Open house gives parents a closer look at I-SS school-choice options

Posted at 6:50 AM on Oct 11, 2017

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BY KARISSA MILLER

More than 150 people attended the first ever Iredell-Statesville Schools’ “It’s Happenin’ Here” open house at the Career Academy and Technical School in Troutman on Tuesday evening.

The event offered an opportunity to learn about a variety of school choice options offered throughout the district at one time in one location.

Among some of the options are advanced career and technical programs, dual-immersion Spanish learning, virtual learning and schools that offer the Leader In Me program.

Parent Beth Dyess attended the open house because she wanted to get a better handle on what I-SS had to offer.

“It really freaked me out” that there were so many options, Dyess explained.

After moving here from Mississippi, she has been pleased with the education system, she said.

A closer look: International Baccalaureate vs. Advanced Placement

Among many IB and AP students, there’s a sometimes spoken and unspoken rivalry about which specialized high school option is better. Current IB and AP students, who participated in Tuesday’s event, shared their experiences about each program.

IB classes give you a unique learning experience compared to a traditional track, which can greatly help prepare you for college, according to Chetan Singalredy, a senior in the IB program housed at South Iredell High School.

The in-class discussions and learning approach is more “holistic” than in regular classrooms, Maya Read, another IB senior.

Singalredy and Reads have attended school together since sixth grade. They agreed that they have an understanding of one another and their peers as they say students interact differently and forge close bonds.

Katie Pritt, a junior who entered into the AP program last year explained that the courses have challenged her to work harder, given her a better sense of what college will be like and improved her confidence.

“AP Academy helps bring you out of your shell. You grow as a person and a student,” Pritt said.

Gavin Williams said that what he likes about the AP program is that you can take a mix of classes. He said it allows you to take Career Tech Education classes, for example, and learn about “real world” skills while challenging yourself academically.

Williams said he has been able to maintain a good-grade point average and participate in extracurricular activities, including basketball and school clubs.

The program included refreshments prepared by the Career Academy’s culinary students. In addition to hearing from the school’s staff, many of the schools had students on hand to answer any questions regarding the many choice offerings for parents.

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