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119 Ga. schools 'Mix It Up at Lunch' to battle bullying

119 Ga. schools 'Mix It Up at Lunch' to battle bullying

(WXIA) -- More than 100 schools across Georgia will participate in this year's National Mix It Up at Lunch Day.

The annual event is sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and was created in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month. Roughly 6,000 schools nationwide are expected to participate.

"Mix It Up is a positive step that schools can take to help create learning environments where students see each other as individuals and not just as members of a separate group," said Maureen Costello, director of the SPLC's Teaching Tolerance project. "When people step out of their cliques and get to know someone, they realize just how much they have in common."

On National Mix It Up at Lunch Day, students are asked to sit with new friends in the cafeteria. Its goal is to foster understanding and respect among young people.

Participating schools in metro Atlanta include:

Ga. SAT scores hold steady for Class of 2013

Ga. SAT scores hold steady for Class of 2013

ATLANTA -- There was little change in SAT scores between Georgia's Class of 2013 and Class of 2012, the Georgia Department of Education announced Thursday.

About 75 percent of Georgia's high school seniors took the SAT in 2013, compared to 43 percent nationally. Georgia students earned a collective score of 1452 out of 2400 -- the same score as last year. The national average is 1498.

Overall, Georgia's senior increased two points in critical reading and decreased two points in math. The overall writing score stayed the same from 2012 to 2013. About 36 percent of Georgia's test takers met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark.

STEM Education Awards finalists announced

STEM Education Awards finalists announced

ATLANTA -- The Technology Association of Georgia and its Education Collaborative has announced the finalists for this year's Georgia STEM Education Awards.

The finalists were chosen from more than 170 applicants across eight categories.

"Recent studies show that Georgia will need to fill approximately 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018," TAG president and CEO Tino Mantella said in a statement. "The 2013 Georgia STEM Education Awards finalists are helping to prepare the tech-ready workforce to fill these jobs, and we applaud them for standing out as leaders in Georgia's educational community."

The award winners will be announced Sept. 27 at the second annual Georgia STEM Education Awards event in Savannah.

This year's finalists include:

Elementary School
* Brookwood ES (Whitfield)
* Hightower ES (DeKalb)
* Honey Creek ES (Rockdale)
* May Howard ES (Savannah-Chatham)
* Sope Creek ES (Cobb)

Superintendent to visit award-winning Cobb schools

Superintendent to visit award-winning Cobb schools

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Georgia Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Barge will visit three award-winning Cobb County schools in the coming weeks.

Barge will present the schools with their recent state and national honors.

His first stop will be Acworth's Ford Elementary on Monday, Aug. 26. Ford was named a 2013 Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

On Tuesday, Aug. 27, Barge will be at King Springs Elementary in Smyrna, which was named a 2012 School of Excellence.

He will visit another 2012 School of Excellence -- Garrison Mill Elementary in Marietta -- on Friday, Sept. 6.

2012 Ga. Schools of Excellence named

2012 Ga. Schools of Excellence named

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Education has identified the state's 2012 Schools of Excellence.

The annual honor is presented in two categories: Highest Performance and Highest Progress. Fourteen schools made the cut in each area.

"These schools are the epitome of excellence," Georgia School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in a statement. "I offer my congratulations to our 2012 Georgia Schools of Excellence."

Barge added that he plans to visit all 28 schools at some point during the school year.

Metro Atlanta's Schools of Excellence include:

Atlanta Public Schools
* KIPP STRIVE Academy, Southwest Atlanta (Progress)

Bremen City
*Jones ES (Performance)

Clayton County
* Elite Scholars Academy, Morrow (Performance)

Cobb County
* Garrison Mill ES, Marietta (Progress)
* Kennesaw Charter Science and Math Academy (Progress)

Smyrna ES opens

Smyrna ES opens

SMYRNA, Ga. -- Thousands of Cobb County students will begin the 2013-14 school year Wednesday, and about 700 of them have a brand new school to call home.

PHOTOS | Back to school -- add your own!

Smyrna Elementary School has opened its doors for the first time.

The school is located at 1099 Fleming Street and is the first LEED certified school in the Cobb County School District. It serves children in Pre-K through fifth grade.

Learn more about the new school and take a photo tour at cobbcast.cobbk12.org.

Path2College sweepstakes end Aug. 15

Path2College sweepstakes end Aug. 15

ATLANTA -- Georgia's Path2College 529 Plan is making it easier for families to pay for college by holding two scholarship giveaways.

The deadline to enter both contests is Thursday, Aug. 15.

Mitch Seabaugh, director of the Path2College 529 Plan, said the two sweepstakes are designed to encourage families to start saving for college while their children are still very young.

"If 10,000 more Georgia families start saving for college, that's 10,000 more children who will have a head start toward achieving their dream when they graduate from high school," he said in a statement.

Seabaugh added that the sweepstakes also benefit young students because they provide money for schools and libraries.

The first contest -- the 10,000 Reasons to Save Sweepstakes -- will gives $10,529 to two lucky winners: a current Path2College account holder and a non-account holder. The two winners' schools will each receive $10,529.