GUILFORD COUNTY — A program that Guilford County Schools officials have credited with boosting high school graduation rates will be expanded to the district’s middle schools.
GCS launched learning hubs at all 15 comprehensive high schools in the winter of 2021 to try to help students catch up from the learning loss experienced during the first year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a $2.2 million federal grant will help pay for the GCS Middle School Learning Hubs Expansion Project, the school district announced.
Superintendent Whitney Oakley issued a statement thanking U.S. Rep. Kathy Manning, D-6th, for helping secure the grant.
“This funding will provide younger students more opportunities to accelerate learning and will help prioritize academic recovery following two years of interrupted instruction,” Oakley said. “In conjunction with high-dosage tutoring, these strategies are making a difference for our students.”
The hubs create small environments after normal school hours where students can extend learning beyond the traditional day, offering tutoring, opportunities for one-on-one interaction with teachers, counseling services and other support, meals and transportation home.
The program attracted national attention, including a story last October on NBC News.
In the 2021-22 academic year, high school students who took advantage of the learning hubs had a higher graduation rate, 96.3%, than those who did not, 90.4%, GCS officials have said.
That contributed to Guilford’s record 91.8% high school graduation rate, up from 91.5% in 2020-21 and more than five points higher than the state average of 86.2%. It is also higher than the graduation rates of the state’s other five largest school systems, but Guilford is also the only school system in that group to see its graduation climb each of the past two years.
In the middle schools, the $2.2 million grant will fund services including access to academic recovery programs, mental health supports, transportation and meals, GCS said in a press release.
The funding will also support meetings for students and families to learn about college planning, test-taking strategies, high school success, college-ready course selection and opportunities to participate in choice and Career and Technical Education specialized learning.
The high school learning hub program also includes a cash incentive for students to attend — $200 for each student who attends at least 80% of the sessions — but GCS Media Relations Specialist Gabrielle Brown said that will not be part of the middle school program.
HIGH POINT — The city has enacted several policy changes aimed at spurring growth along the corridor of a new road.
The changes, approved by the City Council this week, amend the land use plan classifications for 263 acres in various locations around the Jamestown Bypass, which opened last month.
“Due to this significant road construction project, opportunities have been opened up for this area to transition and grow,” Senior Planner Andy Piper told the council.
The changes will help guide growth by recommending potential future uses in four areas near major bypass intersections in the city.
The city’s goal with the amendments is to remove any possible barriers to development in these areas, Piper said.
The western terminus of the road, which is named Jamestown Parkway, is near an Interstate 74 interchange in High Point.
The corridor features several new signalized intersections, including one at N. Scientific Street.
In addition to the plan amendments, the council approved one rezoning in this area, but omitted a second proposed change after it drew opposition from property owners.
The city initially sought to rezone an 18-acre tract just south of the intersection from industrial to residential to make it more compatible with surrounding neighborhoods.
The land owners, who operate long-time grading businesses there, objected to the city rezoning their properties residential.
While the rezoning would not have prevented them from operating their businesses, the city would have deemed them “nonconforming uses,” which would have limited their expansion options.
The council opted to leave the industrial zoning in place for the 18-acre tract.
It did rezone an adjoining 58-acre tract that’s mostly undeveloped from industrial to residential to make it consistent with surrounding neighborhoods.
HIGH POINT — Investigators are trying to determine how a High Point Police Department car and a High Point YMCA shuttle bus wrecked, resulting in an officer being injured and taken to an area hospital.
The wreck happened in the center turn lane of the 1100 block of N. Centennial Street, near the High Point University campus, about 2:40 p.m. Thursday. No information was immediately available about whether the police car hit the shuttle bus from the Carl Chavis branch of the YMCA or the other way around.
The injured officer is expected to recover, police told The High Point Enterprise.