Students at low-performing Raleigh school get new building, technology
Posted December 12, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Students at Wilburn Elementary in Raleigh moved into a new building featuring state-of-the-art technology on Monday.
"I love it, and my kids love it too," parent Maty Emuobor said of the Raleigh year-round school's move to its new Marsh Creek Road campus.
Principal Mark Tracy said the new school building boasts high-tech classrooms with smart boards, computers and other tools to help make learning more interactive.
"I think we have a perfect storm in a positive way of making positive academic and social growth for all our students," Tracy said.
For more than a year, Wilburn operated out of mobile units on Spring Forest Road.
The new building goes along with other changes for the school, which was identified last year as one of the four lowest performing schools in the county. All teachers at these so-called "Renaissance Schools" had to reapply for their jobs.
At Wilburn, 80 percent of the teachers, including principal Tracy, are new.
"We are seeing academic growth in reading and math across the board in K-5," Tracy said. "We are seeing some preliminary results to show what we are doing is successful, but it's going to take some time."
Tracy said the school expects positive changes in end of grade test scores this year, but the biggest impact will likely be seen within the next three years.
Emuobor said she is encouraged by the transformation she is already seeing in her second and third graders.
"You can tell the kids are more excited. They're happier, and they are doing better so far in school, too. They are getting better help and stuff," she said.
The Renaissance Schools project is being funded using the federal Race to the Top grant.