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Highlights of Clarkton School of Discovery

By: Charlotte Smith

Clarkton School of Discover is one of many great schools in Bladen County. Many have contacted us about the benefits of the school and we would like to share some of their thoughts and information.

Ting Lin a current student at the school said, “Clarkton School of Discovery not only offers a great opportunity to get a quality education, it also has great sentimental value to all of its current and former students. The entire CSD staff adds a positive environment to our everyday lives. Our middle school experience is changed for the better at Clarkton. The ability to participate in the unique programs and activities they have is irreplaceable. Clarkton School of Discovery is an excellent school to go to and get your middle school education.” 

Ms. Sadie Elkins Perry shared, “I have accepted an award on behalf our school from the governor of North Carolina.  I have sat in different conferences and heard the then Governor and the Superintendent of Public Schools call CSD by name as an example of innovation.  CSD (Clarkton School of Discover) has brought much state and national recognition to Bladen County in its twenty years of existence.” 

Ms. Sadie Elkins Perry also shared the Clarkton School of Discovery Profile.

*  In June 1992, the Bladen County Board of Education closed Clarkton High School due to declining enrollment.  This was despite great public objection and the school’s academic achievements. 

* In 1993, the school was a regular middle school with 147 students.  An entire wing of the building was closed.

* The magnet concept was proposed by the Board of Education after it declined to redraw district lines or close Spaulding Monroe Middle School and move Bladenboro students to Clarkton.  

* In May of 1993, the Board of Education approved a task force to develop a magnet program at Clarkton School.

* The task force of staff, parents, community members, and central office personnel developed the concept of a magnet middle school which would draw students from the entire county.  

* In early 1994, the Board of Education approved locating Project Challenge, the program for academically gifted students, at Clarkton School of Discovery. 

* Phase I implementation of Clarkton School of Discovery was approved by the Board of Education on March 31, 1994.  Every aspect of CSD was included in this approval including its organization, structure, schedule, elective program, etc. 

* Clarkton School of Discovery opened its doors for the 1994-95 school year.  Enrollment exceeded projections. 

* At the beginning of the 1995-96 school year, the Board agreed that out-of-district students who were not Project Challenge students could ride CSD buses picking up Project Challenge students by boarding at certain stops for that school year. 

* In March of 1996, the Board of Education approved making the CSD transportation policy for that year official and ongoing. 

* In 1998, CSD received a Federal Magnet School Assistance Grant.  As an A+ School, CSD was able to add an arts and communication focus to the school program. 

* In 2004, CSD received a second Federal Magnet School Assistance Grant.  The focus of CSD was

 expanded to include technology and creating learning connections.

 * A magnet school is designed to create a school that is distinctive and appealing and which will attract a diverse range of students from throughout the county.  In order to do this, the school must offer educational opportunities and options not available at other schools.  Students must be offered the opportunity to develop their gifts and talents.  Extensive elective offerings provide this opportunity by allowing the students to choose the electives in which they are most interested.  At the same time, the electives are tied to the common core standards and reinforce the core curriculum.    

* There are 3 ways in which students may attend CSD:

 Live in the CSD attendance area.

Be enrolled in Project Challenge.

Be accepted on application.

Application students do not have to take any admission tests or meet any performance standards.

* Clarkton School of Discovery will soon complete its 21st year of operation.  Its success and the success of its students through the years is well-documented.  The following are just a few of the many highlights:

** CSD is one of the original 25 North Carolina A+ Schools.  (The A+ Schools Program is nationally

recognized as an effective, research-based strategy for sustainable school reform.)

** An article about CSD was published in a national education journal, The Clearing House.

** CSD is a N.C. Governor’s Entrepreneurial School.

** An overview of CSD was presented at the N.C. Middle School Association Annual Conference and the National Middle School Annual Conference.

** CSD received the Creative Ticket School of Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts Education from the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and the N.C.

Alliance for Arts Education – the only winner from North Carolina.

** CSD was an Honorable Mention Recipient of the Magnet School of Merit Award from the Magnet Schools of America.

 ** CSD was chosen for inclusion in the Annenberg Media Project – Connecting with the Arts      Teaching Practices Library, which is utilized for teacher training in college education programs.

 ** CSD received a $10,717 grant from the North Carolina Arts Council for grassroots North     Carolinian artists to perform and present residencies. 

* Student achievements, recognitions, and accolades on the local, regional, and state level are too numerous to list.  The following are some of the student accomplishments on the national (and world) level: 

** CSD students had work displayed in the 25th Annual World School Children’s Art Exhibition in     Taiwan. 

** A CSD student was the national winner in the River of Words contest.

 ** CSD students were national winners in the Frank Lloyd Wright Young Architects for Art Education contest.

** CSD students received honorable mentions in the National Toshiba/NTSA Exploravision     Competition.

 All of the success and accomplishments of CSD and its students have been accomplished without any additional local funds.

If you would like to share your school’s highlights with us, contact us at bladenonline.com@gmail.com. 

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