AHS to become a magnet school?

Buddy Rich

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In todays edition of the Snap, the SC Board of Education has put forth a plan, part A, for a reconfiguration of the SC School System. They purpose the closing of east, norwood and Oakboro elementary schools. Also the closing of South Stanly High School. Now here's the real kicker. Albemarle High School would become a Magnet School with an enrollment of 570. This school would draw from Albemarle and SS. Some of these students would also go to NS and WS. OK btango this is right down your alley. Explain to us just what a MAGNET school really is and what it would do to AHS as we know it today. Thanks!
 

btango

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Magnet schools or programs draw students from areas other than the schools standard district for classes that are not available at the other schools that will be part of the magnet program district. Example only: North starts a magnet program for farming. West Stanly has this same program but South and Albemarle do not. Due to overcrowding at West and under capacity at North the students from South and West would go to North for this program and no longer West.

Facility wise Albemarle is probably in the best shape and has room to expand plus is centrally located which makes sense to keep it open On the flip side, Albemarle being centrally located which makes sense to close it as the students can be moved out to the three remaining schools via a more direct and shorter route.

Not exactly sure what all the plan entails but will try to get some information.

I think closing East Albemarle makes sense due to the availability of class space at Central. (EDIT: was informed no space at Central which would require Endy, Aquadale, and Badin to be utilized as the new school districts for the students.) If they close Oakboro the students will be split up between Stanfield, Locust, and Endy most likely. Bad idea to close Oakboro as Stanfield and Locust are starting to see development pick up again. 180 acres just bought by a national builder in that area. Not sure closing Norwood is such a great idea. The distance for some of those students to travel is not good. My guess is they would be sent to Badin, Aquadale, and Albemarle.

This post was edited on 1/27 3:18 PM by btango
 

Dogs9

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A magnet school doesn't have boundaries and could draw students from anywhere in the county and I think it might could even draw from outside the county. If Albemarle becomes a magnet school you are probably looking as far as athletics maybe close to Gray Stone or worse.
 

btango

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Originally posted by Dogs9:

A magnet school doesn't have boundaries and could draw students from anywhere in the county and I think it might could even draw from outside the county. If Albemarle becomes a magnet school you are probably looking as far as athletics maybe close to Gray Stone or worse.
A magnet would not draw from outside the county except for going by the same guidelines now in place. Charters do not fall under one system nor the same operating system as standard districted schools.

I am sure there will be a lot of back and forth on this and possibly nothing come out of it. Without building a new high school closing only one school is the only way to go but it will take redistricting to North and West also to make it work.
 

ObserveAndReport

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Btango is right on. If they were a magnet, it would essentially mean that their "zone" would become the entire county that operates the school. Most magnets are centrally located in a county, and some, like Highland Tech, have academic requirements for entry and lotteries that determine admissions. They're slightly different from, and often confused with, charter schools, which are not run by a particular school system, but rather under an independent charter and their own board, kind of like a business, and get state funding based on the number of students that attend them.
 

sway1532

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Educational wise, Albemarle becoming a Magnet school is a great idea. According to the article, they will be offering STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) classes. This will better prepare our kids to face challenges when they go off to college, so they will be better prepared and put them on the path of a legitimate profession.

Now this is the flip side. I know you "Old" guys are "Computer Illiterate" and may not fully understand that a STEM school is.
Well, to be able to attend a STEM Magnet school, you have to score high in Math, Science, etc. I forgot the name of that one group that has labeled Albemarle as a "Low Preforming School", but I can guarantee that 570 students will not be attending Albemarle that are from "Albemarle". Only the "Top Teir" students will be going to this school...I guarantee.

Check out CMC requirements for STEM. This is pretty tough honestly:
http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/cmsdepartments/ci/MagnetPrograms/Pages/EntranceRequirements.aspx



I know education comes first, but as an Albemarle Bulldog fan, this is concerning. Buddy, I believe Albemarle has ran its last lap. SCS will defiantly move in A phase direction. Times have changed and its time for Albemarle to change with it...I guess.
 

