Parents want schools to measure up

Feb. 25, 2013 @ 10:31 AM

The new Guilford County Schools 2016 Strategic Plan is a reminder for many parents that some schools still do not measure up.
The goals for 2016 include well maintained and equipped schools, and some High Pointers want the district to live up to that.
For some parents whose students attend the Academy at Central High School, their needs have been neglected. Many parents want more space, even if it means moving the occupations academy to another site.
“It is amazing what goes on at this school,” parent Elizabeth Waters told the Guilford County Board of Education recently. “My son came out of his shell. He now does his homework happily.”
The 2016 plan aims at providing one-to-one learning with a heavy reliance on information technology.
Natalie Hagan-Andrews said the board should provide a new academy building, which could hold a media center, and allow for tech upgrades.
“We need our needs addressed,” she said.
Several members of the Citizens for Central group have asked the school board to consider buying the Immaculate Heart of Mary School on Barbee Avenue near High Point University as a home for the academy, which currently uses 12 classrooms in the Tomlinson building. The Catholic school is moving to north High Point.
Concerned High Pointers also won’t let county officials forget that they want Central High School to get a portion of as much as $75 million in leftover bond funds for a major renovation.
The group, which has lobbied the school board for months, wants a $40 million renovation. Parents at other schools also have voiced needs the $75 million could pay for. At the top of the Central list are cafeteria and media center renovations to reduce crowding.  The school board has a new proposed renovations list that includes $23 million in upgrades for Central, including a new dual-purpose building for a media center and dining hall expansion.
“Please move this project to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners as soon as possible so we can offer the best education possible,” said Chuck Green of the Central group.
The 2016 plan includes goals aimed at improving schools and other work areas:
• An audit to identify and prioritize areas of needs. February 2014 launch.
• A financial plan to ensure that schools and other work areas reach baseline standards in targeted areas. September 2014 launch.
• A technology update plan that includes audio-video equipment and individual electronic devices. July 2013 launch.

College and career

Academies: Superintendent Mo Green wants to perfect existing programs and to prepare students to handle college and careers after they graduate. Specialized academies have been a large part of that.

Graduation: Green wants to change high school schedules to enable students to graduate one year early. The district also wants to increase the number of students who earn industry credentials through career and technical education courses.