These Vance High students are dreaming big – They need our help

These Vance High students are dreaming big – They need our help

Just about every part of the high school experience at Vance High has gone virtual or gone away since March 16, 2020, the day that COVID-19 shut the schoolhouse doors across North Carolina. Students haven’t returned to Vance High classrooms for 10 months and counting. In the year of Zoom, Facetime, virtual lessons and televised graduations, faculty member Vikki Harmon and her team of 21 students are determined to give Vance High teens one iconic and lasting memory of their time together, even while apart, even in the pandemic. Their passion? To publish an honest-to-goodness, paper-and-ink Zebulon B. Vance High School 2021 Yearbook. The book also will include a “flashback” section of last year, since the pandemic wiped out the 2020 yearbook, too. Their bold dream? To sell the yearbooks at a price that all students can afford, regardless of their family’s financial hardships due to the pandemic. Your challenge? To help make that dream come true. The biggest need by far is money, but there are other ways you can help, says Harmon, the yearbook advisor. With the book due to the printer on March 15, the yearbook staff needs plenty of support to get across the finish line. Learn more. Contact Vikki Harmon for details at vikki1.harmon@cms.k12.nc.us. Do it today, if possible. Every day counts, especially for our teens in this year of virtual living and...
Teens’ hopes fly high in NASA Challenge

Teens’ hopes fly high in NASA Challenge

The future of NASA exploration – or at least the dreams of several teenagers – recently flew down the dirt-bike track at Hornet’s Nest Park. The teens, members of the Vision Builder Adventures program, were testing their emerging entry in the 2021 NASA Rover Challenge. “Testing the Rover was wild and awesome fun!” said Marshall George, a student leader with Vision Builders. Johnny White founded Vision Builder Adventures 14 years ago to help area youth learn and have fun through projects. That vision fits perfectly with the Rover Challenge. “Each year, the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge features an engineering design challenge to engage students worldwide in the next phase of human space exploration,” the Rover Challenge website says. “The competition challenges high-school and college students to create a vehicle designed to traverse the simulated surface of another world.” The Vision Builder Rover team comes from several area high schools, including the Cato Middle College High at Central Piedmont Community College’s Cato Campus in University City. The team includes: Warren Floyd, sophomore at Olympic High School Marshall George, senior at Central Cabarrus High School Major George, junior at Central Cabarrus High School Jacob Kim, senior at Audrey Kell High School Hannah White, CATO Middle College High Last year, Vision Builder took a large group of students to the NASA center in Alabama. “This time, we’re taking the kids who are able to do the fabricating and able to do all of the other activities” required to design and field a competitive rover. “These are sharp kids!” Months of work The Vision Builder team began working on the project in...
Help Mecklenburg plan for our collective future

Help Mecklenburg plan for our collective future

Do you care about improving our parks, schools and social services? Be sure to add completing the Mecklenburg County Budget Survey to your December to-do list. Your responses could influence next year’s county budget priorities. Here are details about the survey as well as other ways you can learn about the county budget, the budgeting process, and how you can take part in shaping the final budget for Fiscal Year 2021.   Resident Budget Priority Survey (available through Dec. 31) Share your budget priorities for the budget year starting July 2020 (Fiscal Year 2021) by ranking services by level of importance. Learn how the county allocates and manages the current $1.9 billion operating budget, which funds: most parks and park programs throughout the county; a sizable part of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools budget; and numerous social services. The survey must be submitted by Dec. 31 and is limited to Mecklenburg County residents. The county says that most people complete the survey in 10-15 minutes. Online survey – To complete the survey online, click here. Paper survey – To complete a paper copy of the survey, click here for a list of 20 public libraries including University City Regional Library where paper surveys are available. You may download a Spanish version of the survey at the same link.   Balancing Act Budget Simulator The county offers an online Balancing Act Budget Simulator to help the public better understand the complex process of making choices on what to fund with limited resources. Using the simulator, you can learn details about Mecklenburg County revenue sources and expense categories in the current budget...
Mallard Creek High to host CMS information nights

