The Washington Daily News | Columbia Early College student to be featured speaker at BCCC Black History Month event
February 20, 2014 - Columbia, N.C., resident, Daniel Garza Salazar, a student at Beaufort County Community College knows what it takes to succeed. A native of Durango, Mexico, Garza Salazar came to the United States, settling in Dare County with his parents when he was three years old and moved to Tyrrell County when he was seven.Read More
While now enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Garza Salazar said he can apply his experiences as an initially undocumented United States resident to the experiences of other minorities in the state and nation who have overcome great odds. That's why Garza Salazar was chosen to be a featured speaker at BCCC's Black History Month Celebration to be held 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Multi-purpose Room of Building 10. It is offered free of charge to the public.
The theme of the celebration, sponsored by BCCC's Men of Success, is "Breaking Every Chain." Garza Salazar said that although the theme refers to the chains of slavery, he will discuss the metaphorical side of breaking the chain.
Garza Salazar, 18, entered Columbia Early College High School in the ninth grade and at the end of this semester, will be the first student to successfully complete the fifth year. Early college high school students attend high school and college simultanenously and at the end of five years, have the chance to graduate with a high school diploma and the associate's degree of their choice.
February 9, 2014 - The Emerging Issues Forum at N.C. State University on the connection between a high-caliber teacher corps and the state's economic competitiveness couldn't be timelier.Read More
A national discussion is underway -- many say it's a crisis -- about the growing gaps in wealth and income between Americans at the top and the bottom. Many worry that we are developing a bifurcated economy and a bifurcated society. However, it is within our power, in communities across North Carolina, to defy conventional thinking, set big goals and drive the institutional changes and business behaviors needed to help prosperity become a reality for everyone.
If we agree about the importance of young people as our future workforce -- as our nation's economic lifeline -- then we obviously have a lot at stake. All of our businesses depend on having a strong, motivated workforce.
But the larger economic problems created when our young people are unprepared for good jobs are a challenge to all of us. Teachers, even exceptional ones, certainly cannot by themselves ensure their students are ready for today's jobs. They are part of a bigger picture, and the bigger picture is how all of us can make sure our youth are prepared for the competitive, high-skilled economy in the Research Triangle and beyond. Our teachers need the support of the entire community -- particularly the business community....
City of Medicine Academy, a Durham public school and NC New Schools partner at Duke Regional Hospital, is opening opportunities for students interested in health care careers by giving them direct experience in the real world of medicine. Duke provides assistance in funding, tutoring and mentorship. Students extend their learning through internships and job shadowing experiences throughout Duke Medicine. Of its first four graduating classes, the school has achieved an impressive graduation rate of at least 95 percent, and this year it is on track for a 100 percent graduation rate.
February 3, 2014 - Valley Springs Middle School eighth-grader Woods Burton loves anything to do with science. That's why he's anxious to secure a spot in the first class this coming fall at the new Buncombe Discovery Academy, a high school emphasizing hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and math.Read More
"I think it would be really fun to go there," said Burton, who, along with elected officials, business leaders, educators, parents and other students, attended an event Saturday celebrating progress on the school. "It would help me find a career that would be good for me."
What he finds especially appealing is the hands-on approach, known as kinesthetic learning, the school system plans to implement. The project has been in development for nearly three years.
"So, instead of just learning what something is, we actually get to work with it and do it," Burton said. "I just want to do anything in the science field."
Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony inside the recently completed "minitorium," which is to be an integral part of the school still under construction. The academy will replace the former Career Technical Education Center, sharing space with the school system's administrative offices on Bingham Road.
The vision for the school is "a 21st century model of innovation and academic relevance," Superintendent Tony Baldwin told the crowd. "I truly believe that's what you're going to see with this Discovery Academy.
"Creativity, collaboration, academic rigor and project-based learning will be frequently used words to describe our STEM academy."
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.
The N.C. Board of Education last month approved plans for the school, which will begin accepting applications this month. Community and parent meetings are to offer more detail.
"This is a very exciting day," said Tony Habit, director of N.C. New Schools, which helps STEM-themed schools get off the ground. "This academy and this event is the Super Bowl for education in North Carolina. We know this is going to be profoundly successful going forward."
January 30, 2014 - A motion was granted for a summer enrichment program and to seek funds in the form of a $1.2 million grant from the Education and Workforce Innovation Initiative.Read More
Cynthia Altemueller spoke to the board about the possibility of receiving $470,000 in grant money to participate in the North Carolina Digital Learning consortium. If the school system receives the grant, Elkin teachers will have the opportunity to attend regional conferences to work on and learn digital content relative to content they teach.
In addition to conferences, there will be made available from the money, workshops for teachers, assessment and instructional tools. These tools will allow them to collect data relative to grade and content for the monitoring of learning progress. Altemueller said they will find out in February whether they have received funding.
There also was approval to partner with North Carolina New Schools program and into phase two of adding the high school to a "STEAM initiative" in which Bledsoe said the schools "look for people to move us into new concepts" and "help students reach future goals in various ways."
Part of the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education program is rooted in a group discovery format with initiatives based on a Gates Foundation model. The school will be responsible for reimbursing the contract with them over two years.
"I believe it is the best way for us to move forward with our transformation," said Bledsoe.
January 28, 2014 - College Advising Corps, a North Carolina nonprofit, was recently awarded $10 million in a three-year grant to help high school students, especially low-income and first-generation students, in rural areas of the state plan for college. With the help of the grant, the program will partner with UNC, Davidson College and N.C. State University to place college graduates in 60 rural N.C. high schools as advisers. The graduates serve as college advisers for two years in under-served high schools to help students navigate the ins and outs of applying to and attending college.Read More
Emily Simpson, who works as an adviser at North Surry High School and graduated from UNC in 2012, said she has seen a shift in students' attitudes toward college since her arrival at the school a year and a half ago.
"They're being more proactive," she said. "And the teachers and the community are on board with what we're trying to do and the culture toward college is slowly starting to shift, which is great."
Simpson said she is excited about the grant because she believes the advisers are an invaluable resource in connecting students to the college application process.
Lynne Garrison, a senior vice president of North Carolina New Schools, said she applauds the Belk endowment for its commitment to helping students graduate from college, a mission that her organization shares.
"This announcement provides a new level of support for young people in rural North Carolina to help them prepare and advance to college and earn that important degree," she said.
January 13, 2014 - ASHEVILLE - Students don't come in the varieties of smart kid and vocational kid, so schools shouldn't either.Read More
That's the mantra Buncombe County school officials are following in the planning of a STEM-themed high school, set to open this fall with an expected enrollment of 100 students.
The State Board of Education approved plans last week for the science, technology, engineering and math-themed high school Buncombe County schools has been planning for nearly three years.
January 8, 2014 - Plans are under way to open an early college high school on the UNC Charlotte campus starting in fall 2014. It will be the first of its kind in Mecklenburg County for an innovative educational concept that has been growing in popularity across North Carolina.Read More
Michele Howard, former dean of students, is the University's director of Early College Programs and liaison to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The new high school, which is partnering with NC New Schools, will focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, with a specific emphasis on energy.
"Charlotte is a major energy hub in the country so the identification and cultivation of future engineers is vital to our continued prominence in this area," Howard said. "The investment of time and resources in this STEM school not only benefits CMS and the University but will also impact the city, state and region by increasing interest in the STEM disciplines and cultivating future engineering professionals."
In early college high schools, students take a variety of required high school classes and tuition-free college courses. Once necessary approvals have been received, the new school would be housed near the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center on the Charlotte Research Institute portion of campus.