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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.

Fulton County's 2013 four-year graduation rate was 75.5 percent.

Alpharetta police substation now in elementary school

Alpharetta police substation now in elementary school

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Alpharetta Elementary has become the first school in Georgia to have a police substation in its school building.

The Alpharetta Police Department will work out of a room at the school. The idea is the brainchild of Officer Phillip Ritchey.

"The idea came after the Newtown, Connecticut shootings," said Ritchey.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary is approaching its one year anniversary later this month.

RELATED | 911 tapes of Sandy Hook tragedy released

Teacher is a 'King' of Connie's Court

Teacher is a 'King' of Connie's Court

ALPHARETTA, Ga -- It's pretty impressive when an elementary school physical education teacher can garner the admiration of a sports legend like the great John Smoltz -- but, Connie Sheets has done just that.

Smoltz praised Sheets' talent early in her career at King's Ridge Christian School, a school he helped to found in 2001.

"He (Smoltz) said Connie could be doing any profession in the country but she chooses to work with young people," said  David Rhodes, Headmaster at King's Ridge.

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.

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:

Holcomb Bridge MS invites 'assisted athletes' to run 5K

Holcomb Bridge MS invites 'assisted athletes' to run 5K

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Holcomb Bridge Middle School's Holcomb Bridge Hustle 5K will be back for the third year next month.

The event has again partnered with the Kyle Pease Foundation to make the race accessible to athletes with disabilities. Competitors in racing wheelchairs are welcome to participate; several volunteers will be available to push them all the way to the finish line.

RELATED | 11Alive's Matt Pearl profiles Kyle Pease

"The Hustle 5K continues to exceed my expectations," Holcomb Bridge Middle principal Joy Schroerlucke said in a statement. "I'm very excited to see the turnout we will have at our third annual event this year."

Race co-chair Mike Buteau said partnering with the Kyle Pease Foundation made the 5K even more special.

Fulton Schools may tighten security

Fulton Schools may tighten security

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- State Bridge Crossing Elementary school was the sort of place where the front doors were unlocked during the day. 

Secretaries in the front office could see out the all glass front and would wave parents into the office to sign in. But that changed after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. 

After that December day, they locked the front doors for good. 

Principal Trey Martin admits it's an imperfect security system.
"We can't speak to anybody. We're just pushing the door and letting them in." 

But that could change very soon. The Fulton County School Board is voting on a measure next week that would use the funds from the education sales tax to place a locked door buzzer entryway system at the county's 100 public schools.