In my last post I discussed my County’s various options for parents. My year round school’s track outs provide an opportunity to visit the several types of public schools while they are in session. This is the first of the schools I will discuss in a series of four.
I visited my esteemed colleague and fellow 2013 Kenan Fellow Priscilla Chappell at one of the magnet options: Enloe High School. She has an ease and rapport with her students that is obvious immediately upon seeing her interaction with them. A theme emerges if you peruse her online reviews; while not considered “easy”, she consistently has top marks for being helpful and clear. (This, in my opinion, should be the goal of all teachers.) It’s no wonder she was a Teacher of the Year semifinalist for Wake County in 2011, which any teacher in Wake can tell you is no minor accomplishment.
So, onto what makes Enloe…Enloe. Enloe Magnet High School: IB/GT Center for the Humanities, Sciences, & the Arts has just over 2500 students; about 40% local base students and 60% are there via application. About 13% of the student population participates in Advanced College Prep Courses (AP*, IB**, Community College, University). They do have an International Baccalaureate Studies program. Another thing that makes Enloe a very unique high school is their eight periods of 45 minutes as opposed to the block schedule.
In addition to traditional bulletins, televisions throughout the halls and other common areas continually cycle through various announcements (called the ‘Loe Down). Ms. Chappell explained a system they have in place for dealing with students who are tardy. Teachers have a rotational duty in the halls, accompanied by a laptop to input the data of who is tardy without a pass, which also generates the warning or consequence. I accompanied her on this duty, and got many ideas for how this could be used at my own school or in my own classroom.
The first class I saw was college-prep English; 30-or-so students that were racially diverse and gender balanced. At lunch, juniors and seniors can leave campus for lunch with a special pass, which is when she had the aforementioned hall duty. After lunch, the class was a “standard” English class. (Much smaller – 13 students – almost all minorities.) Her lessons, much like I am used to in my own, are text-based and also have students moving from whole-class into groups.
Perhaps due to its size, Enloe seems to be able to tailor many programs to students’ interests. For example, they boast twenty-two academic clubs, twenty-one interest clubs, ten cultural clubs, seven performing arts clubs, ten service clubs, and Student Council. Like anything, I’m sure an advantage can be a double-edged sword. Perhaps students without a niche may feel overwhelmed or lost. With such a wide array of choices, one can create a custom experience tailored to a student students’ needs, however it’s difficult to talk about the “Enloe experience” as that would vary greatly from student to student. However, it’s obvious Enloe’s magnet program has a lot to offer, and it was clear to see why the “International Baccalaureate / Gifted & Talented Center for the Humanities, Sciences, & the Arts” has so many students attending on application.