Our View: Technical high school a welcome idea


Rocky Mount Telegram

Monday, September 18, 2017

Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools officials recently announced a laudable plan to open a new technical high school.

The five-year school will focus on providing its students with marketable job skills so they are better prepared to enter the 21st century workforce. As Telegram staff writer Amelia Harper reported, graduates of the proposed school will obtain a high school diploma from Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools and also complete an associate in applied science degree or certificate from Nash Community College.

The new technical school, the CITI High School — which stands for the Center for Industry, Technology and Innovation — will fall under the legislative auspices of the Cooperative Innovative High School like the Nash-Rocky Mount Early College High School.

The school,  which will come at little extra cost to taxpayers, will be located on the campus of Rocky Mount Middle School, which will be adapted for the use by the construction of a wall to separate middle school and high school students and creation of a separate entrance for high school students..

The CITI High School is a much-needed vehicle for preparing non-college-bound students for good-paying careers. For a variety of reasons, not all high school students will be able to attend a college or university. The CITI High School will prepare these students for jobs in the trades and local industries.

If approved, the school plans to accept applications of up to 100 students the first year with plans to grow the school by 100 students each year until it reaches an enrollment of 500 students. The application process will be open to all rising 9th- and 10th-grade high school students in the school district.

Nash-Rocky Mount officials say they hope to receive preliminary approval for the school from the N.C. State Board of Education by the end of the year. 

Then the proposal will need to get final approval and funding from the N.C. General Assembly when it convenes next year.

Lawmakers should be encouraged to sign off on the plan. The CITI High School can play an important role in preparing students for a successful future and helping build a well-skilled local workforce for years to come.