By Vicky Wheeler
School-to-Career Coordinator/Academy Director for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
For Carver High School Academy of Information Technology and North Forsyth High School Academy of Health Sciences, the students are not the only ones graduating this year. Both schools were recognized as having graduated the National Academy Foundation (NAF) rigorous Year of Planning (YOP) and are ready to enter their launch year with students in August. Both academies were recognized at NAF Next 2017, the network’s premier professional development involving educators and corporate partners across the United States.
The Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) at Carver High School prepares students for career opportunities in programming, web design and administration, digital networks, and other areas in the expanding digital workplace. Elerod Morris, is the Career & Technical Education academy coordinator.
North Forsyth High School’s Academy of Health Sciences (AOHS) addresses the critical achievement gap in STEM fields and develops a pipeline of students prepared to pursue health-related degrees and professions in one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, including biotechnology, genetics, nursing, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
The two additional academies increase the district’s number of academies to eight. Six are NAF academies and include Carver High School Academy of Hospitality/Tourism, East Forsyth High School and West Forsyth High Schools’ Academies of Finance, and the Mount Tabor High School Academy of Sports Management and Tourism.
The district also offers other academies at Atkins High School in the areas of engineering, scientific visualization and biomedical technology, Kennedy High Schools’ Construction and Design, ProStart and Pharmacy Technology academies and finally Walkertown Public Safety Academy which includes fire fighter and the newly approved EMT offering.
Additionally, Carver High School Academy of Hospitality/Tourism and East Forsyth High School Academy of Finance were recognized as achieving Model status. They were among more than 100 academies earning this recognition nationwide.
Both Carver High School AOIT and North Forsyth High School AOHS will join NAF’s network of over 600 academies across 36 states, including DC and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NAF provides high school students with career-themed instruction and hands on experiences in viable industries including finance, hospitality & tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences. To start a NAF academy, interested schools must apply and then be chosen through a selective process. They then begin the eighteen month “Year of Planning” program aimed at ensuring that the new academies will fulfill their promise to students and the community. For more information, please visit National Academy Foundation.