As soon as classes end in early June, workers will begin transforming Roanoke Elementary School into a high school.
By the time school begins in August, the campus will reopen as James M. Steele Accelerated High School, designed for Northwest district students who want to earn high school credits faster. This week, students from Northwest and Byron Nelson high schools are beginning the application process. Parent information meetings are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.
"We’re going to go in and pretty much blast the inside," Robin Ellis, Steele principal, said of the remodeling work. "It’s a different kind of high school environment. It’s more as if they’d walked into a collegiate library."
The new school is geared for grades 10 to 12. It is expected to attract students eager to graduate early and those who are behind and need to catch up to graduate on time.
Students will learn the same material taught in regular classes but will be expected to do it faster. The curriculum has been condensed from two semesters a year to three trimesters so students can earn credits in a shorter time, Ellis said.
The accelerated high school will accept up to 200 students in the first year and will not offer athletics or fine arts programs. High school boundaries are not slated to change. A group of students will be chosen to pick campus colors and a mascot.
The campus is named in honor of a Roanoke resident and Northwest school district supporter. Steele, who died in 1997, served on the school board for nine years
The building, at 606 N. Walnut St. in Roanoke, will be closed over the summer while work is under way. In August, Roanoke Elementary students and faculty members will move to a school being built in the Briarwyck neighborhood in Roanoke.
Classrooms in the renovated building will be two to three times regular size, Ellis said.
Several area school districts offer nontraditional or accelerated high school programs. Programs include the Birdville district’s Shannon Learning Center in Haltom City, Success High School in Fort Worth and Venture High School in Arlington.
If you go Meetings about James M. Steele Accelerated High School:
6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Byron Nelson High School lecture hall, 2775 Bobcat Blvd., Trophy Club
6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Northwest High School lecture hall, 2301 Texan Drive, Fort Worth
Application deadline: Jan. 29
JESSAMY BROWN, 817-390-7326News by SoulRiser on January 11, 2010 @ 10:19 PM