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Ga. Connections Academy enrollment opens Mar. 3

Ga. Connections Academy enrollment opens Mar. 3

(WXIA) -- Georgia Connections Academy, a free statewide virtual K-12 school, will begin accepting applications for the 2015-16 school year next month.

Enrollment opens Mar. 3. The school can support 4,000 students; spaces are limited and families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

A free parent information session will be held Tuesday, Mar. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Inn Atlanta-Perimeter Center, which is located at 769 Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs. Teachers and currently enrolled families will answer questions and go over the school's curriculum at the session.

For more information about Georgia Connections Academy, visit connectionsacademy.com.

Ga. Department of Education names Student Advisory Council members

Ga. Department of Education names Student Advisory Council members

(WXIA) -- State School Superintendent Richard Woods has named the 64 young Georgians who make up his 2015 Student Advisory Council.

The council is composed of middle and high school students who meet periodically throughout the school year to discuss the impact of state politics in the classroom.

More than 1,000 students statewide applied to join the council. The members were chosen on a series of essays that focused on public education.

"It is essential, as we work to develop child-focused, classroom-centered policies, to hear directly from students," Woods said. "These students feel the impact of our decisions every day and, if we're going to improve their educational experience, we have to bring them to the table."

The Student Advisory Council will meet Feb. 27, Mar. 11 and Apr. 28 at the Georgia Department of Education office in Atlanta.

Several members are from metro Atlanta, including:

Georgia State, Georgia Perimeter may merge

Georgia State, Georgia Perimeter may merge

ATLANTA -- Georgia State University is poised to become the state of Georgia's largest university.

At the Jan. 6 meeting of the state Board of Regents, Chancellor Hank Huckaby recommended that the board merge Georgia State and Georgia Perimeter College, a move that would create the largest university in the state and one of the largest in the nation.

Georgia State had a fall enrollment of 32,556 and Georgia Perimeter 21,371, for a combined 53,927. That would make the combined school far larger than The University of Georgia, which had a fall enrollment of 35,197.

"The consolidation would greatly improve opportunities for students and expand Georgia State's reach and impact across the metro-Atlanta area and the state," said Georgia State President Mark Becker in a message broadcast to the campus.

The consolidation would leave the University System with 29 institutions.

AP exam participation: Newton County

AP exam participation: Newton County

(WXIA) -- More Georgia high school students are taking -- and passing -- Advanced Placement exams.

Last school year, 89,806 Georgia students took 154,176 AP exams. That's an 8 percent increase in the number of participants and almost a 9 percent increase in the number of tests.

AP exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. Passing scores of 3, 4 or 5 often allow the test-takers to earn college credit.

Georgia's seniors earned 86,075 passing scores on their AP exams in 2014, a 9.6 percent increase over 2013.

English Language and Composition was the state's most popular AP exam, followed by U.S. History and World History.

In Newton County, 485 students took 775 AP exams in 2014, and 323 of those exams earned passing scores.

Here are the AP exam breakdowns for each Newton County public high school:

Alcovy HS
158 students took 263 exams
97 passing scores

2014 SAT scores: Newton County

2014 SAT scores: Newton County

(WXIA) -- Georgia's 2014 SAT scores were released Tuesday morning.

About 77 percent of the state's high school seniors took the test in 2014. Mean scores include:

State of Georgia
Critical Reading: 488
Math: 485
Writing: 472

In Newton County, 576 students took the SAT in 2014. Mean scores include:

Newton County
Critical Reading: 458
Math: 442
Writing: 446

Here are the SAT breakdowns for each Newton County public high school:

Alcovy HS
219 test-takers
Critical Reading: 443
Math: 424
Writing: 431

Eastside HS
184 test-takers
Critical Reading: 482
Math: 468
Writing: 470

Newton HS
173 test-takers
Critical Reading: 452
Math: 438
Writing: 441

2014 Reward Schools: Newton County

2014 Reward Schools: Newton County

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has released its list of 2014 Reward Schools.

Such schools are identified under the state's waiver from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. They are Title I schools that fall into one of two categories.

Newton County's 2014 Reward Schools include:

Highest Performing -- Among the top 5 percent of Georgia's Title I schools; have highest absolute performance from all student groups for at least three years
* Mansfield Elementary School

Highest Progress -- Among the top 10 percent of Georgia's Title I schools; make the most progress in improving performance from all student groups for at least three years
* Rocky Plains Elementary School

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has made free interactive digital textbooks available on its website.

Students, parents and educators are welcome to use the books, which feature games, discussion questions, quizzes and other study elements.

They are available for middle and high school courses in such subjects as language arts, math, science, social studies, electives and several world languages -- Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish.

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said students who have used the digital textbook have had much classroom success with them.

Visit gavirtuallearning.org to access the textbook materials.