Two Schools Added To First Year of PACE Project

GCS staff learned this week that the district can add two additional schools to the first year of the Personalized Achievement, Curriculum and Environment (PACE) Project. Jackson and Welborn Middle schools will join 16 other middle schools participating in the PACE project this fall. The remaining six middle schools will join the program in the 2014-15 school year.

The PACE Schools Project is the signature initiative for the 2016 Strategic Plan: Achieving Educational Excellence: Personalizing Learning. Funded by a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the project will create and stimulate student-led, personalized learning in all GCS middle schools, reaching 17,000 students. It will start with tablets for students in 18 middle schools. The tablets will come pre-loaded with educational content that allows students to work on lessons at their own pace.

The grant application stated that GCS would use random selection to identify the first round of 16 middle schools to participate this fall. Allen, Aycock, Ferndale, Penn-Griffin, High School Ahead Academy, Guilford, Hairston, Jamestown, Johnson Street, Kernodle, Mendenhall, Northeast, Northern, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest Middle schools were selected by that method in February. Members of the Board of Education requested that staff ask the Department of Education for permission to add Jackson and Welborn. Staff got the go-ahead to add those schools this week.

Middle school students in grades 6-8 (or age equivalent) enrolled at Gateway, McIver and Haynes-Inman will participate the first year as well, although there may be some differences regarding content and tools in order to meet students’ individual needs.

The district also received another $5.2 million in optional grant funding to support the PACE project, including $1,995,065 for Guilford Parent Academy, $1,656,307 for the African-American Male Achievement Initiative and $1,570,646 for a GCS Virtual Public Middle School.