01/09/07 — Magnet school will open this fall

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Magnet school will open this fall

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on January 9, 2007 1:52 PM

The new "school within a school" at Goldsboro High School has a name and an opening date.

Wayne School of Engineering will open in the fall, with plans to recruit 100 students its first year.

The school board Monday night approved the new name and a waiver to adopt the same school calendar as Wayne Community College.

At the board's December meeting, officials had announced receipt of a $40,000 New Schools Project grant through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They said they planned to establish a science, technology, engineering and math school, or STEM, in August.

Only rising ninth-graders will be recruited at the outset, said Dr. Sandra McCullen, associate superintendent for instruction.

Gary Hales, until recently an assistant principal at Goldsboro High School, was appointed principal of the newest high school.

Hales met with the curriculum and instruction committee of the school board earlier Monday afternoon. He explained some of the school's particulars.

"We're looking to be in the 'B' building," where the Freshman Academy is currently housed, he said. For the first year of the program, Hales said only the top floor of the building would be used. In subsequent years, the program will take over the building completely, he said, noting that Freshman Academy would be relocated.

The aim is to isolate the new school so that it is as autonomous as possible.

"The New Schools Project did not want to integrate too much," Dr. McCullen said.

Classes will be held from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., with lunch, gym and media center visits staggered around the Goldsboro High schedule.

The new school would have its own principal, counselor, secretary and teaching staff. Other than Hales, no other staff has been hired, but Dr. McCullen said some support teachers in such areas as physical education and electives would be shared with Goldsboro High School.

"We'll begin with four core area teachers," Hales said. "Initially, we're looking at a basic ninth-grade curriculum, looking at a progressive approach in science and math."

The accelerated curriculum will infuse engineering and technology and is geared toward students interested in college or the work force. Students will be recruited from across the county, with transportation provided by the school system, Hales said.

Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor said there is still much work to be done to get ready for the additional high school. A committee has already met with officials from the state Department of Public Instruction and the New Schools Project and later this month, a team will attend the STEM winter institute in Raleigh.

"We will be in the planning process between now and the end of the year, (so) we will be ready to go in the fall," he said.