The high school selection process will begin with open houses next month.
All four high schools will welcome prospective students and their families to visit and meet with school staff before choosing where to apply.
During the school board’s meeting on Monday evening, superintendent Michael Freeman said that all four schools have their unique advantages.
Anson Academy, for example, has a low student-teacher ratio, allowing students to receive more attention from teachers, Freeman said.
Anson County Early College is a five-year program that allows students to receive an associate’s degree in addition to their high school diploma. In some cases, students can earn a trade certificate rather than a degree. Students may earn up to 62 college-hour credits.
Anson High School has a total of 41 clubs on campus, as well as other activities, Freeman said. It also has the STEM Youth Career Challenge Academy.
Anson New Technology High School also has a smaller setting with about 150 students, Freeman noted. It largely uses project-based learning.
The oldest Youth Career Challenge Academy students at Anson High School will be seniors this year. The grant supporting the program is scheduled to end in the 2017-18 school year, but Freeman said that there are plans to expand and keep a “sustainability program” in place so that it can be offered to more students in the future. Because of the grant, the program had to include a certain amount of students, but when it is expanded, the school will be able to add more interested students.
Freeman said that each child and family will have to decide for themselves which is the best fit for them.
“An eighth-grader can easily get into the mood of saying, ‘I want to go to where my friends are,’” Freeman said. “That’s a teenager thing.”
He said he wants to encourage the children to make their choice by the school’s merit, adding that the open houses should help them to make the decision.
Once the committee decides the student’s placement, the parents can appeal if they choose to.
Five or six years ago, a family unhappy with their child’s placement appealed, set on one of the schools their student wasn’t assigned to, Freeman said. The family hadn’t attended the open houses, but after touring the assigned school, decided the committee had made the correct choice, he said, adding that committee decisions are not made at random.
Some parents want their kids to attend the same high school. Others want their kids to go to different ones. But Freeman advised that the student decide on the school he or she researched and felt was the best fit. Students will receive a flow chart to help them make the decision, and can work with their school counselors, as well.
Anson Academy and Anson County Early College will both hold their open houses from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8.
Anson High School and its Youth Career Academy and Anson New Technology High School will hold their open houses from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.