High Schools Archives

An agency that accredits high schools in a North Carolina county is sending a special review team to assess recent changes in the school system.

AdvanceED said in a letter to the Wake County school district that it wants to determine whether the changes are negatively impacting the ability of schools to meet standards. The agency is asking for details about the district’s controversial proposal to move away from a diversity policy toward neighborhood schools.

The review comes in response to a complaint filed earlier this year by the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP. The NAACP has accused the school board of harboring “racist attitudes,” something board members vehemently deny.

Dr. Mark Elgart, the president and CEO of AdvancED, said the organization is in the beginning steps of its probe.

“Our primary concern is are they governing in the best interest of the students and the community and to not only look at the process they followed but the determination regarding student assignment,” Elgart said by phone.

School board majority member John Tedesco tells NBC-17 he believes

Read More:MYNC.COM

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Teens: Join Twilight’s Nikki Reed to ‘do something’ good this summer

(ARA) – Are you a teen that is going to camp, hosting a neighborhood block party, or playing baseball this summer? Are you a parent who wants to encourage your child to do something good for others or get more involved in their community? This summer, join the Do Something 101 school supply drive: www.dosomething101.org.

Each school year, many students go back to school with little more than a plastic bag and a used notebook. It’s often the smallest gestures that make the biggest difference. By donating a pack of pencils, a spiral notebook or even a dollar, you can help a student start the new school year off right. It’s easy to get started. Ideas include encouraging fellow campers to start a school supply drive or hosting a movie night at your house and charging a school supply as the price of admission.

Launched in 2008 by DoSomething.org and Staples, Do Something 101 is a campaign to help students in need. Nikki Reed, star of the popular Twilight movie series, is helping to promote the cause this year. The campaign encourages teens to collect school supplies and drop them off at their nearest Staples store, from July through September. In addition, customers can get involved by donating $1 at any store with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting local teens in need.

“It’s so important that students have new school supplies to begin each year successfully,” says Nancy Lublin, chief executive officer of DoSomething.org. “Our goal with this campaign is to make it easy for teens to help a student in need. We’ve provided products to hundreds of thousands of students to date, and are encouraging others to get involved to help us continue to make a difference.”

Here are some tips on how parents can encourage children to get involved in community service projects:

1. Research available opportunities that your child will find interesting and fulfilling. Help guide them toward a volunteer experience that will get them excited.
2. Get involved in your own charitable cause. If they see you doing something good, they are more likely to want to participate in a similar campaign.
3. Make it a family event. By encouraging everyone in the family to join the cause together, everyone will be motivated by each other and will have fun at the same time.

New for the 2010 back-to-school shopping season, Staples is also launching a line of DoSomething.org-inspired products to help students get organized and learn about important issues impacting their communities. These new products – including planners and notebooks – inspire youth to take action and make positive change. In addition to the cool designs, they also include background on social issues and offer suggestions on how students can make a difference.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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SAS is going to high school.

The Cary software company is expanding a pilot programming course taught at Apex High School to nine other high schools this academic year.

Seven of the newly added schools are in North Carolina, including Cary High School and the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, and one each is in Florida and Alabama. The course will be available to high schools across the country beginning in January.

“I do think it is something that can be successful nationwide,” said Julie Oster, director of Apex High’s information technology-oriented curriculum. “It’s a skill that is in high demand … because SAS is used in so many industries. Statistical analysis is now everywhere.”

John Garrison, a senior at Apex High who took the SAS course last year, said it opened his eyes to the power of data. “It really allows for a lot of statistical analysis,” he said. “It’s a great platform for learning.”

The teen said he found the “syntax” of SAS — the basics of the programming language — easy. But it was harder to determine the best ways to process and manipulate data, which is at the heart of the company’s business intelligence and analytics software.

SAS, which has more than 4,000 workers in Cary, views the course as a way of doing good — enriching student curricula — as well as helping itself by spreading the word about the company and training what is potentially a new generation of SAS programmers.

That’s important because demand for SAS programmers exceeds supply. Demand is especially high at pharmaceutical and financial services companies that use SAS software.

The high school program is an extension of the company’s efforts to teach SAS skills at the university level.

That includes helping to develop N.C. State University’s master’s degree program in analytics and a data mining certificate program at Oklahoma State University.

Nor is SAS’s push into high schools unique. More schools are offering information technology curricula, and IT companies are eager to work with them. Cisco Systems courses were taken by 2,939 students at 47 high schools in North Carolina from October 2006 to October 2007, the company said.

“The same courses I’m teaching at high school, you can actually take at a community college or university,” said Geof Duncan, who teaches two Cisco courses — network engineering technology I and II — at Knightdale High School.

The first course teaches students to set up a wired or wireless network in a home or small office. The advanced course teaches skills such as configuring routers. Combined, the two courses are the equivalent of one college course.

Leslie Keller, the Apex teacher who worked with SAS to adapt its adult certification program for the high school level, views the course as useful even for students who don’t pursue a career in IT.

“All programming language is problem-solving and critical thinking, regardless of what the programming language is,” she said. “In addition, SAS offers a broader perspective and appreciation of data and how it can be beneficial and how it can be used.”

SAS’s sophisticated business intelligence and analytics software isn’t easily explained in a few words, but Keller has a pat description: “SAS takes data and turns it into useful information. It analyzes the data, creates reports from the data in many, many different ways.”

For years SAS has been approached by high schools interested in teaching SAS programming. Until now the company didn’t have a course to offer them, said Caroline McCullen, director of SAS education initiatives

Read More:News & Observer


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