Making the Grade: School Report
Posted April 8, 2011
Triangle parents care deeply about their child's education. They are involved in the school programs and influence the educational choices made in the school systems, both locally and district wide.
Triangle schools are noted for their quality of education, their healthy magnet schools, the variety in their charter schools, and their traditional approaches with scheduling options. Just to list a few of our public schools achievements:
- Wake County, the state's largest school system with an enrollment of over 160,000 in 164 schools, has been praised by GreatSchools as one of the top public school systems in large U.S. cities.
- Northwood High School in Pittsboro was recognized in a Newsweek list of top public high schools in the nation.
- Cary schools, located in Wake County, showed the highest graduation rate in the state at 92.8.
- The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System has one of the most highly-rated school systems in the state as well. Its high schools are consistently ranked among the best in the nation. Chapel Hill, because of the University, is a community that places great emphasis on its education. Chapel Hill is located in Orange County, but they have separate school systems.
- Durham Public Schools Superintendent Carl E. Harris was named the 2010 Central Carolina Regional Superintendent of the Year.
PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS
Public school systems, the most viable economically, are usually neighborhood schools with bus transportation offered. There are many fine public schools in the Triangle with great programs and teachers. Scheduling options include both the traditional school calendar as well as the year-round scenario. School quality depends on many characteristics, not all easily measurable, and not all equally important for each individual child or family.
LOOK INTO MAGNET SCHOOLS
Magnet schools are public schools providing theme-related instruction such as creative arts and sciences, gifted and talented, active learning and technology, International Baccalaureate (IB), and leadership. The dual language immersion program at Siler City Elementary is a phenomenal success. Wake Early College of Health and Sciences High School is a small magnet high school program on the Wake Technical Community College campus in Raleigh where students can receive a high school diploma, as well as an Associate of Arts, Science, or Applied Sciences degree.
Magnet schools draw students from throughout the school district and must accept students on a nondiscriminatory basis. However, remember that with most of these schools, you must provide your child’s transportation to the site; thus, the location of the school will be significant.
ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS OFFER NEW ENVIRONMENTS
Alternative schools, with small classes, social and emotional development curriculum and a self-paced academic curriculum, are intended to accommodate students who risk failing academically in a traditional school environment. Students are generally referred to these schools by their neighborhood school faculties.
The UNC Hospital School, a part of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system, is an alternative school that provides year-round educational services to school-age patients undergoing medical care so they will be able to continue their studies with as little interruption as possible.
CONSIDER CHARTER SCHOOLS
Charter schools receive both public money as well as private donations but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for producing certain results set forth in their charter. Some charter schools are founded by teachers, parents, or others who feel restricted by traditional public schools.
State-authorized charters (schools not chartered by local school districts) are often established by non-profit groups, universities, and some government entities. Raleigh Charter High School, an independent state-sponsored charter school, offers a demanding college-preparatory education for highly motivated students involving them in many resources of downtown Raleigh—the government, performing arts, social services and the international community.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS CAN BE EXPENSIVE
Read more about local school options at News Homes and Ideas.