

The rest of the winners include:

Sixes ES names new principal

Sixes ES names new principal

CANTON, Ga. -- Cindy Crews has been named the new principal of Sixes Elementary School in Canton.

Crews has served as assistant principal since 2011, and has worked for the Cherokee County School District since 1992. She replaces Deborah Kelly, who retired at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

"She is an experienced, innovative educator who has brought her passion from the classroom to the front office as an assistant principal, and now will do the same and more as principal," Cherokee County Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo said of Crews.

Crews said she is spending her summer break preparing a vision for the school that she will be proud to share with its teachers. She has also made it her mission to be friendly and open in her new job.

"Students need to know their principal is a regular person, parents feel a down-to-earth principal is more approachable, and teachers and staff need to know their principal makes mistakes too!" she said.

1,300 Cherokee students take summer classes

1,300 Cherokee students take summer classes

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- More than 1,300 Cherokee County School District students took advantage of the summer classes offered in June.

Roughly 300 high school students participated in a credit recovery program to retake the classes they did not pass during the school year. Another 450 high schoolers flocked to Cherokee and Woodstock high schools to earn credits by taking certain classes for the first time.

Canton Elementary School STEM Academy and Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy offered Title I program sessions, which were available to children from low-income families. About 200 elementary and middle school students participated.

Approximately 100 special education students attended a program just for them at Canton Elementary School, and more than 200 rising high school freshmen took advantage of a bridge program for remediation in core subjects.

Top high schools: Cherokee County

Top high schools: Cherokee County

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Cherokee County fared very well on U.S. News and World Report's latest list of Georgia's best high schools.

Four schools -- two each in Canton and Woodstock -- are among the state's 40 best high schools.

GEORGIA'S TOP 20 HIGH SCHOOLS | See the list

Here's how Cherokee County's high schools stack up against others in the state:

Sequoyah High School (Canton)
Ranked No. 26 in Georgia, No. 919 nationally

* 45% of students take AP exams; 34% earn passing scores
* 56% of students proficient in math
* 94% of students proficient in English
* 16:1 student-teacher ratio
* 21% minority enrollment

Etowah High School (Woodstock)
Ranked No. 32 in Georgia, No. 1134 nationally

Cartersville resident to lead Chattahoochee Tech Foundation

Cartersville resident to lead Chattahoochee Tech Foundation

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Chattahoochee Technical College has named Melanie Lambert as head of its Chattahoochee Tech Foundation.

Lambert, a Cartersville resident, is responsible for operating the foundation, which provides scholarships and grants for students, and financial support for programs.

She comes to CTC from Emory University, where she served as senior associate director of stewardship and donor relations. She has also worked in the development office at Reinhardt University, where she earned her communications degree.

For her first order of business, Lambert plans to educate CTC students about the opportunities the foundation offers them.

"When students find out that their scholarships are funds provided by people and businesses in our community, they want to show their gratitude," she said. "I want the foundation to provide them with every opportunity to connect with donors."