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IT School To Open At East Wake High

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WENDELL, N.C. — As students prepare to return to East Wake High School, some are getting ready to enter a school within the school.

The School of Integrated Technology, funded by a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will cater to students with an affinity for computers.

"I think there will be a huge difference in the way class is done, and I think it'll be a real advantage for us," student Phillip Cozart said.

In addition to a curriculum that's more focused than traditional high schools, class sizes in the School of Integrated Technology will be smaller.

"It will be more hands-on. The teachers will get to know the students on a personal level," parent Kimberly Stansberry said.

Last year, the School of Health Science, another specialized school within a school, opened at East Wake High. Officials hope the programs serve as a model for education in the future.

The Gates Foundation gave the state $11 million to help redesign about 1560 high schools statewide to help keep students in school and encourage more to pursue college educations. Only 60 of every 100 high school freshmen graduate in four years, and just 41 percent go onto college, state officials said.

"If kids have more control over what they're learning, they're going to like it better and learn it that much more," teacher Kelly Wurtz said.

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