WMFootballFanatic

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Nothing to be concerned about Sway. As long as all the football players in Stanly County like whatever magnetizes Albemarle, you guys have a powerhouse. Like WS Prep in basketball. That could be Albemarle in football. I think everyone else should be concerned.
 

btango

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Originally posted by WMFootballFanatic:
Nothing to be concerned about Sway. As long as all the football players in Stanly County like whatever magnetizes Albemarle, you guys have a powerhouse. Like WS Prep in basketball. That could be Albemarle in football. I think everyone else should be concerned.
Not necessarily. If it is a magnet program such as Charlotte Meck has at their schools the student has to qualify through testing and interviews which is definitely not a WSP type of program.

Lets say Albemarle becomes a full magnet with no district. I do not see how they will come near 570 students even with South closing and some of their top students opting for the STEM program. I would expect a lot of their students would be ok with West or may be North. The ones districted to North may opt for Greystone as the drive will not be much further. There is a stigma hanging over Albemarle and there has been a general distaste of the school and city to some degree by the other three schools but especially the western are of the county. I think this program will struggle.
 

Buddy Rich

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OK btango what if we just do nothing, except to redistrict. Would'nt that solve some of the imbalance in all 4 of the present high schools. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but just how long has it been since we have had redistricting. I just know it's been a loooooonnnnnng time.
 

sway1532

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Buddy, I believe the focal point here is the education that the kids are getting. Redistricting will not solve this problem. It may help with the numbers, but overall the parents are upset with the way the schools are performing. There are "Heavy" fines for a school that is not performing well. And they will not get funding. Schools have to meet a "Quota" like any other business. Sad to say this, but its true.
 

Buddy Rich

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I understand the education thing, sway, and I agree with you. I was just thinking back to when I was in HS. We didn't have discipline problems, most of the students got their homework in on time and we all tried to make the honor roll. I just don't think these things are important to a lot of our students today. Maybe a few, but not many. So what has changed. First I think the students have to take a lot of the responsibility for the poor education they are getting. And also the parents must share in this also. You can blame the teachers all you want but if the student doesn't want to learn or doesn't care about his grades, then what is gonna change this. It has to start in the home and nowhere else. JMO.
 

mbdfan

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so essentially this plan means Stanly County would for all intent and purposes become a two high school system and Albemarle as we know it would cease to exist, correct?
 

Buddy Rich

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Another thing sway. I don't think the people and alumni of AHS will sit idley by and let this happen, without putting up one hell of a fight.
 

mbdfan

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well I'd hate see that plan come to fruition, I just can't imagine the Albemarle Bulldogs becoming Gray Stone Day 2.0
 

btango

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Originally posted by Buddy Rich:

OK btango what if we just do nothing, except to redistrict. Would'nt that solve some of the imbalance in all 4 of the present high schools. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but just how long has it been since we have had redistricting. I just know it's been a loooooonnnnnng time.
If the four high schools had an even amount of students the enrollment number would be 582. The problem is the largest concentration of students is the Locust / Stanfield area. You would need to look at sending students from Oakboro area to Albemarle which means they would pass right by West or South which is a much further distance than West for the vast majority of the students. Not right, not fair, not smart.

Bottom line the county needs a maximum of three high schools. I personally do not see a magnet only Albemarle bringing in enough students to justify that setup initially although the acceptance of it may grow in the county with time and academic achievement. The competition would be heavy with Greystone and Stanly Middle College (I always called it early college). Also, a lot of students would just opt to remain in their current school utilizing the available curriculum although they may be high academic achievers. I think once a student that has never attended one of the other schools has an option for an Albemarle Open Magnet HS you may see more acceptance of the idea.

