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10 north Ga. students chosen for Disney Dreamers Academy

10 north Ga. students chosen for Disney Dreamers Academy

(WXIA) -- Ten high school students from the Atlanta area are among only 100 teens nationwide to be selected for the 2015 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine.

The winners were selected from among nearly 10,000 applicants nationwide. They will travel to Walt Disney World Resort in March to participate in a prestigious educational and mentoring program.

Dreamers, as program participants are called, will learn life skills such as communication techniques and networking, and will explore possible career paths.

Visit disneydreamersacademy.com for more information.

Metro Atlanta's Dreamers include:

DeKalb superintendent among 100 Most Influential Georgians

DeKalb superintendent among 100 Most Influential Georgians

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County School District Superintendent Michael Thurmond has been named to Georgia Trend magazine's latest list of the 100 Most Influential Georgians.

Thurmond has served as superintendent since February 2013. He is the only public schools superintendent to receive the honor.

His recognition in the magazine says:

The former commissioner of labor inherited a mess when he took over leadership of the third-largest school system in Georgia (100,000 students, 14,000 employees and a $1.2 billion budget). He stabilized the troubled district, built a $30 million surplus, improved student achievement and increased graduation rates. Along the way, he has enhanced the reputation as a leader and public education advocate.

DeKalb schools show growth on CCRPI

DeKalb schools show growth on CCRPI

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County's public school students are prepared for life after graduation.

According to the recently released College & Career Ready Performance Index, many of the county's elementary, middle and high schools demonstrated growth over last year.

The county's most improved schools include:

Elementary
* Indian Creek (+22.7 percentage points)
* Briar Vista (+22)
* Pleasantdale (+21.7)
* Chapel Hill (+19)
* Wynbrook (+14)

Middle
* Stephenson (+15.7)
* Columbia (+14.5)
* Salem (+7.8)
* Cedar Grove (+6.7)
* Druid Hills (+6.6)

High
* Towers (+8.1)
* Lakeside (+6.5)
* Lithonia (+6)
* Redan (+3.5)
* Chamblee (+1)

By comparison, Georgia's elementary schools saw a decrease of 5.2 percentage points, the state's middle schools saw a decrease of 1.4, and high school decreased by 3.4 points.

Graduation rates: DeKalb County

Graduation rates: DeKalb County

(WXIA) -- Georgia's 2014 high school graduation rates were released Thursday.

This year's statewide average is 72.5 percent, up slightly from last year's 71.5 percent. It's also the third consecutive increase in the percentage of seniors who graduate from the state's public high schools.

MORE | Ga. graduation rates up this year

DeKalb County's 2014 graduation rate is 62.3 percent. At 100 percent, DeKalb Early College Academy in Stone Mountain and DeKalb School of the Arts in Avondale Estates tied for the county's highest graduation rate.

Other graduation rates in DeKalb County include:

Students invited to Pizza Farm 2014

Students invited to Pizza Farm 2014

FOREST PARK, Ga. -- How do you expose urban youth to Georgia’s agriculture? You open a Pizza Farm!

Fourth and fifth grade students from the Atlanta metropolitan area will learn about Georgia agriculture by making, and eating, pizza at the second annual Pizza Farm event.

County agents with the Cooperative Extension Metro Collaborative of Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb and Clayton counties will lead the event set for Oct. 21-23 at the Georgia State Farmers Market in Forest Park, Ga. The students will learn how dairy, vegetables, grains and meats come together to make the pizza.  

AP exam participation: DeKalb County

AP exam participation: DeKalb 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 DeKalb County, 4,857 students took 7,481 AP exams in 2014, and 2,955 of those exams earned passing scores.

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

Arabia Mountain HS
289 students took 395 exams
114 passing scores

2014 Reward Schools: DeKalb County

2014 Reward Schools: DeKalb 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.

DeKalb 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
* DeKalb PATH Academy Charter 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
* Brockett Elementary School
* Cedar Grove Middle School
* Cross Keys High School
* Huntley Hills Elementary School
* Leadership Preparatory Academy