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KSU dance department expands

KSU dance department expands

KENNESAW, Ga. -- The brand new Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University recently underwent its first expansion.

The new facilities include two studios, a classroom, a student lounge, faculty offices, costume and scene shops, and a storage area. The studios are equipped with state-of-the-art sprung floors and audio-visual equipment.

"It is exciting to now have facilities that will support our success and growth and provide a home for the department," Ivan Pulinkala, chair and founding director of the department, said in a statement. "(The Department of Dance) is now the largest dance program in Georgia and it has become a highly selective, high-demand program, with over 100 majors auditioning every year for approximately 25 available slots."

Now that the new facilities are ready, the department plans to add a master's degree program and seek accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Dance.

School is (almost!) out in Cobb County

School is (almost!) out in Cobb County

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The last day of school is fast approaching in metro Atlanta, with some districts dismissing as early as this week.

For Cobb County Schools, the last day is Thursday, May 23.

Other last days of school in the Atlanta area include:

Thursday, May 16
Barrow County

Friday, May 17
Clarke County

Wednesday, May 22
Atlanta Public Schools (traditional)
Cherokee County
Gwinnett County

Thursday, May 23
Clayton County
Decatur City
DeKalb County
Fulton County
Rockdale County

Friday, May 24
Bartow County
Buford City
Carroll County
Coweta County
Fayette County
Floyd County
Forsyth County
Griffin-Spalding County
Marietta City
Newton County
Paulding County

Ga. Shakespeare partners with 3 universities

Ga. Shakespeare partners with 3 universities

BROOKHAVEN, Ga. -- Georgia Shakespeare, the Oglethorpe University-based theater group, recently announced a partnership with three other north Georgia schools.

The new alliance includes Kennesaw State University and the two schools that make up the Gainesville Theatre Alliance -- Brenau University and the University of North Georgia.

"In 2012, we took a hard look at our operating model and decided that, in order to become truly sustainable, we needed to capitalize on our unique strengths," Georgia Shakespeare managing director Lauren Morris said in a statement.

Georgia Shakespeare will use the new partnership to play up those strengths, including bringing classic stories to life in a modern, relatable way. The newly added universities will also help the company increase ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities, and allow budding performers at the schools to explore the inner workings of a professional theater company.

Cobb school board approves tentative budget

Cobb school board approves tentative budget

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Efforting to cut more than $86 million dollars from next year's budget, Cobb County school board members wrestled for nearly two hours before adopting a tentative budget.

Stressing that changes can still be made before a final vote next month, members have agreed to eliminate 182 positions through attrition.

Teachers are looking at five furlough days which will be taken on instructional days meaning parents will have to find other arrangements for their children on those days.

While class sizes will not increase for elementary students, Cobb's middle schools and high schools will take on an extra student per class.

A bit of good news for teachers.  The proposed cuts first talked about numbered more than 300.  They'll also receive half a year worth of step increases, or raises.

School district announces graduation schedule

School district announces graduation schedule

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Graduation is right around the corner for high school seniors in Cobb County.

The school system has announced the graduation dates, times and venues for its high schools. Family members and friends who can't attend the actual ceremonies can purchase DVDs and, in most cases, watch live Web broadcasts of the events.

Visit cobbk12.org for information on how to watch the graduations or order DVDs.

Graduation ceremonies include:

Allatoona HS
Friday, May 24 at 9 a.m.
Allatoona Stadium

Campbell HS
Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m.
KSU Convocation Center

Harrison HS
Saturday, May 25 at 10 a.m.
KSU Convocation Center

Hillgrove HS
Thursday, May 23 at 8 p.m.
KSU Convocation Center

Cobb educators learn about bullying prevention

Cobb educators learn about bullying prevention

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Teachers and administrators from more than 40 Cobb County schools recently participated in a bullying prevention seminar.

The training session, which was sponsored by the school district's Prevention Intervention Center, taught best practices for handling bullying in classrooms.

Many of the county's schools are already taking steps to end bullying.

At Cooper Middle School in Austell, art teacher Amy Zschaber's students created a digital campaign with slogans and graphic posters calling for their classmates to stand up to bullies. See some of the artwork at cobbcast.cobbk12.org.

Belmont Hills Elementary School in Smyrna uses Second Step, a program that helps elementary and middle school students sharpen their social-emotional skills.

2013 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees announced

2013 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees announced

ATLANTA -- Some of the most talented young performers in Georgia have been recognized with nominations for the 2013 Shuler Hensley Awards.

The awards program honors the best high school musical theater productions in the state.

It is named for Cobb County native Shuler Hensley, a seasoned Broadway performer who has won a number of prestigious awards, including a Tony.

RELATED | Shuler Hensley named artist-in-residence at Kennesaw State

This year's Shuler Hensley Awards nominees were announced Tuesday. The awards ceremony will be held Apr. 18 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

The nominees include:

Best Overall Production

* Avenue Q
Atlanta International School, Buckhead

* Les Misérables
Buford High School