NC Checks Progress on High School Graduation Rates

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina is finding out whether high school graduation rates can continue the improvement of recent years.

State school officials on Thursday are releasing data describing how many students are earning diplomas in four years. The report last year showed high school graduation rates for the first time topped 80 percent, up from 68 percent in 2006.

The improving graduation rate immediately became a question of whether North Carolina’s schools were doing better despite recession-era funding cuts that have forced schools to hire fewer teachers even as enrollments increased.

About 1.5 million students attend the state’s public schools.

NCHSAA Celebrates 100th Anniversary

CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.  Consisting of more than 400 members and coordinating with 400 high schools in North Carolina, the NCHSAA tries to use education based athletics.

Executive director of the NCHSAA, Davis Whitfield, comments on some of the goals for the program.

“We have a strong student services program where we teach leadership, integrity those values that we feel like education based athletics provides for our young people in North Carolina” said Whitfield.

After 100 years of teaching high school athletes core values and improving athletics around the state, Whitfield considers NC high school athletics to be very strong and full of rich talent.

“Athletics is strong in North Carolina right now, and we’re excited about that, there are more and more young people participating, there are new programs that are growing” says Whitfield.

High school athletics doesn’t end with the players, but that it also extends into the community. Athletics can help bring communities together and create a stronger bond between the people of the communities and the high school.

“I think you have something special with high school athletics because you not only represent your high school but your community and families and in a way that brings your community together” said Whitfield.

For the upcoming year, the NCHSAA has several changes planned to improve athletics.  Whitfield says the association plans on investing in communication technology to improve communication with the schools, provide professional development for both students and coaches, provide additional revenue for the schools, as well as some building renovations.

“Well we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us Ron, we just completed the first year of our strategic plan so we’ll move into the second year of that, and certainly with that, that lays out a plan and a map for us to pursue over the next three to five years” said Whitfield.

The Association also has a commemorative book available for the 100th anniversary of the association. The book contains a history of some high school athletics in NC and several great pictures and information. For more information on a commemorative book call 919-240-7401.

CHCCS To Review School Culture, Discipline

CHAPEL HILL- The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools board will discuss school culture, stress and student discipline at tonight’s meeting.

Superintendent Tom Forcella writes in a memo to the board that a disproportionate number of minority students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City schools face discipline or suspension. School officials will review data on race and discipline, with an eye to crafting new policies designed to end the disparity.

In addition, school board members will review the results of a student-led survey of juniors and seniors that highlights academic pressure in the district’s high schools. The recommendations from that survey include dropping class ranking, holding students more accountable for on-line courses, and encouraging stress reducing activities throughout the school day.

The board will also review the district’s three-year plan for gifted student education.

The board meets at 7 o’clock in Council Chambers at Town Hall.