Do higher expectations = better CHS? Ideas abound for improving school Saturday, April 18, 2009 By Lauren Faw, Class of 2009
On Thursday, March 26 during second block, a team of SWO staffers spread out through CHS with a simple objective: Find out what can be done to improve our school. Below are the results of that mission. Check out Keilan Bowens' video of images taken that morning. The halls of Concord High resound with the hustle and bustle of students during a class change. Probably the last thing on the minds of students is how they can improve upon their alma mater. Students are lucky enough to have an entire team of teachers and staff who take the worry upon themselves. Concord High's School Improvement Team, headed by Assistant Principal of Instruction Karen Mitchell, comes together to discuss what changes need to be made to the school to make CHS the best it can be. Members of SIT want to close the gap between high achievers and those that struggle, cater to special populations within the system, and promote leadership. As Mitchell said, "Everything within the School Improvement Plan is based around the committee's vision," which is to develop a single school culture in which all members of CHS share high expectations for each student to achieve. SIT member Bee Manship added, "I'd like to see CHS, and all schools within the Cabarrus school system, get away from the block schedule. Classes should be 50 minutes long; that way students will have less overwhelming classes and longer lunches." That is certainly a possibility most students would relish. Other faculty not on SIT see different issues that should be addressed. History teacher Nikki Drake said, "It begins with the students. If students take pride in their school and show that they want improvements to be made, it will happen. Students have more power than they think." Drake also said she would like to see more electives added to the curriculum to get away from the overload of stressful EOC classes required of students. Currently, new electives cannot be added because of the school's limited budget, which must target required courses first. Sarah Perdue, another teacher at CHS, would like to see anatomy and physiology courses and says there should be more afterschool activities for the students. "At my old school, we had recreation night once a month," Perdue said. "They would leave the gym open for basketball, and some classes would have movies and video games. I would like to see that here." Perdue agrees with Manship that classes should be 45 to 50 minutes long. Perdue would also like to see laptops in certain classes; but due to the economy and limited funding, she knows such a thing could be very hard to achieve. Jessica Russell, Monica Navarro, and Elijah Tubbins contributed to this article.