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Learning from students, teachers, and school leaders in Guilford County

On April 28-30, 2019, philanthropists, policymakers, educators, and community leaders joined together in Greensboro at the Proximity Hotel to learn about and discuss the work being done and the work to be done to orient North Carolina’s students, educators, and leaders towards readiness and attainment. For the next two weeks, EducationNC will be sharing content from Bridge.

On the second day of Bridge, participants had the chance to visit schools across the educational continuum in Guilford County to learn from students, teachers, and school leaders. Participants were divided into five groups and visited: Allen Jay Elementary, Allen Jay Preparatory Middle, the STEM Early College at NC A&T, the Middle College at NC A&T, and Guilford Technical Community College’s Aviation Campus. The following descriptions were provided by the schools. 

Allen Jay Elementary

Allen Jay Elementary lies adjacent to Randolph County, serving over 470 students from PreK to 5th grade. It is a neighborhood school serving southern High Point and Archdale. AJE students attend Southern Guilford Middle and Southern Guilford High School in Greensboro. Allen Jay offers two dual language programs, English-Spanish and English-Urdu for students in the kindergarten. This program will expand a grade level per year. Almost 50% of their student population receives ESL direct services. They are an Arts Integration Academy where teachers integrate the arts into the content areas.

Bridge participants visit with Allen Jay Elementary students. Liz Bell/EducationNC
Bridge participants visit with Allen Jay Elementary students. Liz Bell/EducationNC
Allen Jay Elementary students. Liz Bell/EducationNC
Bridge participants visit with Allen Jay Elementary students. Liz Bell/EducationNC

Allen Jay Preparatory Academy

Allen Jay Prep Academy is a full district magnet that emphasizes leadership development and college preparation. They have 400 scholars in grades 5-8 and focus on five key pillars: character and service, academic challenge, innovative instruction, leadership development, and effort and commitment. AJ Prep has exceeded growth for multiple years including the top growing middle school in the county last year and in the top 5% for growth in the state. They partner with the Ellison Foundation and the Phillips Foundation who support their scholars’ trips to universities and target support for scholars needing additional tutoring in reading and math.

Principal Kevin Wheat introduces Bridge participants to Allen Jay Prep Academy along with three students. Mebane Rash/EducationNC
Allen Jay Prep Academy student. Mebane Rash/EducationNC
EdAmbassador Derick Stephenson talks with a student from Allen Jay Prep Academy. Mebane Rash/EducationNC
A class at Allen Jay Prep Academy. Mebane Rash/EducationNC

The STEM Early College at NC A&T

The STEM Early College at NC A&T is designed to serve highly motivated, high-performing students with an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. Rich in diverse cultures, perspectives, and ideas, the STEM Early College employs a real-world and problem-based method to help students develop critical and unique thinking skills. A key point of the STEM experience is participation in the capstone research project during the freshman and sophomore years. Students engage in the engineering design process to develop and test different ideas and solutions to problems facing engineers in today’s world.

EdAmbassador Michelle Ellis directing Bridge attendees to their buses. Yasmin Bendaas/EducationNC
Bridge participants visit with students from the STEM Early College at NC A&T. Yasmin Bendaas/EducationNC
Bridge participants visit with students from the STEM Early College at NC A&T. Yasmin Bendaas/EducationNC
Bridge participants visit with students from the STEM Early College at NC A&T. Yasmin Bendaas/EducationNC

The Middle College at NC A&T

In 2003, The Middle College at North Carolina A&T opened its doors as the first all-male public high school. The Middle College at A&T is a collaborative effort of Guilford County Schools and North Carolina A&T State University. The school strives for excellence by providing male students an opportunity for success through the use of 21st century teaching and learning and provides a nurturing environment with small classes which allows students to boost their self-esteem. Students are encouraged to take university classes while attending high school with the opportunity of earning up to 2 years of transferable college credit. With consecutive years of a 100% graduation rate and 100% university acceptance, The Middle College at A&T continues to produce young men ready for life and any endeavor they choose.

These essential 10 statements set expectations for students’ behavior at the Middle College of A&T. Analisa Sorrells/EducationNC
Students at the Middle College at NC A&T recite this school creed regularly. Analisa Sorrells/EducationNC
Travis Seegars, principal of the Middle College at NC A&T, discusses the school’s model with Bridge participants. Analisa Sorrells/EducationNC
Students at the Middle College of NC A&T work on a computer assessment in a CTE course. Analisa Sorrells/EducationNC
Artwork hanging on the door of a classroom at the Middle College of NC A&T. Analisa Sorrells/EducationNC

Guilford Technical Community College

The T.H. Davis Aviation Center, also known as Aviation I, opened in 1989 to accommodate the growing Aviation Maintenance, Management, and Avionics Programs that had been running since 1970 at a smaller facility. This campus has 36,000 square feet of classroom and lab space, along with a 12,000 square foot hangar tied to the airport movement area. The facility serves over two hundred students per day in various aviation degree programs. Aviation II is an additional facility on campus that contains 7 classrooms, 14 specialty laboratories, as well as faculty office space. The campus serves as primary home for the Aviation Electronic (Avionics) Program, the QMC (Quick Manufacturing Careers) programs, but also supports sheet metal, composites, and NDT labs for all programs. The campus serves over 100 students per day.

Bridge participants visit Guilford Tech’s Aviation Campus. Robert Kinlaw/EducationNC
Guilford Technical Community College’s Aviation Campus. Robert Kinlaw/EducationNC
Guilford Technical Community College’s Aviation Campus. Robert Kinlaw/EducationNC
Flight simulator at GTCC’s Aviation Campus. Robert Kinlaw/EducationNC

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