Eastern Wake News

WCPSS offers second chance with acceleration academy

Students who have dropped out of school will have a second chance to come back and earn a full high school diploma, with flexibility around work and home life obligations.

At its June 16 meeting the Wake County Board of Education approved plans to partner with a private company to operate the Wake Acceleration Academy, slated to open this fall. The new program will focus on identifying those students who previously dropped out of a Wake County school and invite them to finish their education in a smaller, more personalized environment.

The academy will be designed around a “blended learning” model, which means students will attend the academy for classes, but also may complete some of their coursework at home, based on their work schedules and other obligations. Mastery of content, not classroom time, will determine a student’s eligibility for graduation.

Also, the academy will offer “multi-tiered” layers of support for these students. This means that in addition to academics, students will have access to “life coaches,” counseling, behavioral support and “wrap-around services” that will help prepare them for work and life after graduating.

Acceleration Academies, LLC will operate the school as a partner with WCPSS, but attendees will be enrolled as WCPSS students.

“The Acceleration Academies model is showing early signs of success in other states,” said Drew Cook, Senior Director of High School Programs. “We feel that it is our obligation to offer every opportunity we can to ensure as many Wake County students and former students as possible finish their education, which could then lead to college, better jobs and better lives.”

Studies show high school completion is essential to improving quality of life. Graduates earn over $500,000 more than dropouts over their working lifetime and are 67 times less likely to be incarcerated and 92 percent more likely to own a home.

The Wake Acceleration Academy will support the district’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan by offering non-traditional learning environments and assisting the district’s overall goal of having at least 95 percent of students graduating by 2020.

To learn more about the program, visit www.accelerationacademy.org