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When does the school year begin?

When does the school year begin?

ATLANTA -- Summer break is coming to a close for many Atlanta-area students.

In fact, three Atlanta elementary schools -- Boyd, Centennial and Hutchinson -- are already back in session; the year-round schools began the 2012-13 calendar on July 10.

The remainder of metro Atlanta's school districts will open their doors a little later.

RELATED | School tax savings will come late for some parents

The first day of school for Cobb County is Monday, Aug. 13. Students in Marietta City Schools will return to the classroom on Thursday, Aug. 9.

Other start dates include:

Tools 4 School

Tools 4 School

ATLANTA -- Can you believe it’s just a few short weeks before the school bus will be rounding the block again?

Act Together Ministries needs your help to collect school supplies for children in need in five north metro counties: Forsyth, N Fulton, Cobb, Cherokee, and Gwinnett. With your help, we will set up our 4th annual school supply “store” that allows children the opportunity to shop for their own school supplies. The children love picking out their favorite color backpack, selecting pencils with a preferred cartoon character, and getting the exact items listed on their school supply list. Parents in our program contribute $5 toward the event so that they have the honor of taking ownership. No one wants to wait in a hand out line and be labeled “Needy.” In addition to receiving school supplies, the children get haircuts, medical/dental screening, lunch, and enjoy crafts, games and other fun activities.

End-of-Course Test results released

End-of-Course Test results released

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Education released system-level results for End-of-Course Tests (EOCT) Tuesday morning.

Parents and students can now visit the Georgia Department of Education's website to see how students in their school system performed. Results for individual schools will be released by July 31.

EOCT tests are more important than ever because they have replaced the graduation tests that kept many students from getting a diploma.

The tests now count for 20% of a student's final grade, up from 15%.

By 2015, students will have to pass all eight tests, spread over their course of their high school careers, to graduate.

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

ATLANTA -- Georgia Connections Academy has made the grade.

The state's first free virtual charter school received very positive feedback from the parents of its students during the 2011-12 school year.

Almost 90 percent of the parents who responded to a survey gave the school a grade of either A or B, and 92 percent they would recommend GACA to other parents. Eighty-five percent of parents said they were more satisfied with GACA than with their children's previous schools.

About 52 percent of the school's 610 families responded to the survey, according to GACA officials.

"Our parent satisfaction survey really illustrates our commitment to accountability," principal Heather Robinson said in a statement. "We value this parent feedback and use it to help make our virtual school program better. I am very pleased with the results, in particular the positive feedback about our teachers and the curriculum."

School districts cut jobs, boost class sizes

School districts cut jobs, boost class sizes

ATLANTA -- School districts are cutting teachers, enacting furloughs and increasing class sizes to fill budget holes.

RELATED | Local school budgets cuts are the new normal

The Atlanta school board has approved cutting 375 positions and giving employees four furlough days next school year. The district is trying to make up for an expected $47 million shortfall.

In Gwinnett, the budget includes two furlough days and 600 jobs cut from the payroll. It also means two more students per classroom.

As Students End School Year, Boys & Girls Clubs Offers Way to Fight “Summer Brain Drain"

ATLANTA -- This month, millions of kids begin their summer breaks, looking forward to vacations, pool time and carefree days. But studies and experience show a lack of mental stimulation causes them to unlearn much of what they were taught over the school year.  Boys & Girls Clubs across the country offer young people a safe, exciting place to spend their summer months, with staff and resources to fight the effects of this “Summer Brain Drain.”

The reality for today’s kids is that many will find themselves with few structured activities, caregivers who are working all day, and too much unsupervised television, video game and computer time.

President Touts Concerns Over Summer Learning

Also known as “summer learning loss” or the “summer slide,” this issue is a growing problem for American children.  In 2010, President Obama noted, “Students are losing a lot of what they learn during the school year during the summer.”

1 Cobb school among Ga. Alert Schools

1 Cobb school among Ga. Alert Schools

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- One school in Cobb County is among Georgia's Alert Schools for the 2011-2012 school year.

RELATED | Nearly 90 metro Atlanta schools near bottom of barrel

Oakwood Digital Academy was named a Graduation Alert School, the Georgia Department of Education announced Thursday. Graduation Alert Schools are high schools where the subgroup graduation rate falls at or below the third standard deviation compared to the statewide subgroup average.

Alert Schools rankings are a component of the No Child Left Behind Act. Georgia was one of 10 states to receive a NCLB waiver from President Obama earlier this year; the waiver has not yet taken effect.