VOICES FROM THE 31ST ANNUAL EMERGING ISSUES FORUM
We at South Central High School in Winterville would like to share a story with you.
The story of our journey towards preparing our students for “FutureWork” when we don’t know exactly what that work might be.
SCHS is a traditional high school in Pitt County. Our student body has a high proportion of low-wealth students. Julie Cary, our principal, had one of those “ah ha” moments while attending a STEM session by Discovery Education in June 2014.
Much of what is proposed for STEM is really about thinking deeply, problem solving, and testing those solutions. Well, these skills are required for almost every job, every career. We began to examine how we could change our paradigm in our building to include more exploration and more learning activities geared to these very skills.
That’s when we asked “the question” that changed everything.
On our journey with engagement and innovation, we have become consciously committed to maximizing the assets in the existing NC course of study as well as to pushing boundaries to empower students to collaborate, create, and communicate successfully and rigorously about topics they find compelling and important for the state of the world.
We believe that public schools and the governmental agencies making policy about public education are being challenged to radically change their operational and philosophical paradigms in order to survive in our rapidly changing world.
Those challenges include critically examining curriculum content and requirements, teacher preparation programs and ongoing professional development, and most especially, academic leadership preparation in order to discern the educational beliefs, content, and types of learning strategies that will prepare students with both “soft” and “hard” skills for the workplace during the middle of the 21st century.
North Carolina MUST invest in public education in substantive ways to fiscally support these best practices, not only in STEM related content, but also in the visual and performing arts as well as the study of relevant history, literature, and language. We also believe that partnership with local civic and business leadership is essential to the success of our students now and in the future. These tasks are difficult in North Carolina’s current political atmosphere where fiscal and ideological emphasis is often weighted more heavily on an over-reliance on unrealistic developmental expectations and testing.
Only then will we have a workforce that is truly “FutureWork” ready for our state’s employers.
More engaging and innovative happenings at South Central High School:
Check out our amazing Visual Arts Department @ their website.
Here’s the website of three of our Social Studies teachers who have presented at state and national conferences on best practices implementing technology into instruction Spinning the Classroom.
Advanced Physics, one of our newest courses, has just started their social media presence.