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First days of school in metro Atlanta

First days of school in metro Atlanta

GAINESVILLE, 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 Gainesville, the first day of school is Monday, Aug. 12.

Other school start dates throughout north Georgia include:

Thursday, Aug. 1
Decatur City
Paulding County

Friday, Aug. 2
Newton County

Monday, Aug. 5
Cherokee County
Floyd County
Henry County

Tuesday, Aug. 6
Coweta County

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

Reading: 90.98
Math: 75.42
Science: 73.45
Social Studies: 77.7

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." 

50 Ga. students earn Horatio Alger Scholarship

50 Ga. students earn Horatio Alger Scholarship

ATLANTA -- Fifty recent high school graduates have received this year's Horatio Alger Georgia Scholarship.

The $5,000 award is given annually to students who overcome personal obstacles to demonstrate academic strength, dedication to community service and outstanding personal character.

"It is a privilege to play a part in these young people's college education," Horatio Alger Association president and CEO Tony Novelly said in a statement. "They have already shown perseverence and courage in the face of adversity, and with opportunities made available through higher education and our free-enterprise system, there is no limit to the things they may achieve."

The Horatio Alger Association have provided nearly $2 million in scholarships to Georgia high school seniors since 1987.

This year's scholarship recipients from Georgia include:

* Megan L. Bauer
Ridgeland HS, Rossville

* Keith A. Berry
Hebron Christian Academy, Dacula

School is (almost!) out in Hall County

School is (almost!) out in Hall County

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- The last day of school is fast approaching in metro Atlanta, with some districts dismissing as early as this week.

For Hall County Schools, the last day is Thursday, May 23.

Other last days of school in the Atlanta area include:

Thursday, May 16
Barrow County

Friday, May 17
Clarke County

Wednesday, May 22
Atlanta Public Schools (traditional)
Cherokee County
Gwinnett County

Thursday, May 23
Clayton County
Cobb County
Decatur City
DeKalb County
Fulton County
Rockdale County

Friday, May 24
Bartow County
Buford City
Carroll County
Coweta County
Fayette County
Floyd County
Forsyth County
Griffin-Spalding County
Marietta City
Newton County
Paulding County

Ga. Shakespeare partners with 3 universities

Ga. Shakespeare partners with 3 universities

BROOKHAVEN, Ga. -- Georgia Shakespeare, the Oglethorpe University-based theater group, recently announced a partnership with three other north Georgia schools.

The new alliance includes Kennesaw State University and the two schools that make up the Gainesville Theatre Alliance -- Brenau University and the University of North Georgia.

"In 2012, we took a hard look at our operating model and decided that, in order to become truly sustainable, we needed to capitalize on our unique strengths," Georgia Shakespeare managing director Lauren Morris said in a statement.

Georgia Shakespeare will use the new partnership to play up those strengths, including bringing classic stories to life in a modern, relatable way. The newly added universities will also help the company increase ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities, and allow budding performers at the schools to explore the inner workings of a professional theater company.

Thursday SAT prep classes continue

Thursday SAT prep classes continue

HALL COUNTY, Ga. -- The Hall County school system is offering a series of online SAT prep courses through February and early March.

All classes are held Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The goal of the sessions is to prepare high school students for the Mar. 9 SAT. SAT classes are $5 each.

The prep courses continue Feb. 14 with a session on the exam's Writing and Critical Reading sections. A full list of class topics can be found at hallco.org.

To register for the live SAT prep classes, visit hallco.org/satprep. Students will get the option of paying with a PayPal account, and will create a login and password that will allow them to download the classes as podcasts for future use.