Region 2000 Schools Weigh New Academics

Lynchburg, VA - New academic tracks could be headed to your child's school as early as next year. Lynchburg City Schools is considering one, and all schools in Region 2000 are looking at the other.

These new programs are for high school students. The first is called the Early College program. That program's been a big success in the counties. Now, Lynchburg City Schools is interested. The second program is the STEM Academy.

Tyler Davidson is in an Early College program. The college-level classes keep his mind sharp.

"High School was kind of easy for me, so we thought this program would challenge me and help me later in life save money, save time, get me out in to the work field sooner," said Davidson.

Davidson is a Campbell County Early College student. Organizers say the program works. Now, there's serious talk of adding Early College in Lynchburg. Dr. Muriel Mickles, the dean of humanities & social science at CVCC, is leading the charge.

"We've gotta step up to the plate," said Dr. Mickles. "It is mandatory, I think, for educators to provide students opportunities so they can be competitive in the global society."

If approved, Lynchburg students could take classes at CVCC. Select students would spend junior and senior year in a college classroom taking college courses. The STEM Academy stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Experts say that is where the money and jobs are headed.

"The careers growing in the future in Region 2000 are really going to be STEM-related," said Jonathan Whitt, executive director of the Technology Council at Region 2000.

Region 2000 wants its youth prepared.

"What kind of programs can we put in place that will really advance young people toward careers that are meaningful for the future of our economy here in Region 2000," said Whitt.

STEM Academy and Lynchburg doing Early College still needs final approval. But organizers hope to get that in the next several weeks. Then, start getting applicants for Fall 2013.