New academy to open at Welborn
The academy proposed for Allen Jay Middle School will open at Welborn Middle School this fall with 100 fifth-graders, district leaders decided this week.
The vacant Allen Jay campus is slated for $12 million in renovations for the new academy. But because construction has yet to start, district leaders had to find a temporary home.
That concerned several Board of Education members on Thursday until Superintendent Mo Green explained the details. After the discussion, the board voted 10-0 to open the new academy at Welborn Academy of Science and Technology. With an enrollment of slightly less than 500 and a capacity for 1,000 students, Welborn has room for the new academy that will offer special programs and a longer school day and year.
“We do not expect the new school to be ready by August, it could be January, 2014,” Green said.
Board member Carlvena Foster of High Point was concerned that there could be conflict between the two programs as leaders compete for students. Green acknowledged the concern.
“We need equity between these two programs,” Foster said. “We don’t want people saying one is better than the other.”
Green acknowledged that the Welborn academy also needs promotion and marketing to attract students.
Foster suggested a separate entrance for the new “advantage” school, which will be known as a “preparatory academy.”
Green said the new magnet probably will open with a reduced staff because the school was scheduled to open with 200 students. Kevin Wheat is principal.
“It will not likely be a complete 50 percent cut,” Green said. I don’t have all the details now. There has been a lot of thought. We will do more thought to make sure it all goes well.”
Because there will be no sixth grade at the new academy for the first year, parents could send their students to another middle school, especially if the renovations are not finished at the Allen Jay campus, said board member Deena Hayes.
“We have to think about that,” she said.
“I hope we do not go a year with this,” said Chairman Alan Duncan. “It will be short term.”
Board member Ed Price of High Point supported the move and offered the motion the board approved.
“I applaud what has been done by Carlvena Foster, the superintendent and the staff on this,” Price said.
Program: Teachers will use strategies similar to those in the Knowledge is Power Program schools and the Ron Clark Academy which focus on literacy and college preparation, with an emphasis on structure and positive reinforcement.