Wake Ed

Wake County early college high schools win innovation award

Two Wake STEM Early College High School students work in earth science class.
Two Wake STEM Early College High School students work in earth science class. NC New Schools

Two specialized Wake County high schools in Raleigh are being recognized for their innovative practices, academic excellence and commitment to college and career readiness for all students.

NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning’s announced Monday that 16 schools, including the Wake Early College of Health and Sciences and the Wake STEM Early College High School, will receive the 2016 Recognition of Innovation and Excellence Award. The schools will serve as demonstration sites for educators, policy makers and community leaders from North Carolina and other states,

A third Triangle high school, the Johnston County Early College High Academy, was also recognized with an award.

NC New Schools said the winners were selected based on demonstrated use of a variety of innovations designed to foster student centered learning, including a culture of collaboration, and a personalized approach to support college and career readiness.

“The volume of recognized schools reflects the power of innovation combined with a disciplined approach to student-centered learning,” Tony Habit, president of NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning, said in a written statement. “Schools across the state, especially those in under-served communities face harsh challenges in raising achievement.”

This is the second year in a row that the Wake Early College of Health and Sciences has won the award from NC New Schools.

Both award-winning Wake schools are early colleges, which means that students can graduate in five years with a high school diploma and two years worth of college credit. The Wake Early College of Health and Sciences partners with Wake Technical Community College. Wake STEM Early College partners with N.C. State.

Both schools try to recruit students who would be the first in their family to attend college.

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