Parents all around Cabarrus County have probably marked Aug. 25 on their calendar in one way or another as a very important day for their children.
In case you don't know, that is the day classes begin for the new school year. That means only nine more days of summer vacation for most kids in Cabarrus County. I say "most" kids because there is one public school in Cabarrus County where students have been attending classes since Aug. 5. They have a head start for the new school year and are getting a head start for their entire educational career. It's called the Cabarrus Kannapolis Early College High School and students there are simultaneously earning high school and college credits.
"Students are dually enrolled in our public high school, working towards their high school diploma. However, they are also working towards a two year associates arts degree or a two year associates science degree," said English teacher, Jade Love. "The program can take 4-5 years to complete. While students are working through our program, we help them make goals for their future. Through guest speakers and field trips to colleges, we help them decide what professions they are interested in and what schools are best suited for their needs. Although we do not have sports at our school, we still incorporate many social activities. Each Friday we have clubs, traditional school dances, spirit weeks etc."
Love has been teaching at Cabarrus County Schools for three years.
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"I previously taught at Mount Pleasant High School and this is my second year at Early College High School, serving as the only English teacher and yearbook adviser. I currently teach Honor's English 1 and 2. My classes are very hands on: intensive reading, writing, and discussions fused with problem solving and analyzing materials. My students know their opinions and participation are imperative in making our classroom fun and interesting. The classes here require critical thinking and determination from our students. However, when things become a little complicated, we are here to help each other through the obstacles."
Classes are held at the south campus of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and because the high school curriculum is condensed, students must enter as rising freshmen.
"The coolest thing from my perspective is seeing how we have all became so close. We are really a family here. Students hold each other accountable for their actions and expect highly engaging lessons from their teachers. My classes this semester are 21 students per class.
If you want more information on this school you can go to the Cabarrus County School website at www.ccsweb.cabarrus.k12.nc.us and click on Early College High School.
"All the students are issued a laptop to use during their years at Early College High School. I think this program is a blessing for families that want their children to attend college but do not have the means of making that dream come true.