I hate to say it but the best way to handle this situation could possibly be the option to close Albemarle. I think the county may be better off with three standard high schools. Just a guess as I have no idea really but no one will be happy. Either way sports as we know it will no longer exist at Albemarle under Plan A or definitely B. Tweaks to A could make something feasible but unless the current Albemarle district is broken the magnet will never work. If the people that graduated from Albemarle want to complain, they can, but at the end of the day there is a budget and logistics issue and something drastic is going to happen. If people want to be bullies and act like jack asses to fight the closing that is not going to alleviate the issues at the school and most likely only delay the inevitable.

This post was edited on 1/27 3:35 PM by btango
 

Buddy Rich

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Since Albemarle is a dying community I guess we might as well take the HS down with it. With Grey Stone and the early college I guess it was just a matter of time till this came about. I'm sorry but I just don't see the magnet school idea catching on. So I guess all that is left is to close AHS. The best facility in the county shut down. This just didn't happen overnight. All the previous school boards have made one stupid decision after another to get to this point. Hate to see the end of Albemarle Football, as I have been a fan for over 60 years, but I guess all good things must come to an end. Maybe I'll become a Warrior fan. LOL.
 

ObserveAndReport

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With a charter school and an early college already operating in a small county, what's the point of adding an academically rigorous magnet school? It seems like they're trying to supply a demand that's already met.
This post was edited on 1/27 3:19 PM by ObserveAndReport
 

btango

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Originally posted by ObserveAndReport:
With a charter school and an early college already operating in a small county, what's the point of adding an academically rigorous magnet school? It seems like they're trying to supply a demand that's already met.
This post was edited on 1/27 3:19 PM by ObserveAndReport
The early college seems to be a totally different animal. My guess is the magnet would have some programs not available at SCC or Greystone. To me, a magnet in Stanly County would seem to be a replica of the Greystone student body from a socio economic standpoint to a large degree.
 

WMFootballFanatic

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I just read the article. I see the concern now from Albemarle fans. I misunderstood the magnitude of what you were talking about yesterday Buddy.
 

Buddy Rich

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It's very serious, foot. Now let me see if I have this right. If plan A is implienmented then the first year Albemarle High would close and all the students would be bused to north, west and south. Then the second year AHS would reopen as a Magnet school. Is that about right. That's a lot of busing folks. Either plan is a lose, lose situation for AHS. There has got to be other options out there. I do realize that something has to be done to better utilize the shrinking funds available. This is what happens when you have a community with zero growth econically. As I said earily we are now going to pay for a lot of dumb decisions made by the previous school boards. All we can do as a community is to stand up and be heard when the public forum comes.
 

bulldog nation2014

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I was told the magnet that would be at AHS would not have sports. The kids attending could play sports at their districted school. Here is my issue, since the redistricting Albemarle has been dropping. They essentially gave West Stanly and North 75% of the county and split the remaining 25% between South and Albemarle. Amazingly the zones they left in Albemarle are primarily the under priviledged portions. I dont think that is a coincidence. That removes students and incomes out of the district. West stanly i believe is close to capacity and North i believe is not at capacity.

I think this is a bad idea as typically your city school is your main school. North Stanlys student population has been dwindling big time. I think thos is an effort like before to increase North or "save" North. I believe there is a huge bias on this board in favor of West and North. It wasnt long ago i believe that Albemarle had the AP classes and was doing fine. Am i wrong about this?

Go Bulldogs!!!!
 

bulldog nation2014

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Additionally. If they close AHS and South which are the poorest schools AFTER the redistricting what are some of these kids going to do who are involved in sports going to do? I mean some of these kids have trouble getting to AHS let alone to North and West? Smh if they want to close a school or two it should not be the city school. Sorry alot of kids will suffer from this. Need to quit looking at the money and think about the kids. The shame is these are the kids that need the most help.

Just remember the story about gaster i believe that would load up his truck and take kids to practice.

Why not close north and south? Or just close north and put those resources into AHS. North has had a dwindling student population as well.

