July 26, 2019
TO THE EDITOR:
I have seen many comments on Facebook and in letters to the editor debating the types of students accepted to MaST. And that these “at risk” kids do not deserve this opportunity. “At risk” does not mean these children are bad or behavioral problems or failing.
The term “at risk” is being used as an adjective, therefore it makes them seem they are doing something themselves to be labeled as “at risk” or failing out of school. You are stereotyping these children.
In actuality, some of these children are being put “at risk” by outside sources. Poverty, broken homes, in foster care, illness, neglect/abuse, homeless/misplaced, parental drug abuse, an incarcerated parent, racism, low parent education, family structure, non-English speaking, minorities, too many responsibilities at home, no support at home, learning disabilities, ADHD — the list goes on and on. I am fairly certain any administrator, teacher, counselor or social worker in this county can help you better understand this target student.
You have no clue what these kids are going through in their home situations.
You have no clue what these kids are going through in their home situations. These are just a portion of the children targeted for MaST. These children are choosing this to help them rise above what they are facing on a daily basis. They are not bad children. It is the factors in their life that put them at a disadvantage to other children. It doesn’t mean they can’t learn and rise above.
A smaller setting with focused instruction taking away the issues they face in a larger school on top of what they face daily at home will help them succeed to high school graduation and even achieve a certification or associates to be work ready. They are building a vision of themselves as college bound. They thrive in this atmosphere and they proved it by having the highest average GPA of the four high schools.
First generational college goers — I really hope this one is pretty self explanatory. They are at a disadvantage because of their low parent education. They are your average middle of the road kid. They will be building that same vision of themselves as college bound.
There are also openings in the lottery as well for students who could benefit from accelerated learning but aren’t having their needs met at traditional schools. This in itself makes MaST a very well rounded school academically, socially and economically.
The Early College model is designed to push children through their barriers to college. It is geared toward teens academically capable who might not thrive in a traditional setting. All of these children had to receive three teacher recommendations and were scored by a rubric and then drawn from a lottery overseen by the chief Academic Officer of CCPS.
Yes, there will be some kids who don’t make it in just like the Tiller School, sports teams and lots of other opportunities out there for them.
MaST is the first step in forward thinking for these underserved kids in Carteret County. There wouldn’t be 133 Early Colleges across 100 counties in North Carolina if it didn’t work.
And making it a trade school only restricts what they can accomplish. That is why the early college model was chosen over trade school, to give the kids unlimited opportunities and choices not just a few paths.