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10 Fulton high schools among America's Most Challenging

10 Fulton high schools among America's Most Challenging

(WXIA) -- The Washington Post has unveiled its 2014 list of America's Most Challenging High Schools.

The newspaper determines the annual rankings through a ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests a school gives each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Ten Fulton County schools made the list, which features more than 2,000 high schools across the country. The listed numbers are each school's national ranking.

215. Alpharetta HS
232. Riverwood International Charter School
244. Northview HS
263. Milton HS
265. Chattahoochee HS
380. Roswell HS
474. Johns Creek HS
637. North Springs Charter HS
692. Centennial HS
1801. Tri-Cities HS

See the full list at washingtonpost.com.

Fights in high schools: Fulton County

Fights in high schools: Fulton County

(WXIA) -- Last week, 11Alive News received a shocking video clip from a viewer. The footage showed a teenage boy being repeatedly punched in the face in a locker room at Parkview High School in Gwinnett County.

WATCH | Teen beaten at school

The video prompted an investigation into reports of violence and fights in Georgia's public schools. The Georgia Department of Education provided 11Alive News with four years' worth of discipline incident reports for every school in the state.

WATCH | 11Alive's Doug Richards investigates violence at school

Teens of Excellence Prom Closet Program needs formalwear donations for Male and Female Teens

Teens of Excellence Prom Closet Program needs formalwear donations for Male and Female Teens

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- The Housing Authority of Fulton County (HAFC) and the Resident Advisory Board (RAB) want donations of formal wear and accessories for the fifth annual “Teens of Excellence” Prom Closet Program.

HAFC is seeking donations of gently used and clean prom/formal dresses and tuxedoes of all sizes for high school seniors graduating in May 2014. Donations of larger size formal wear are especially needed.

The program seeks to help single parents, grandparents and/or guardians on fixed incomes to provide prom wear without the disappointing choice of saying no to a teen about purchasing formalwear because of limited income.

The formal wear is provided to high school seniors, with priority given to Housing Authority of Fulton County residents. In 2013, more than 250 high school seniors in Fulton County received donated formal clothing to wear to their proms.

As in previous years, items needed for the 2014 Prom Closet include:

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

(WXIA) -- The U.S. Department of Education recently released its "Year Three" Report for the 12 states participating in the Race to the Top grant initiative.

Educational practices and successes in Georgia were highlighted throughout the report.

"We have taken on some major initiatives and our success is a direct reflection of the collaborative efforts between our department, other education agencies and the hundreds of participating teachers, principals and district leaders around our state," Dr. Susan Andrews, Deputy Superintendent of Race to the Top Implementation in Georgia, said in a release.

"While educational reform work is never easy, we are pleased with the significant progress that our state has made as reflected in this report," Andrews added.

Some highlights from the report include:

* Nearly 300 Georgia teachers were placed in state public schools from alternative certification programs.

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

(WXIA) -- A few seats are still available at Georgia Connections Academy for the 2014-15 school year.

Georgia Connections Academy is a virtual K-12 public school that allows students to learn at their own pace. It is fully accredited and open to all school-age Georgia children.

"We are enrolling 1,000 additional students across all grade levels for the coming academic year," lead principal Heather Robinson said in a release. "We have a waiting list as we open enrollment, so we encourage parents to get their applications in now."

Georgia Connections Academy will hold a number of information sessions across the state for parents who want to know more. Additional enrollment information is available at connectionsacademy.com/georgia-virtual-school.

Upcoming information sessions in the Atlanta area include:

10 Fulton schools named AP Merit Schools

10 Fulton schools named AP Merit Schools

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Ten public high schools in Fulton County were named 2014 AP Merit Schools by State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

An AP Merit School is a school where at least 20 percent of students take Advanced Placement exams. At least 50 percent of the exams taken at an AP Merit School earn passing scores of 3 or higher.

Fulton County's schools on the list include:

* Alpharetta HS
* Cambridge HS
* Centennial HS
* Chattahoochee HS
* Johns Creek HS
* Milton HS
* North Springs Charter HS
* Northview HS
* Riverwood International Charter School
* Roswell HS

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.