Making a magnet out of Albemarle is a mistake as most of the poorer kids wont qualify for sti hurts those kids. Why close AHS who is the most diversified school in the county? The redistricting is what made them the poorest school remember that. Sorry i think this is not smart to close the city school. The impacts among those kids would be great.
This post was edited on 1/28 9:08 AM by bulldog nation2014
 

Dogs9

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If North and West are not at full capacity why do they both have mobile classrooms?
 

Buddy Rich

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All the boards since merger have been pro west and to some degree pro north. Albemarle and south have been left sucking hind you know what. Its a crying shame that the school board can't work for the county system as a whole. Little people with a lot of power is a very dangerous thing and that's what we have in SC. Albemarle's days were numbered when merger took place. The first thing they did was piss away all the money the city school system had in the bank with really nothing to show for it. You have kids in the city limits of Albemarle going to west, north and south. How DUMB is this. I don't have an answer for the situation the board has itself in, but what they are purposing is just plain STUPID. And that's all I have to say for now. More to come later.
 

bulldog nation2014

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I agree Buddy. Kind of a throw a bunch of crap at the wall and see what sticks kind of mentality. Dogs remember North used to be 2a then dropped to 1aa and now 1a those trailers are not new. They ised to be plus 900 i believe and now are 600 i think somebody else can probably give you more accurate info. AHS should be the main school in the county as it is the city school. Show me one case where they have closed the city school and it has been successful and i will show you a 100 that the city school is the main school and works out very well for everybody. Add more resources to AHS and watch what happens.

Go Bulldogs!!!
 

exsshs

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The issues at Albemarle have very little to do with the school board. It has to do with demographics. Take the ADM's of Alb elementary schools and do the math as to how that translates to high school and if all Alb kid's went to Alb HS the AHS adm's would be around 600. Something has to change or Alb's issues will continue to get worse. Some of you guys are hung up on Football, when the issue should be the kid's education first and foremost. Am I happy about S Stanly potentially closing, NO. But I'm willing look at options for what is best for the kids and their future success. I think what could happen is both WS and NS could eventually be turned into Middle Schools and build 2 new high schools located where they best fit the majority of the kids. Yes some kids will have to travel farther. JMO.
 

bulldog nation2014

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Not hung up on football. I am thinking about the kids here who are currently not being thought of. Name one city school from a small county like this that has been successful after it shutdown. A lot of kids will be out in the cold for any extracurricular activities. They simply have a hard time getting from AHS to home. Do you think that will be easier adding 10-15 min to that trip? The main city school should stay and the resources needed should be allocated.


I have a question you have North Stanly in the middle of knowhere not even being mentioned about closing. But you want to shutdown the main city school? That makes no sense.
 

btango

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ADMs for football over the last ten years have seen a substantial drop in the enrollments of each county schools with this year being the lowest for each except for Albemarle.

West 1,045 peak in 2004 to 822 this year. 22% decrease.
South 573 peak in 2006 to 441 this year. 24% decrease.
North 800 peak in 2006 to 595 this year. 26% decrease.
Albemarle 691 peak in 2004 to 471 this year. 31% decrease. 438 in 2013 was the lowest.
 

btango

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Originally posted by bulldog nation2014:


I think this is a bad idea as typically your city school is your main school. North Stanlys student population has been dwindling big time. I think thos is an effort like before to increase North or "save" North. I believe there is a huge bias on this board in favor of West and North. It wasnt long ago i believe that Albemarle had the AP classes and was doing fine. Am i wrong about this?

Go Bulldogs!!!!
Albemarle is the one losing the most enrollment but all three are losing. Albemarle is not the same school that it was. Totally different demographics.
 

btango

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Originally posted by bulldog nation2014:
I was told the magnet that would be at AHS would not have sports. The kids attending could play sports at their districted school. Here is my issue, since the redistricting Albemarle has been dropping. They essentially gave West Stanly and North 75% of the county and split the remaining 25% between South and Albemarle. Amazingly the zones they left in Albemarle are primarily the under priviledged portions. I dont think that is a coincidence. That removes students and incomes out of the district. West stanly i believe is close to capacity and North i
If Albemarle is not going to be a total magnet they should not do it. People from outside the Albemarle district will not go there if it a combination of magnet students and students districted to the school. No question in my mind. Period.

