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Edgecombe Early College agreement renewed

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

TARBORO — The Edgecombe County Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved a Cooperative Innovation High School renewal agreement between the school district and Edgecombe Community College to ensure the existence of the Edgecombe Early College High School for another five years through the 2023-24 school year.

Because the Early College High School operates on the campus of Edgecombe Community College and works in partnership with the college to provide certain classes, the agreement between the two entities has to be periodically renewed.

“The purpose of this agreement it to ensure the sustained operation of the Edgecombe Early College High School as a model high school dedicated to innovative instruction, best practices, college access, workforce development and expanding student opportunities for educational success through high quality instructional programming that will enable students to achieve their academic goals,” the agreement states. “This agreement expresses our joint intent to the North Carolina Department of Instruction that we want to continue operating the Edgecombe Early College High School.”

In other business, the board also granted permission for North Edgecombe High School to submit a grant application to N.C. State University for up to $30,000 in funding through the North Eastern Leadership Academy Innovation Fund.

Four school leaders in the district have come through the leadership academy and the school district is hoping the funds can be used to help expand the “micro school’ model.

“If awarded, the funding will contribute to expansion of the Micro Schools into the School of Innovation at North Edgecombe High School,” the grant application states. “The funds would be used for marketing, onboarding of new teachers through an Innovation Ed Camp and creating unique learning experiences for scholars outside of school.”

School leaders also are hoping that enough grant funding will be awarded to design a makerspace lab that “supports the critical design skills inculcated in our School of Innovation.”

According to the application, the Micro School model involves select students from Phillips Middle School and North Edgecombe High School in a “human-centered design process” that centers around students “developing purpose, passion, agency and resilience by designing solutions to self-identified challenges.” 

The application also indicates that the approach is already seeing a certain measure of success.

“North/Phillips Micro School of Innovation students are outperforming their peers in traditional learning environments on standardized assessment in both English Language Arts and science,” the application states. “Students self report that as a result of the opportunity to design and implement their own projects, they feel empowered, motivated to learn and increasingly confident that they can make a difference in the world.”

The school district should learn whether the grant has been awarded in a few weeks.

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