The Wake County school system might open a high school offering specialized job training that would serve students in the northern part of the district.
School board members were briefed this week on a proposal to partner with Wake Technical Community College to open a career and technical education high school in Wake Forest in August 2017. The new school would offer students the opportunity to graduate with a diploma, some college credit and certification in areas such as culinary arts and medical office assistance.
The program would be modeled after the Vernon Malone College and Career Academy, which opened in August 2014 in South Raleigh. Wake Tech provides instructors in technical areas such as cosmetology, automobile-collision repair, welding, nursing assistant, bio-pharmaceuticals, geospatial information systems, and simulation and game development.
“We entered into a partnership at Vernon Malone that’s been very successful,” Betty Parker, the district’s senior director for real estate services, told a school board committee Wednesday. “There’s been a lot of discussion about scaling that to other Wake Tech campuses in different areas to make that sort of program more broadly available.
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“The data shows that there is a need for additional career and technical education opportunities in northern Wake.”
The proposed site for the new program is a former Winn-Dixie supermarket that has housed freshmen from Wakefield High School since 2007. But Wakefield no longer needs the building at 931 Durham Road.
Due to space limitations, Parker said the school may have no more than six programs. Those programs haven’t been identified yet, but Sandra Dietrich, chief academic officer for Wake Tech, said the intention isn’t to replicate what’s offered at Vernon Malone.
Students could begin applying in December.
“If I offer Wake Tech courses to high school students, I know I will have the enrollment,” Dietrich said.
Details need to be worked out, including getting state funding, developing the renovation plans and approving a memorandum of understanding between Wake Tech and the school system. But school board members are excited about the new program.
“I’m very pleased that we’re continuing to partner with Wake Tech,” said school board member Christine Kushner. “It’s good for both of our institutions.”
The Wake County school board’s facility committee agreed Wednesday to recommend naming a new high school near Fuquay-Varina after Kennebec Road and a new elementary school in Holly Springs after Honeycutt Road.
The names will go to the full board for approval.