Two milestone achievements for Chatham County Schools

Posted 4/5/19

Score it a big win for Chatham County Schools.

Or to be more precise, two big wins.

Twice in the last two weeks CCS has been recognized on a national level for notable achievement — …

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Two milestone achievements for Chatham County Schools

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Score it a big win for Chatham County Schools.

Or to be more precise, two big wins.

Twice in the last two weeks CCS has been recognized on a national level for notable achievement — significant milestones for the system and major bragging points for Chatham County as a whole.

• On March 20, CCS was named as just one of three North Carolina school districts to the 2019 Best Communities for Music Education listing by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation

• And last week, Chatham Central High School joined select company — part of the 3 percent of a group numbering some 6,700 — of schools to be named an AVID Demonstration School, certifying Chatham Central as a model AVID program

The honors are unique, but also extraordinary.

In the case of being named a “best communities for music education,” it’s designed to recognize “outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education,” according to the NAMM Foundation. “Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.”

Just 622 of the nation’s 14,000 or so districts earned the honor, and in North Carolina, Chatham County Schools is joined by only Guilford County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

Superb and special company.

Sharon Allen, the lead arts teacher for the Chatham County Schools, said part of the credit for the honor was owed to leadership from county government and the district for their collective ongoing support to music education.

“In a time when other school systems have cut music programs...(they) see music as essential to a well-rounded education program,” Allen told the News + Record, “and they have demonstrated their support by adding music positions, funding materials and experiences for Chatham County students.”

As for the AVID award, Chatham Central’s designation as an AVID Demonstration School means that its program is a showcase and an example for the rest of the country. AVID — an acronym for Advancement Via Individual Determination — is a program which uses a series of academic principles and tools to help prepare and teach students “in the middle” of the academic field to better themselves and prepare for more rigorous academic pursuits.

AVID officials visited Chatham Central on multiple occasions to determine the program’s worthiness for the honor, putting it in a class of 195 schools (out of some 6,700 AVID programs nationwide). More notable: Chatham Central was the smallest rural school in the U.S. to get the honor, and one of just two in all the Carolinas.

“By implementing the AVID strategies school-wide, every student gets to benefit from those research-based best practices,” Chatham Central Principal Karla Eanes said. “It’s our learning system, it’s the way we do school. To know that not only are people acknowledging (what we do) but that people from across the country will be coming to visit us to see how Chatham Central does school is such a powerful experience.”

CCS Superintendent Dr. Derrick Jordan, in speaking to Chatham Central about its award, talked about the “phenomenal things” happening there.

Obviously it’s district-wide, and it’s worth our salute.


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