High School

WUNC File Photo

All North Carolina high school students will be graded on a 10-point scale starting next school year, a change State Board of Education members approved Thursday. 

That means students will earn A’s if they score between 90 and 100. Currently, they’re graded on a 7-point scale.

State officials had previously decided in October to phase in the new 10-point scale with next year’s freshmen class. But Rebecca Garland, Deputy State Superintendent for the Department of Public Instruction, said that decision upset parents, students, teachers and superintendents.

Michelle Lewis

In the last few years, Chase Lewis has patented two life-saving inventions, been a finalist in five national science competitions, and earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Silver Award. Oh, and he’s only 14 years old.

Lewis, who is homeschooled, has long been interested in science and inventions.

“My grandfather was an aeronautical physicist who worked on the Apollo program,” Lewis said. “I’ve gotten to spend some time with him, and we talk about science and inventions all the time.”

15-year-old Adam Geringer poses next to a bill he wrote to change North Carolina's grading scale to a 10-point scale so an A is a 90 - 100, instead of a 93-100.
Adam Geringer

 In North Carolina, all public schools are required to grade students on a seven-point scale. That means you get an A if you score between a 93 and 100, and a B if it falls between an 85 and 92.

But one high school student is trying to change that - he says the current scale is unfair and is asking state leaders to consider adopting a 10-point scale instead so that a 90 to a 100 is an A. 

Members of the Broughton High School debate team begin their practice as soon as most students clear out the Raleigh school. 

Students on a lawn at N.C. State University
Scott Akerman via Flickr

Many studies show that students in rural counties are less likely to go to college, especially four-year or private institutions. Faced with that reality, some university leaders are reconsidering how to attract students from rural communities.

At North Carolina State University, leaders are expanding their current programs that serve and prepare high school students. Earlier this year, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received a $3 million endowment from a Raleigh couple to help rural students win admission to the university.

A picture of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics team.
Dennis Brack / U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science

A team from Durham's North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics joined 23 other schools over the weekend to compete in the 2014 National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.  During the competition, students compete in a fast-paced Jeopardy-like forum. They must quickly solve technical problems and answer questions related to science and mathematics.

Team members include Michael An, Anne Feng, Kavi Jain, Sammy Luo, and Daniel Ren.  Their coach is Leslie Brinson.

Hillside High School Marching Band


The Hillside High School Marching Hornets is one of the premier marching bands in the state. The Durham band hails from one of North Carolina's only historically-black schools. Generations of families in Durham have marched with the Hornets. A new documentary, One Band Indivisble, follows a year in the life of the Marching Hornets. 

Two students at Durham's School for Creative Studies try out for the new cycling team.
School for Creative Studies

If you’re a student in a North Carolina public school with aspirations of becoming a pro cyclist, you might not have much of an opportunity to develop your bike skills on a school sports team. That is, unless you attend the School for Creative Studies (SCS), a new public magnet school in Durham. The school began tryouts this week for a new competitive cycling club registered with USA Cycling, the cycling body responsible for training and sending American athletes to the Olympics and the Tour de France.  It’s the first school in North Carolina to start a USA Cycling-registered team.

“Competitive cycling is exploding in the U.S.,” says SCS Assistant Principal and cycling coach Andrea Hundredmark. “Being involved with an officially-sponsored team will allow School for Creative Studies students to advance in national rankings, and perhaps even compete internationally.”

The school, which opened in July, currently has 260 students enrolled in the sixth, seventh and ninth grades. They plan to add grades each year and eventually be open to sixth through 12th graders.  Because they are a magnet school, they don’t have a competitive athletics program.

Greensboro skyline
Scott Moore, Flickr, Creative Commons

Teenagers in Greensboro now have a summer curfew. The City Council voted 8-1 at a special meeting this morning to implement a curfew for 60 days in the downtown area. The mandate follows a recent string of fights between young teenagers.

City Concilwoman Marikay Abuziwaiter witnessed an altercation last weekend and supports the curfew.

Wake NC State STEM Early College High School

Leaders in Science and Math have created a scorecard to gauge how North Carolina moves forward in connecting a STEM education to new economy jobs.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  Sam Houston is president and CEO of the North Carolina Science, Math and Technology Education Center.  He says the scorecard measures the state against itself and how to better link education to the jobs of the future.

The average SAT score for North Carolina high school students has dropped below 1,000.

The average combined critical reading and math score of 997 is down four points from last year. Results are based off of more than 63,000 students who took the standardized test. The Department of Public Instruction said that average scores on both of those sections as well as the writing component dropped by two points.