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Ga. high school graduation rate increases in 2013

Ga. high school graduation rate increases in 2013

(WXIA) -- The public school graduation rate in Georgia continues to climb.

The Georgia Department of Education announced Wednesday that the state's graduation rate was 71.5 percent in 2013 -- almost two points higher than in 2012 and four points above 2011's rate.

Every state uses a U.S. Department of Education-mandated four-year adjusted cohort rate to calculate graduations. It tracks the number of students who graduate from high school within the standard four years.

State superintendent Dr. John Barge said the more rigorous calculation method still shows an increase in Georgia's graduation rate.

"Despite the economic challenges our districts are facing, we have more high school students graduating today than we have had in several years, which is a testament to the hard work of our students and teachers," Barge said in a statement.

Floyd County's 2013 four-year graduation rate was 78 percent.

GED registration begins on new website

GED registration begins on new website

(WXIA) -- Registration for the 2014 General Educational Development tests is now open on the new MyGED website.

The site, located at ged.com, offers study plans, skills assessments and other resources to help adults receive the equivalent of a high school diploma.

The 2014 GED program launches on Jan. 2. It was overhauled to better prepare GED candidates for higher education and the working world, and ultimately allow them to find jobs with higher pay.

The website also features a list of GED testing centers across metro Atlanta.

Shorter to host Feaste of Caroles next week

Shorter to host Feaste of Caroles next week

ROME, Ga. -- Shorter University will kick off the holiday season next week with its annual Feaste of Caroles.

The concert will be held Monday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome. Shorter music education director Dr. Stefanie Cash said the university's men's and women's choruses will participate, as will choirs from Pepperell High School and Garden Lakes Elementary School.

"Feaste of Caroles is a wonderful way to begin the holiday season and is sure to get you in the mood for Christmas," Cash said.

Admission is free with one donation to the Garden Lakes Baptist Food Pantry.

Garden Lakes Baptist Church is located at 2200 Redmond Circle.

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:

Take a look at Shorter's new TV station

Take a look at Shorter's new TV station

ROME, Ga. -- Shorter University recently expanded its broadcast station to include a television production area.

"It allows our students to participate in a wider range of broadcast activities," Shorter communications instructor Matthew LeHew said of the new studio. "In turn, this helps students build their demo reel so they can quickly and effectively move into the jobs they trained for after graduation."

"They will be able to stand in front of the camera, practice reading lines and see how they wrap their heads around pretending a busy production studio is behind them when, in reality, it's a plain green screen," LeHew added. "A video monitor will show them what the broadcast would look like in real time."

An open house for the new television production area will be held Friday, Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is located in the Sheffield-Thompson Building, inside the Bailor Suite.

Trail of Tears expert to speak at Berry

Trail of Tears expert to speak at Berry

ROME, Ga. -- A nationally renowned author and expert on the Trail of Tears will appear at Berry College this week.

Brain Hicks will speak in the school's Krannert Center on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. His talk is free and open to the public.

Hicks is the author of five books, including Toward the Setting Sun: John Ross, the Cherokees and the Trail of Tears. He has been featured on National Public Radio and on a number of television channels, including National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.

In addition to studying the Trail of Tears, Hicks writes for South Carolina's Charleston Post and Courier. He was named the best humor columnist in the Southeast in 2008 by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Slapdash & Sacred to open Wednesday at Shorter

Slapdash & Sacred to open Wednesday at Shorter

ROME, Ga. -- Artist Stephen Watson's new exhibit, "Slapdash & Sacred," opens Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Shorter University's Arnold Art Gallery.

The exhibit reflects both Watson's love for contemporary art and his devotion to Christ, according to the gallery.

"The idea does change through maturation, but I do not alter it beyond recognition of its inception," Watson said of his art. "This is the reason many of my objects are so simple -- my physical processes are subordinate to my mental processes."

Watson earned an MFA from the University of Alabama. The Northport, Ala., resident said he is excited to have his work shown at a school with Christian values.

"The sincerity of my work and message depends upon my continued commitment to serve and be accountable to two communities to which I belong: the Christian community and the visual arts community," he said.