Spotlight night will focus on Meadowview Magnet Middle School

David Broyles

February 28, 2014

Meadowview Middle School will focus on telling others what it has to offer as it transitions to a magnet school officially next year. As Principal Denny Barr summarizes it, the school will still follow the standard course of study as others but accelerated and in a different way.

According to Barr, the spotlight night will be held March 6 with an interactive question session for students and parents slated between 6-8 p.m. and parent information sessions beginning at 7 p.m. Informational booths and displays on school programs will also be set up at the showcase night.

“We want everyone to know we are going to be flexible with the showcase evening,” said Barr. “We will stay there until there are no questions.” He stressed the magnet school would heavily rely on a science, technology, engineering and mathematics focus.

Both Barr and Assistant Principal Heather Horton said the school will also offer enrichment groups such as Helping Hands (a student community service group), debate teams and battle of the books similar to other schools.

“Some of the opportunities for our students will include activities like building and designing their own soap box racers (Gravity Games) and sustainable transportation where they build solar charging stations and race battery powered cars,” said Barr. He also noted other offering will include Science Olympiad and E-Cyber Missions, which is sponsored by the U.S. Army where students get to solve real world problems and test their solutions.

“We have one group now that are testing different materials so they may design a better safety restraint system for automobiles,” Barr said. He said the 7 p.m. parent sessions will center in on schedules, structure and the transportation system for the magnet school.

The school will also feature enhancements to “Project Lead the Way” which could be used at the magnet school will also include acceleration in core academic areas (English Language Arts, social studies). English standards will be compacted and accelerated for students who are ready with a possibility of earning English I credit. Academic competitions and enrichment opportunities for all students could include robotics, math counts, science Olympiad, Battle of the Books School of the Future Design Competition, Geography Bee, Music Technology, Stock Market Challenge and a Sustainable Transportation Education Program.

“Our focus will be on providing the extra opportunities other schools don’t offer. We call it our three building blocks,” Barr said. “The first block is STEM, the second on is the personalization to allow every child in the building to work at their won level and pace to advance in the curriculum and the last block is multiple academic opportunities in multiple subject areas. Students can advance to high school level courses (for high school credit) as far as they want to.”

Horton and Barr said the most frequent question they get about the new school is if students will be required to wear uniforms.

“The answer is no. There is no plan to have uniforms,” said Barr. “We want no road blocks to students attending the school.” He said bus transportation for students will also be supplied as long as they live in the county school system district. Both confirmed the magnet school will offer sports but students will play for Meadowview. The two administrators said they haven’t received any negative comments with many parents appearing excited about the prospect.

“We want the public to understand Meadowview’s spotlight night is open to anyone from anywhere who is interested,” said Horton. “This means any fifth, sixth and seventh grade students ( and their families) in Surry County. We’re gearing this night to the Meadowview Magnet Middle School before its official opening.”

David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.