1/29/14 Highland and Eastern earn Signature School status
By KAREN CARTER Enterprise Editor, The Mebane Enterprise 1/29/14
Reprinted with permission.
Karen Carter/Mebane Enterprise
Both schools were named a Signature School by the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium at their annual meeting in Greensboro in December of 2013. Alamance-Burlington Schools Superintendent Dr. Lillie Cox and her senior staff were on hand to congratulate the local schools and celebrate the success of education in the Piedmont Triad.Eastern’s principal Dave Ebert, academic coach Sherri Slade, and Social Studies teacher and department chair Joy Walker represented the high school at the consortium meeting. Monday evening at the school board meeting, Ebert thanked his staff, with many of them present to receive the recognition from Alamance-Burlington Schools.
At the school board recognitions Monday evening, Alamance-Burlington Schools Public Information Officer Jenny Faulkner presented several of the factors that led to Eastern being selected the Signature School distinction.
Dr. Larry Coble, head of the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium, and Dr. Darrin Hartness had presented Eastern with the plaque and presented this information about Eastern that merited it being a Signature School.
Hartness said, “Eastern Alamance High School has accomplished a number of significant outcomes during the past three years as they have adjusted their program to more purposefully prepare students for life after high school.”
Representatives from the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium gave these examples of Eastern’s success for preparing students for enlistment, education, and employment after high school.
“Eastern has improved their Graduation Cohort Rate from 76.6 percent in 2009-2010 to 83.7 percent for the graduating class of 2013. For the past three years, much of their success in this area can be attributed to a campus-wide advisement program focused on ensuring that 100 percent of all seniors leave high school with tangible plans to enroll in post-secondary education, enlist in a branch of the armed services, or take advantage of a meaningful employment opportunity.”
Piedmont Triad Education Consortium leaders noted the faculty/student relationship and support from faculty that makes the school successful.
“Each faculty member (including administration) works with two to three students in a highly personalized, planned role to support the future endeavors of each student,” said Hartness.
More academic rigor as well as preparation for life after high school has been a priority of the school district for the past few years, and Eastern has excelled in that area, said Hartness.
“Eastern Alamance has also experienced a significant increase in student participation in more rigorous coursework over the past three years,” said Hartness.
“There has been a 24 percent increase in the past three years in the number of students enrolled in two or more honors courses. Minority participation in Advanced Placement coursework has increased eight percent in the same time frame, with nearly one out of every five student enrollments in Advanced Placement coursework indicative of an underrepresented population in 2013-14.
The percentage of students taking an AP Test and scoring a 3 or better has risen from 61 to 65 percent in the past two years. In addition, other rigorous elective offerings have been added to the curriculum at Eastern including AP Government and Politics, AP Psychology, Honors Forensic Science, Anatomy and Physiology Honors, Speech and Debate, and Sports Medicine II. During this same time, Eastern Alamance High School had its highest ever SAT participation rate for a senior class last year at 71.9 percent.”