7/28/11 NEW SCHOOLS ON THE WAY
NEW SCHOOLS ON THE WAY
Tech Center, Early College planned for Alamance-Burlington system
The Times-News 7/28/11
Reprinted with permission.
One of the highlights of the Alamance-Burlington School System’s 2011-12 year will likely be the opening of its career and technical education center. The center is under construction at 2618 N. Church St. in Burlington, on property next to Andrews Elementary School. The school system plans to have students and teachers in the center by Jan. 2012.
George Griffin, currently an administrator in the school system’s central offices, will be the center’s principal and director.
The center will provide space for some existing programs as well as new offerings for high school students. New programs include digital media and video production, computer network administration, and 3D simulation that can be used for different types of military and civilian training.
Part of the center’s intent is to make a broader selection of course offerings available to high school students throughout the system.
It will also offer opportunities for middle and elementary school students. Examples of that include allowing teachers and students to interact with people in other locations, such as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The system has also discussed using the center as a potential resource for students’ families and community members after normal school hours.
The 40,000-square-foot center will cost about $6 million. Besides classrooms and lab areas, it will include a video-production studio and cyber-café.
School system leaders have said students will typically spend part of the school day at the center and the rest at their home school.
System administrators have said they are taking into account enrollment trends, which courses are likely to lead to careers, and upcoming changes in state curriculum requirements in determining what to offer at the center.
ALSO ON THE WAY: A small, non-traditional high school to give students more advanced academic choices.The proposed early college is collaboration between the Alamance-Burlington School System and Elon University.
The school system and Elon hope to have the school open by the fall of 2012, though many details must be worked out first.
Students would graduate from the school having completed as much as two years of college.
Gerald Francis, executive vice president of Elon University, said the school would likely have 30 students in each of the four high school grades for a total enrollment of 120, though it could grow a little larger.
Having a fairly equal number of students from each local high school would be a goal, though the numbers might not be exactly the same from each school. An application process would determine which students were accepted.
The school system already has an arrangement with Alamance Community College in which students struggling in a traditional high school setting take high school and college courses at the community college. That school, called the Alamance-Burlington Middle College, was started largely to give another option to students who might otherwise drop out of high school.
The collaboration with Elon University would focus on added opportunities for students looking for academic challenges.
Written information says the goal would be to enroll students of “strong academic or ‘untapped’ potential.”