Education

CMS wants to replicate ‘LIFT Academy’ at two more high schools

Students at the LIFT Academy go through their coursework using computer programs.
Students at the LIFT Academy go through their coursework using computer programs. jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools hopes to expand a program that helps students at risk for dropping out to graduate on time by bringing it to two more high schools.

The district is requesting about $2.5 million from Mecklenburg County to replicate the LIFT Academy at West Mecklenburg High School.

CMS Superintendent Ann Clark said Tuesday that another similar program will be launched at Harding University High.

The current LIFT Academy is a part of West Charlotte High School, and has helped boost the school’s graduation rate from 56 percent two years ago to 78 percent. As of next week, about 120 students will have graduated from the program, which allows students to move through their coursework using computer programs in a smaller environment.

At West Mecklenburg, the program would be housed at the Wilson Middle site, less than a mile from the main campus. The middle school was closed amid budget cuts in 2011.

The $2.5 million would go to replace the roof and renovate the heating and air conditioning, flooring and plumbing.

The LIFT Academy at West Charlotte costs about $675,000 per year.

The school board approved the request at its meeting Tuesday.

CMS also plans to request another $1.5 million to expand career and technical education at Harding University High, Vance High and West Charlotte.

Dunn: 704-358-5235;

Twitter: @andrew_dunn

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