Two of the smallest graduations this year in the Wake County school system will be held Thursday at the Vernon Malone College & Career Academy and the Wake STEM Early College.
Both Raleigh high schools are graduating their first class of students with five from Vernon Malone and 14 from Wake STEM Early College. In comparison, some big Wake high schools have more than 500 graduates.
The reason for Vernon Malone’s small graduating class is that it originally wasn’t supposed to have any seniors this school year.
Vernon Malone was originally supposed to open in August with sophomores and juniors with the senior class coming in the 2015-16 school year. But the school had so few applicants that seniors were accepted.
The numbers will go up, especially since the district allowed rising freshmen to apply to Vernon Malone. The school is set to have 323 students this fall compared to 128 this school year.
Vernon Malone is a partnership between the school system and Wake Tech. Students can graduate with a high school diploma and specialized training in fields such as plumbing, welding, game design and cosmetology.