Stokes County has five high schools - North Stokes, South Stokes, West Stokes, Meadowbrook Academy and Stokes Early College. Approximately one-third of our total student population will attend classes on these campuses.
High school administrators and staff must constantly address such diverse concerns as grade levels, master schedules, school calendars, report cards, diplomas, technology, colleges of choice, school-to-work opportunities and a host of other pieces, not to mention the areas of curriculum and instruction. Each educator and each person who cares about student success must ask the same basic questions:
- What should students learn?
- What are the best conditions for learning?
- What teacher behaviors enhance learning?
- How should classes and schools be organized?
- What must students know to succeed in the 21st century?
- What can schools do to prepare students for the 21st century?
The questions are endless because:
- Teaching is both an art and a science
- Students are diverse and respond differently
- Societal needs and demands change
- Local and site-specific needs differ considerably
Yet, as we enter the 21st century, we realize it is time to rev up the engines of education at the high school level. The future of our free and democratic society and our free-market economy depend upon it. So do the individual futures of hundreds of students, who will need to live fulfilling lives, serve as good citizens and contribute to a global economy.
We are committed to the belief that as we enter a new millennium, parents, educators and schools, citizens, government and business have an extraordinary opportunity to become "weavers of dreams" for the future. By surrounding our high school students with a circle of support and a consistent message emphasizing education and life-long learning, we have come to believe that:
- Students must be active learners
- Teachers must assume the roles of counselor and advisor
- Block scheduling facilitates learning
- Interdisciplinary teaching is essential
- Shared decision-making promotes feelings of professionalism
- Cooperative learning, peer teaching and the sharing of ideas must replace the practice of students working in isolation
- Parental and community involvement in the schools must increase significantly
- Technology must be an integral part of the integrated curriculum
- Business and industry involvement, properly planned and managed, can be beneficial to each high school
Whatever the state of society, high schools still are viewed as having the primary responsibility in preparing young adults for the future. With school improvement as a priority, implemented innovations must be results-driven, research-based, and practical. Because of these reasons, our focus is on helping young adults to clarify their aspirations, to monitor their progress, and to try to understand and alleviate the problems they encounter.
In the high schools of Stokes County, we believe that programs must be viewed as an investment, not a cost. Clearly, this is the bottom line when it comes to the big "A word"- accountability, the priority of our educational agenda.