Piedmont Showing Increased Academic Rigor

Piedmont Head of School, Jennifer Purdee, is committed to leading her school towards their mission of being a “superior college preparatory educational option.” This propelled her to recruit Secondary Academic Director Ernie Bridges who was the former Highland School of Technology Health Sciences Academy Coordinator.  A year into his tenure, they are pleased to see the fruit of increased academic rigor.

In the Fall of 2015 during Mr. Bridges first year at Piedmont, there were 7 high school students in the Career and College Promise program.  Mr. Bridges is passionate about academics and he took every opportunity to encourage students to take more academically rigorous classes. By spring of his first year, about 20 students were actively taking Career and College Promise classes that earn high school students college credits.  The Fall of 2016 brought not only a second Assistant Director onto the Secondary Campus staff, but a continued increase of students taking CCP classes. Twenty-eight students are now taking a total of 45 CCP classes.

Piedmont senior, Morgan Palmer will complete a 31 hour College Transfer Pathway (CTP) through Career and College Promise (CCP) by graduation.  By the end of the school year, she will have completed the equivalent of a year of college credits.  These credits will transfer to any NC college or university.  Other students are taking rigorous online AP classes through NC Virtual Public School (NCBPS) including:  AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Biology, and Psychology Honors.

Junior Leadership Gaston participant and Piedmont 11th grader, Nadja Brown, shares, “Piedmont prepares me for leadership through my rigorous classes.  I must learn to independently prioritize and complete challenging assignments.”  As an officer, Nadja recently spoke at Piedmont’s October 2016 National Honor Society induction which grew its membership  from 19 to 49.

Assistant Academic Director, Denece Farris, shares, “Everyday I am working towards high academic rigor at Piedmont.  I want our students to be able to compete with any school across North Carolina and to be prepared to enter the top colleges, universities, military or work force. I want our students to have choices when they graduate. ” With 36 years in education, Mrs. Farris is well equipped for her focus on high school student achievement.

Other signs of improved academics at Piedmont’s secondary campus can be found in the fact that nearly half of the 7th and 8th graders at Piedmont had a 3.5 GPA and were eligible for National Junior Honor Society.  This year, Piedmont’s Middle School had so many students in 6th grade with high proficiency in Math that an extra Advanced level Math class was added.

Piedmont’s mission is to be a tuition-free K-12 school that offers a superior college preparatory educational option for this community and its families.  Applications for the 2017-18 school year will be accepted January 1st, 2017 to March 29th at 3:30pm.  Visit pccharter.org for additional details.