New magnet school leader selected
OXFORD — Differences for the new Granville Magnet School will include a year-round schedule and follow a model with no administration in the traditional sense.
The school is scheduled to open in July.
The scheduling will include two-week breaks between quarters and a shorter summer vacation. Superintendent Tim Farley said it will be “teacher led,” meaning teachers will work as a team to develop ways for students to achieve their outcomes. A lead teacher will facilitate the process.
In its monthly meeting on March 4, the Granville County Board of Education approved the appointment of Bill Massey as lead teacher for the school.
The school will consist of a Promise Academy and a Collegiate Academy. The Promise Academy will address the specific needs of students who are at least two grade levels behind in reading ability. It will enroll 50 rising sixth-graders in the first year. The Collegiate Academy will open with 50 rising ninth-graders who have tested “college-ready” in one or more of the core subject areas — math, science, English and reading.
Farley said the magnet school is modeled on a school he visited in Worcester, Mass.
“It was in a depressed part of the city in a 130-year-old building,” Farley said. “Ninety percent of the students were on free or reduced lunch. But they graduated 100 percent of the students. I thought, ‘If it works in Worcester, why not in Granville County?’”
The school will open with a sixth-grade class and a ninth-grade class and will add a class each year until it becomes a grades 6-12 school.
Farley said the school will involve three sets of promises. Each student will sign a contract that states personal goals. Each parent will promise to participate in the student’s education. And teachers will promise to “wrap around the student,” in school and through home visits.
Massey left a career in the corporate world to become a teacher at Northern Granville Middle School, where he was selected Teacher of the Year in 2009. He retired from Granville County Schools in 2011. But he couldn’t stay way.
In a prepared statement released by the school system, Massey said he had an exciting opportunity he could not pass up.
“The school will be imagination driven, not tradition based,” Massey said in the statement. “Obtaining a different educational outcome for our students will require that we do things a different way.
“In both academies, the academic and behavioral performance of our students will be raised beyond anything they currently imagine themselves to be capable of attaining, and once their self-confidence is lifted, they will expect more of themselves.”
Enrollment in Granville Magnet School will be voluntary. The final student selection will be determined by a lottery. Applications will be distributed at the following scheduled informational sessions:
• Thursday, March 14, 6:30 p.m., at West Oxford Elementary School for sixth-graders interested in Promise Academy.
• Tuesday, March 19, 6:30 p.m. at Northern Granville Middle School for ninth-graders interested in the Collegiate Academy.
• Thursday, March 21, 6:30 p.m. at G.C. Hawley Middle School for ninth-graders interested in the Collegiate Academy.
The statement encouraged parents to attend an informational meeting to learn about college credits that can be earned, self-paced learning and the commitment required.
The school will be based in the building next to Mary Potter School but will serve students throughout the county. Transportation, lunch and exceptional child services will be provided, Farley said.
Overseeing the operation will be a community board made up of teachers, parents, other interested parties, including a member of the Board of Education.
Parents seeking more information about Granville Magnet School or the informational sessions and the application process may contact Massey through email at email@example.com or by phone (919) 690-2317.
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