Students return to classes Monday

Aug. 23, 2014 @ 02:10 PM

Vance County students return to school Monday in the midst of big changes.

The STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — Early High School, housed at Northern Vance, will perform as an official middle school this year.

The program received its school number earlier this year. Rey Horner, former assistant principal at Southern Vance, was named principal.

Horner said he was excited about his new journey and pleased with the great turnout at the school’s open house Wednesday.

Horner said he hopes to bring students more hands-on learning in technology and science.

“I am really looking forward to it,” he said. “I have a wonderful staff, and I had a chance to meet a lot of parents. I am very pleased with what I saw, and I think it’s going to be a very successful year.”

The district’s Fire and Public Safety Academy, a career and technical education partnership with local rescue departments and Vance-Granville Community College, will start, as well.

District spokeswoman Terri Hedrick said more than 50 students have signed up.

About 7,000 students will return to classrooms in the 17 schools that make up Vance County’s public school system.

Hedrick said the district maintains goals to enhance reading abilities, decrease the drop-out rate and increase the graduation rate.

“We are ready to get going,” Hedrick said. “It’s time to get back to work.”

Hedrick said summer camps gave students the proper head start.

“Some students were able to move forward, although some still had to be retained,” she said. “Regardless, it was a good thing to get them some good instruction over the summer months.”

More than 1.5 million students across the state return to school Monday — along with the school buses and cars that transport them on North Carolina roads.

In the last two school years, five students have been killed either crossing the road to or from a bus or while standing at a bus stop, according to the state Department of Transportation.

NCDOT released a statement advising drivers to be cautious of the chaos.

“Keeping our students safe is a priority and these tragic accidents can be avoided if we all practice simple safety measures,” state transportation secretary Tony Tata said in the release. “We urge students to be careful when crossing the street and drivers to do their part by keeping a close eye on students who are getting on or off school buses, as well as students and teachers who are walking to and from school.”

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.