The scenario you are quoting about the sports cannot be correct. Students that have a home district school cannot play sports at another school which would void the Albemarle district students that would be attending the magnet based on your statement. In the past the NCHSAA has allowed students to attend a magnet without sports and play at another school but that has been years ago since I saw that situation. Students at Stanly CC Early College cannot play sports at their home district school as far as I know. Also, a student at Greystone cannot play football at their home district school although this is a charter school.

In addition, it would be a logistical nightmare having students playing sports at two schools (West and North) that are not housed on that campus.

I think there was some misinformation or miscommunication on this.
 

bulldog nation2014

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Yes the demographics has changed but that is due to mainly the redistricting. Amazingly those areas are the ones that were moved. In no way shape or form should north or west come into albemarle city limits. Especially west. They took the higher income families out of Albemarle when they redistricted. I guess lucky for north and west sucks to be albemarle and south who from what I understand were doing just fine before that. There are kids in South stanly HS backyard going to west stanly.

You want to know who is hurting the school system and these kids it's the ones who have the power that from what I gather don't really know what they are doing other than they love west and north.

Sorry but those are the facts. Look at the school district map and tell me I am wrong. Just the higher income areas of albemarle got moved. Interesting.
 

btango

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Originally posted by bulldog nation2014:
Additionally. If they close AHS and South which are the poorest schools AFTER the redistricting what are some of these kids going to do who are involved in sports going to do? I mean some of these kids have trouble getting to AHS let alone to North and West? Smh if they want to close a school or two it should not be the city school. Sorry alot of kids will suffer from this. Need to quit looking at the money and think about the kids. The shame is these are the kids that need the most help.

Why not close north and south? Or just close north and put those resources into AHS. North has had a dwindling student population as well.

Making a magnet out of Albemarle is a mistake as most of the poorer kids wont qualify for sti hurts those kids. Why close AHS who is the most diversified school in the county? The redistricting is what made them the poorest school remember that. Sorry i think this is not smart to close the city school. The impacts among those kids would be great.
This post was edited on 1/28 9:08 AM by bulldog nation2014
If there is no money to pay for something how do you keep it going? The citizens voted down the .25% sales tax increase which was to be used for the emergency communications system and the schools. Sure the good of the children should never be about money but we know that it does not work that way in more ways than just education.

If they are doing a magnet it needs to be the most centrally located school which is Albemarle. If you are looking at having a school with no sports Albemarle makes some sense as they do not have the least amount of facilities on campus and the worst gym in the county which is ridiculous. The only reason they have the fieldhouse is due to the potential of a federal Title 9 lawsuit.

My personal preference would be to close North and South sending a small amount of each school to West with a new high school being built on the connector but there is not money to build a new high school. The current Albemarle High School does not have the space or required facilities to house 1,200 students.
 

bulldog nation2014

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We just got our gym redone. And what sense does it make to have yet ANOTHER magnet or charter in stanly county? You have the college readiness at SCCC and you have Graystone. Why wouldn't they put the magnet in Locust where there is a growing population? The kids you are talking about that would attend that school typically are not your underprivileged kids.

IMHO AHS like it or not is your city school north and west are not. The additional resources should be allocated to AHS for better facilities and to expand if need be. There is plenty of room to expand on the AHS campus. You don't need to build a new school you can remodel and add to what is there saving $$.

You can add a 1% city school district tax for Albemarle and they would have the resources needed to do well.
 

bulldog nation2014

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I would have no problem paying a 1% city tax for Albemarle city schools however I wouldn't agree to the tax that was proposed due to what I see as this school districts bias and favoritism towards west and north.
 

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