12/05/06 — New plan on tap for Goldsboro High in 2007

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New plan on tap for Goldsboro High in 2007

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 5, 2006 1:45 PM

Is Goldsboro High School going to house a magnet school next year?

While the word was never mentioned at Monday's school board meeting, officials said they plan to establish a science, technology, engineering and math "school within a school concept" in August 2007. Students would be recruited for the program.

"We're looking at another school on that campus," said Dr. Sandra McCullen, associate superintendent for instruction. "It will be autonomous -- will have a different name, different high school number. It will be a unique school with a separate place on the Goldsboro High School campus."

As part of the high school reform effort, the school system is receiving a $40,000 New Schools Projects grant. The grant comes through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she said.

With an emphasis on math and science, three choices of curriculum will be studied and chosen, Dr. McCullen said. Teaching strategies will be different, she said, structured on project-based learning.

"It will be an honors curriculum -- physics, chemistry, engineering courses, basic core curriculum," she said. "Teachers will have to be highly qualified."

The $40,000 grant will be used for planning, with a team created to do research and to develop the program. The money also typically covers a coach and a counselor.

Time is of the essence, Dr. McCullen said, because classes are expected to start in August.

"There's a lot of support for the New Schools Project," she said. "(The team) would like to come down in December and look at the campus and do the research on the program they choose."

The team would likely come back in the spring with further recommendations, she said.

Maximum student enrollment would be 400 or 100 per grade, Dr. McCullen explained.

Gary Hales, currently assistant principal at Goldsboro High, was named principal of the proposed high school, beginning in January.

The school board approved the grant and members said they could support the new school concept.

"I'm for us moving forward with it," board member Rick Pridgen said.

"OK, no doubt about it," board member Thelma Smith said. "I'm ready to go right now."

Board member George Moye said that lateral entry teachers, who traditionally come from assorted backgrounds and work toward acquiring teaching credentials, could enhance such a program.

"Lateral entry teachers (have) experience in some of the areas that are 'outside the box' and more important than some of the things out of the book," he said.

Mrs. Smith said introducing the "school within a school" concept would only help the high school.

"It will open up the school for others to come," she said. "I really think it's going to help change the image of Goldsboro High School and it's certainly going to open the doors for some new and exciting projects."