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DeKalb Schools to discuss SACS scrutiny

DeKalb Schools to discuss SACS scrutiny

ATLANTA -- The DeKalb County Board of Education will meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss a critical letter from SACS, one that points out a list of "serious issues" in the system and questions the board's general ability to function.

Last Wednesday, Board president Dr. Eugene Walker received a three-page letter from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The letter, also addressed to Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, says SACS has received numerous complaints about board actions that may violate accreditation standards.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards searching for top volunteers

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards searching for top volunteers

ATLANTA -- Georgia students in grades 5-12 are encouraged to apply for the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

The awards program began searching for its next batch of honorees this week. Recipients of the award are young people who have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service.

"We have been recognizing youth volunteers since 1995 and still, every year, we're amazed by the stories of exemplary community service," Prudential chairman and CEO John Strangfeld said in a statement. "We look forward to honoring the top youth volunteers of 2013 for their selflessness, their initiative and their dedication to changing communities for the better."

Ga. School Superintendent looking for student advisors

Ga. School Superintendent looking for student advisors

ATLANTA -- Georgia's Student Advisory Council is now accepting applications for the 2012-13 school year.

The Student Advisory Council reports to State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge to discuss how decisions made at the state level affect students throughout Georgia, according to Georgia Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza.

The council will meet twice during the school year -- Wednesday, Nov. 7 and Wednesday, Mar. 6. Applicants must be available to meet on both days.

All Georgia students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to apply.

"I am looking forward to getting to know a new group of student advisors and discuss how our policies affect them on a daily basis," Barge said in a statement. "We want to make education work for all Georgia's students and hearing directly from them is the best way to ensure that happens."

Tips for Kindergarten Parents

Tips for Kindergarten Parents

Where did the time go? Wasn't it yesterday that you brought the baby home from the hospital? It's back to school time again and for those sending a child to kindergarten, it can be quite emotional... for parents anyway. Kindergarten is a special time and you'll begin seeing pay off on your hard work over the past 5 years. For most this will be the first full school day, the first year to ride the school bus, the first year to have homework, and the first year when peer influences begin to play a role.

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.

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The first day of school for DeKalb County is Monday, Aug. 13. Students in Decatur City Schools will return to the classroom on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Other start dates include:

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.

Appraiser: School board shortfall data released weeks ago

DECATUR, Ga. -- The DeKalb County School System basically lost $12 million in projected revenue in what appeared to be the wink of an eye. But the county agency that crunches the numbers says the school board may have overlooked numbers that had been available for weeks.

The revenue projections are based on data gathered in downtown Decatur at the tax assessor's office. It's no secret that property assessments are down, which is why property tax revenue is down.

But on Monday night, school board officials said they got new data -- just in the previous day or so -- that drastically reduced those projections.

But that data was available weeks ago, says the man behind the data, Dekalb chief appraiser Calvin Hicks.