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19 Gwinnett high schools among America's Most Challenging

19 Gwinnett high schools among America's Most Challenging

(WXIA) -- The Washington Post has unveiled its 2014 list of America's Most Challenging High Schools.

The newspaper determines the annual rankings through a ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests a school gives each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Nineteen Gwinnett County schools made the list, which features more than 2,000 high schools across the country. The listed numbers are each school's national ranking.

Fights in high schools: Gwinnett County

Fights in high schools: Gwinnett County

(WXIA) -- Last 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.

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:

Information sessions for Gwinnett Dual Language Immersion program

Information sessions for Gwinnett Dual Language Immersion program

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Three elementary schools in Gwinnett County will begin offering a Dual Language Immersion program during the 2014-15 school year.

Annistown and Bethesda elementary schools will host English-Spanish programs, while Trip Elementary will have an English-French program.

The program's goal is to better equip students to work in an increasingly global business world, according to the school district.

"Our partners in the business community tell us that Georgia is becoming a destination for international companies, and they need a globally competitive workforce that possesses the world language skills and cultural understanding to be successful in this changing environment," Gwinnett County foreign languages director Jon Valentine said in a release.

11 Gwinnett schools named AP Merit Schools

11 Gwinnett schools named AP Merit Schools

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Eleven public high schools in Gwinnett County were named 2014 AP Merit Schools by State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

An AP Merit School is a school where at least 20 percent of students take Advanced Placement exams. At least 50 percent of the exams taken at an AP Merit School earn passing scores of 3 or higher.

Gwinnett County's schools on the list include:

* Berkmar HS
* Brookwood HS
* Collins Hill HS
* Duluth HS
* Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology
* Mill Creek HS
* Mountain View HS
* Norcross HS
* North Gwinnett HS
* Parkview HS
* Peachtree Ridge HS

Gwinnett schools add 30 minutes to day to make up for snow days

Gwinnett schools add 30 minutes to day to make up for snow days

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- To make up for days missed during recent storms, Gwinnett County Schools announced a plan Monday that includes extending the school day by 30 minutes.

The school system will use its three built-in make-up days: February 17, March 14, and May 22.

The remaining four days will be made up by extending the school day by 30 minutes for 48 days. 

All schools will dismiss a half-hour later than their regular time, from March 3 through May 14. The last day of school will be Thursday, May 22. 

The school will also make adjustments to the tentative graduation schedule. Those changes will be communicated to seniors and their families.

Teachers will work a required staff development day on Friday, May 23 and school leaders will work with teachers on making up the other two staff development days.