School to keep Allen Jay Name
The new “advantage” middle school academy opening Aug. 7 in High Point will keep the Allen Jay name after it moves to the idle middle school campus next year.The Board of Education voted 10-0 Tuesday to keep the Allen Jay name for the district magnet school that will open with 100 ffifth graders at Welborn Middle School Academy of Science and Technology. Allen Jay School alumni lobbied the board to keep the Jay name out of respect for the community.
From his home in High Point after the Civil War, Jay, a Quaker minister and educator, helped establish as many as 31 schools, including what became Guilford College. A nearby elementary school also bears his name.
The campus is scheduled for $12 million in renovations. Because construction has yet to start, district leaders had to find a temporary home. With an enrollment of slightly less than 500 and a capacity for 1,000 students, Welborn has room for the new academy. Last month, Superintendent Mo Green said the new district magnet probably will open with a reduced staff because the school was scheduled to open with 200 students. Kevin Wheat is principal.
The board also accepted three possible names for the $14 million autism wing at Ragsdale High School which should be finished by March.
The school could be named for the late Joseph J. McKenzie, or called the Robert Utley Special Education Center or McIver West to identify with the district’s special education school in Greensboro. McIver Center staff nominated McKenzie, a former staff member, who worked at McIver and also ministered to staff and students. Utley was principal of Nathaniel Greene School in Greensboro through the Great Depression and World War II.
The building at Ragsdale will serve teens with programs in communication, cognitive and behavioral needs. The two-story building will have its own entrance and will feature a wedge shape. Classrooms will have as few as eight students.
The $11.5 million Hairston/Falkener building in Greensboro, which will be completed in July, will serve children with autism. The nominations are Melissa Taylor Education Center, Robert Utley Special Education Center and McIver East.
Taylor, nominated by McIver Center employees, was a former McIver center elementary school student who inspired the school staff before her untimely death.
The two new wings could serve up to 204 students with programs in communication, cognitive and behavioral needs.
All the nominations will be open for public comment for 30 days.
Allen Jay Middle School
Academy: The school board chose the preparatory academy “tag” combination for the school, but not as part of the official title. The school will offer special programs and a longer school day and year.
Academy Applications: Accepted through Feb. 22 at the district’s Student Assignment Office, 120 Franklin Blvd., Greensboro.
Information: visit www.gcsnc.com/magnet or call the Southeastern Region office at 378-8800.