Mallard Creek High to host CMS information nights

Mallard Creek High will host information meetings about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools budget and curriculum options. If you can’t make the meeting there, you can attend sessions at other schools on different dates. Here are the details.   Learn about the budget and share ideas Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is holding community-engagement meetings to discuss development of the 2019-2020 operating budget. Employees, parents and community members are invited to attend, learn more about the current budget climate and give input on budget priorities to support academic success for all students. The meetings will be held: April 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Mallard Creek High, 3825 Johnston Oehler Road, Charlotte. April 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Crown Point Elementary, 3335 Sam Newell Road, Matthews.   Learn about curriculum options Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will adopt a guaranteed viable curriculum for the 2019-2020 school year. Parents, employees and community members are invited to attend sessions to help choose tools and resources for English language arts for grades K-8, math for grades 6-8 and NC Math 1, 2 and 3. The sessions will be held: April 8, Independence High, 1967 Patriot Drive, 6-8 p.m. April 9, South Mecklenburg High, 8900 Park Road, 6-8 p.m. April 10, West Charlotte High, 2219 Senior Drive, 6-8 p.m. April 11, Mallard Creek High, 3825 Johnston Oehler Road, 6-8 p.m.April 12, Spaugh Administrative Center, 1901 Herbert Spaugh Lane, 10 a.m. to 2...
Business Journal honors University City ‘Heavy Hitters’

Business Journal honors University City ‘Heavy Hitters’

Two University City development projects and a pioneering architect for University Place have received the Charlotte Business Journal’s Heavy Hitters Commercial Real Estate Awards: Blu at Northline apartments, Corvian Community School’s high school and architect David Furman. The awards were announced on Nov. 1 at the business publication’s fifth annual event honoring commercial real-estate projects completed in the past year in the Charlotte region.   Blu at Northline Blu at Northline, the apartment community on North Tryon Street beside the I-85 entrance, won in the apartment development category for leading a development boom in this part of University City. The 377-unit apartment community was the first transit-oriented development along the 9.3-mile Blue Line Extension between uptown and UNC Charlotte, the Business Journal noted. MORE   Corvian Community School – High School Corvian Community School won in the Public/Civic/Community category for creating a building “for the next generation.” The 70,000-square-foot high school has many notable features besides classrooms, the Business Journal noted. These include innovation labs for robotics, a yoga and dance studio, a black-box theater and other learning and collaborative spaces. MORE   David Furman Architect David Furman received the Pillar Award for three decades of working helping to transform the landscape of center city Charlotte. At the start of his career, Furman designed three components of University Place: Lakeshore Village condominiums, Walden Court apartments and the original Countryside Montessori School. The Business Journal honored Furman for being “a pioneer and leader in creative, cool and funky real estate projects — primarily in the residential space but more recently in commercial and mixed-use deals in South End and uptown...
Mallard Creek High among ‘Best Urban Schools’ – Again

Mallard Creek High among ‘Best Urban Schools’ – Again

A national program on education excellence has named Mallard Creek High School one of “America’s Best Urban Schools” – again. “We selected your school because you demonstrated through multiple indicators (including a visit by an eight-person verification team) that your school is achieving impressive academic results for every demographic group you serve,” reads the announcement from the National Center for Urban School Transformation. Among 27 schools honored nationwide Just 27 schools nationwide out of hundreds of applicants earned the 2017 designation by the National Center for Urban School Transformation, operated by San Diego State University. Principal Kevin Garay received official word of the award last week and immediately shared the good news with faculty, staff and students. “There was a sense of pride when I announced it to the student body,” Garay said. Many people involved in winning application The award recognizes years of work by Mallard Creek High faculty and administrators in crafting the school’s learning environment, as well as efforts of more than 40 administrators, teachers, parents and students in completing the application. That included hosting a team of eight educators who visited Mallard Creek High once it was named a finalist. The visitors interviewed administrators and teachers, including several teachers chosen by the team at random. The visitors also interviewed parents and 15 students. When students heard the good news last week, Garay said, “There definitely was a sense of pride. A lot of teachers gave me feedback, too.” Winner in 2014, as well This is the second time that Mallard Creek High has been honored by the National Center for Urban School Transformation. The school...