The following are the Innovative School Visits offered during the 2013 National Early College Conference. Click on the session title to navigate to its description.


An Accelerated High School/Early College CTE Model: City Polytechnic High School

City Polytechnic High School – Brooklyn, NY


  • Marie Segares – Founding Early College Liaison, NYC College of Technology
  • Regina Paul – Vice President, Policy Studies in Education

This session describes an Early College program at a career and technical education high school, which accelerates high school course completion by a full year. Students begin with cohort college courses in their third year of high school, and then continue full-time in regular college courses in what would have been their fourth year of high school. Admission to City Polytechnic High School is open to any New York City rising 9th grader, including students with disabilities, without any additional screening requirements.

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Hands-On Tools for Schools Serving Off-Track and Disconnected Youth

College, Career, and Technology Academy – Pharr, TX


  • Lili Allen – Director, Back on Track Designs, Jobs for the Future

Schools targeting young people who have fallen off-track to graduation, or who have dropped out, can take specific steps to ensure that their young people not only reengage to graduation, but that they prepare for and transition to postsecondary education and career credentials. In this session, participants will “walk through” an on-line toolkit that provides lessons, tools and materials on the College, Career, and Technology Academy, which is a Back on Track school in south Texas for youth who are not on track to graduate or who have dropped out.

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Introduction to The Common Instructional Framework: The Foundation for High Achievement in Early College High Schools

Jobs for the Future


  • Sara Freedman – Program Director, Jobs for the Future

This interactive session will introduce participants to the six instructional strategies of the Common Instructional Framework used in high-performing Early College High School classrooms and schools. These research-based and field tested instructional strategies work to accelerate rather than remediate Early College High School students and prepare them to succeed in college courses while still in high school.

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Sustainable Community Partnerships: Bridging Education, Career, and Life

Brunswick County Early College High School – Bolivia, NC


  • Bryan Tunstall – Teacher, Brunswick County Early College High School
  • Claire McLaughlin – Teacher, Brunswick County Early College High School
  • Cheri Skaggs – Principal, Brunswick County Early College High School

The objective of this session is to showcase the ways that we have engaged local business leaders and community members in order to create more powerful learning experiences for our students. This will include formation of a structure for planning and coordination, and prioritizing the types of experiences, events and activities envisioned for students, including informal STEM learning opportunities.

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Connect Direct Using Google Docs

Henderson County Early College


  • Beth Caudle – Principal, Henderson County Early College
  • Sara Matthews – Social Studies Teacher, Henderson – County Early College

This hands-on session will demonstrate the use of Google Docs as a school-wide resource. Faculty can use a daily form to share a variety of information, including instructional data and instructional practices. Google Docs can play an important role in connecting faculty, and establishing a school-wide communication platform that reaches into every classroom. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops, smart phones, tablets and other devices with Internet connectivity.

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Camp Discovery: Bridging the Gap Between Middle School and Early College

Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School – Concord, NC


  • Elizabeth Thompson – Math Teacher, Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School
  • Vance Fishback – Principal, Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School

Camp Discovery is our way of beginning to build rigor, relevance, and relationships before the school year begins. This bridge program is designed to activate students’ problem-solving skills and get them thinking creatively, while learning to communicate with each other and beginning the process of building important relationships. Our upperclassmen gain valuable leadership experience serving as Sherpas, or guides, through the various low ropes activities and academic challenges. This session will focus on how to purposefully design a bridge program that builds relationships and prepares students for the rigors of the Early College environment in a creative, hands-on, and engaging way. We will discuss our process for starting the camp, what we have learned, and the impact it has had on our school.

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Inspire, Model, and Sustain: Redefined Professional Development through Study Visits

Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School – Concord, NC


  • Alison Thetford – Instructional Liaison, Cross Creek Early College

How can schools create and sustain a high degree of innovation when faced with factors such as change of leadership, teacher turnover, and challenges related to sustainability? In the ever changing school environment, it is important that the foundations are deeply rooted and that the Design Principles are implemented with fidelity. In this session, participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the specific needs of their school, gain a deeper understanding of what happens at study visits, and leave with an understanding of how to use study visits in professional development.

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Gaining Ground with a Redesigned Model

Wayne School of Engineering – Goldsboro, NC


  • Laura King – CTE Teacher, Wayne School of Engineering
  • Gina Sutton – School Counselor, Wayne School of Engineering
  • Gary Hales – Principal, Wayne School of Engineering

Wayne School of Engineering (WSE), a redesigned school with grades 6-13, is located on the campus of Goldsboro High School. Although WSE is not an early college in the traditional sense, it has evolved into a model that is similar in culture and design. The school emphasizes a college-going culture, industry linked learning and an emphasis on the Common Instructional Framework. Presenters will share their experiences in a redesigned school and how positive outcomes have been achieved.

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Transforming Traditional High Schools to Early College High Schools

East Rutherford High School – Bostic, NC


  • Janet Mason – Superintendent, Rutherford County School District
  • Brad Teague – Principal, East Rutherford High School

The Rutherford County School District joined the North Carolina New Schools network in 2005 when the Early College began. In 2012 the district participated in the North Carolina Investing in Rural Innovative Schools (i3) Grant. East Rutherford High School was the first traditional high school in the district selected as a cohort 1 school. Since that time, R-S Central and Chase High Schools are participating as cohort 2 schools.

This i3 grant has transformed these three traditional high schools as they prepare students for success in a global community by a rigorous curriculum and strong student support system. The panelists will share the successes of school-wide and district-wide efforts in a rural school district to ensure that all students have the opportunity to attend college.

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Virtual Early College

Columbia Early College


  • Marcia Manning – Principal, Columbia Early College
  • Pauline Younts – Director, Coaching Services, NC New Schools

How can all students attend an early college high school if they live in a swamp? Or a corn field? Or on a mountain? Come and learn how early college is a mindset, not a brick and mortar building, where students in the most remote corners of North Carolina access their college experience using distance education. The founding principal of Columbia Early College, one of the six virtual early colleges in North Carolina, will help participants understand how all students can access a college experience while on a high school campus, and offer strategies for beating distance barriers.

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