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Nearly 11,000 seniors to graduate in Gwinnett

Nearly 11,000 seniors to graduate in Gwinnett

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- After more than a decade of hard work, 10,854 high school seniors will receive diplomas from Gwinnett County Public Schools this week.

These exemplary students earned more than $148 million in college scholarship money; in fact, 84 percent of them plan to attend college or trade school. More than 2,500 graduated with overall GPAs of 90 or higher, and just over 5,000 took Advanced Placement courses during their four years in high school.

Gwinnett County can boast 15 Gates Millennium Scholars and 14 who received military appointments, including:

U.S. Air Force Academy
* Nestor Mauricio Reyes, Berkmar HS

U.S. Coast Guard Academy
* Taylor Anthony Aguirre, Collins Hill HS

Students encouraged to read this summer

Students encouraged to read this summer

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has created a 2014 Summer Reading Challenge for students in all grades.

The program was announced Thursday at Timber Ridge Elementary School in Cobb County. Its goal is to close the achievement gap that widens during the summer months, when children often don't read.

"No student should have to start the school year having fallen behind," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. "That's what we know, and that's what we're committed to preventing, because that loss is preventable."

The challenge encourages students to read for at least 15 to 30 minutes every day. The GDOE outlined suggested summer goals for children based on their school years:

* K-2: 10 books
* 3-5: 8 chapter books
* 6-12: 5 fiction books and 5 nonfiction books

15 Gwinnett students named Gates Millennium Scholars

15 Gwinnett students named Gates Millennium Scholars

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A record 15 Gwinnett County high school seniors have been named 2014 Gates Millennium Scholars.

The honor is given annually to some of the top minority students in the U.S. It includes a full scholarship to the college of the student's choice and additional funding for graduate work.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation established the Gates Millennium Scholars program in 1999.

Gwinnett County's recipients include:

Oluwatomisin Adelusi
Brookwood HS
Will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Micheline Amisi
Archer HS
Will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Brian Chung
Peachtree Ridge HS
Will attend Dartmouth College

Jonathan Conde-Peraza
Meadowcreek HS
Will attend Emory University

Paula Deroseney
Dacula HS
Will attend Emory University

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: