Every student in North Carolina graduates ready for college, careers and life.
To accelerate systemic, sustainable innovation in schools across the state.
A Trusted Partner in Education Innovation
North Carolina New Schools was launched in 2003 by the Office of the Governor and the North Carolina Education Cabinet with initial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since then, North Carolina New Schools has joined with partners in business, education and government at every level to develop and support innovative schools that share a fundamental goal: Engage all students with powerful approaches to teaching and learning and graduate all students ready for college, careers and life.
A decade later, the number of those schools has grown more than four-fold -- to over 100 -- and more are in development. Nearly three quarters of North Carolina's 100 counties host at least one of these innovative schools, which follow a variety of designs to achieve the single goal of graduating all students well prepared.
Download the North Carolina New Schools brochure -- "Innovation & Excellence in Public Education"
As a catalyst for change, North Carolina New Schools supports proven innovation in education through three key strategies:
- Teaching, Learning and Leading: We strive to inspire and support teachers and principals to embrace new approaches to teaching and learning shown to improve students' chances for success.
- Models for Innovation: We promote a wide range of approaches to secondary school structure and organization based on well-articulated, tested design principles shown to improve teaching, learning and student success.
- Talent Development: Through school-based coaching and professional development, we help develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs of teachers, principals and district administrators to promote innovation in the classroom and in the way schools are organized.
Within partner districts, North Carolina New Schools works to tailor different models to meet different needs. More than 25,000 students statewide now attend one of these types of schools:
- Large middle and high schools are reimagining existing structures and approaches to meet the individual needs of each student.
- Career academies and small learning communities are created as stand-alone schools or schools-within-schools as approaches that embrace many of the same effective strategies that characterize the state's innovative schools: Rigor and opportunity for all. Theme focus. Strong collaboration.
- Regional schools capitalize on the shared strength of local businesses, higher education and multiple school districts to provide students with an option for career-focused education.
- STEM-focused schools are forging meaningful connections between classroom learning and real-life experience in the workplace, from hospitals to research laboratories, and preparing students with skills to design and communicate solutions to real problems with confidence and ingenuity.
- District-wide transformation aims to apply the lessons of successful innovative schools so that all students in all schools benefit and so all students graduate with postsecondary education as an option.
- Early college high schools give students the chance to earn an associate degree or two years of college credit -- tuition free -- along with their high school diploma.
To hear more from our staff, teachers, administrators and partners, visit FutureReady, an interactive blog for North Carolina New Schools and its stakeholders to discuss issues related to implementing secondary innovation, scaling education reform and connecting education transformation to economic and workforce development.