Tours / Events

Winds of Change April 25-27, 2021
Winds of Change
Asheville, North Carolina

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Gather in the hotel lobby to walk to school tour

Tour of Innovative High School, Henderson County, NC

    2 HSW

As public school systems across the nation strive to improve retention, graduation rates and student success long term, Henderson County’s Innovative High School represents a shared vision to provide greater opportunities to their students. This groundbreaking new facility is located on the Blue Ridge Community College Campus and houses two innovative schools: Early College High School and the Career Academy. Reflective of a highly effective partnership between Henderson County Public Schools, BRCC, the design and contracting team, the building is celebrated as ushering in a new way of thinking about high school education.

Innovative High School Innovative High School

Early College High School offers students the unique opportunity to graduate from high school having earned up to two years of college credit – tuition free. This five- year high school program has been identified by NC New Schools as a School of Innovation and Excellence, and it boasts a 100 percent graduation rate over the last three years. Additionally, 51 percent of those graduates are the first in their families to attend college.

The Career Academy offers students career training in mechatronics, firefighting, and the ProStart Culinary Program – preparing them for immediate employment or higher education pursuits. The Academy’s impact has been dramatic, with a 58 percent increase in graduation rates and an increase in the number of graduates who have earned college credit. With BRCC’s mechatronics program located right next door, these students also have the opportunity to seamlessly continue their studies in a familiar environment.

The school won a 2019 AIA North Carolina Merit Award.

Learning Objectives:
  • Observe how color was used to create an environment that is conducive both to cooperation and independent study
  • Observe how the use of glass allows for passive monitoring and fosters positive interaction between the different academies housed in the high school
  • Learn how creating a bridge that spans the common space has fostered indoor-outdoor connectivity and healthier habits among the students
  • Learn how the use of natural daylight and an orientation that allows for pleasant views has helped in creating an environment that students find comfortable and welcoming, contributing to perfect graduation rates
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