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School district addresses overcrowding

School district addresses overcrowding

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Recent growth in Cherokee County has caused a number of its public schools to become overcrowded.

Although no school is categorized as "critically overcrowded" -- where it exceeds 140 percent of its enrollment capacity -- 13 Cherokee County schools would operate at more than 100 percent capacity if portable classrooms were removed.

Those schools include:

Elementary: Bascomb, Carmel, Free Home, Liberty, Little River

Middle: Creekland, Dean Rusk, E.T. Booth, Mill Creek, Woodstock

High: Cherokee, Sequoyah, Woodstock

(The italicized schools are operating at more than 120 percent capacity.)

Teen places third in international art contest

Teen places third in international art contest

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- A Woodstock High School student placed third in an international competition for budding graphic artists.

Ryan Swiger's artwork was well received in the 2014 International Kepler Art of Discovery Contest. This year's theme revolved around planets that have not yet been discovered.

Thousands of students from around the world entered the contest.

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has made free interactive digital textbooks available on its website.

Students, parents and educators are welcome to use the books, which feature games, discussion questions, quizzes and other study elements.

They are available for middle and high school courses in such subjects as language arts, math, science, social studies, electives and several world languages -- Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish.

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said students who have used the digital textbook have had much classroom success with them.

Visit gavirtuallearning.org to access the textbook materials.

3 Cherokee students attend Federal Service Language Academy

3 Cherokee students attend Federal Service Language Academy

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Three Cherokee County teens were invited to participate in the Federal Service Language Academy at the University of North Georgia over the summer.

The prestigious program, which is endorsed by the Georgia Department of Education, combines language immersion, fitness and federal service advisement. It offers tracks in a number of languages, including Arabic, Chinese, German, Korean and Russian.

Cherokee County's attendees include Julia Kochansky (Cherokee High), Gianna Samms (Etowah High) and Christopher Simmons (Sequoyah High).

Learn more about the academy at ung.edu.

Back to school: Free and reduced-price lunch guidelines

Back to school: Free and reduced-price lunch guidelines

(WXIA) -- Thousands of Georgia students return to the classroom this week, and many of them meet the requirements for free and reduced-price meals during the school day.

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"It is important to provide our students with healthy, nutritious meals to help improve their chances of success and increase their learning opportunities," Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Director Nancy Rice said in a statement. "Research indicates that eating habits affect learning. We want to ensure all our children are well nourished and ready to learn."

Families that qualify for free and reduced-price lunch will get applications from their children's schools.

Students can receive the meals if:

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

(WXIA) -- This weekend will be a holiday for Georgia families in more ways than one.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended construction-related lane closures on all major interstates and highways within five miles of malls and shopping districts.

This will allow parents and students to enjoy the tax-free shopping weekend without the added stress of road delays.

"The sales tax holiday is an opportunity for Georgians to save a little money during these challenging economic times," GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said. "The department is glad to offer some relief from lane closures as families prepare for school."

11Alive Ways to Save reporter Valerie Hoff has some of the best tax-free weekend deals. Find out how to get the most bang for your buck.

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

(WXIA) -- More than 80,000 Georgia children are enrolled in the state's Pre-K Program for the 2014-15 school year.

Pre-K is open to all 4 year olds, regardless of household income. Assistant commissioner Susan Adams said that it is the first school experience for many children.

"For this reason, we take our roles very seriously, and we work really hard to provide Georgia's children with positive and meaningful experiences," Adams said in a release.

In Pre-K, students study language, literacy and math while making new friends and building foundations for lifelong learning. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning recommends parents visit their children's classrooms in advance to familiarize them with their new surroundings, and dress them in comfortable clothes and shoes every day. If students have a tendency to feel lonely, parents can send them to school with family photos to cheer them up, and blankets or stuffed animals to snuggle at naptime.