December 7, 2010
This month we're working with students and staff from the Performance Learning Center in Charlotte, NC. The Performance Learning Center (PLC) is an exciting new high school that resulted from a partnership between CIS and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). PLC is primarily for at-risk students or other students who aren't succeeding in a traditional high school environment, but it isn't an "easy out." In fact, PLC requires students to pass courses at a higher level than a traditional CMS high school.
PLC combines the CIS philosophy of strong personal relationships between staff and students with a strong focus on academic achievement in a fully integrated public high school within the CMS system. And it's working. Last year, everyone in the class graduated and more than 90% of those students are now enrolled in either a 2 or 4-year college degree program.
One interesting component of the PLC approach is its dedication to job shadowing experiences for all students. At PLC staff members want students exposed to a variety of jobs -- from tattoo artists to accountants -- for a simple reason. Many of these students simply have little idea what careers are available and possible for them to pursue. As a result this kind of exposure is critical. Working with students from PLC has been quite rewarding for me and reminded me of what is possible for our community when adults (educators, parents, mentors, friends, etc.) are willing to invest time, energy and compassion into our youth. Amazing things can happen; they are happening right now at PLC.