Several Uwharrie Middle School 8th-graders want to stay for high school

RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- Randolph County Schools is getting its first glimpse of interest in the school system’s Uwharrie Middle School project.

Currently, Uwharrie Middle School houses grades sixth through eighth, but over the next four years, it will add ninth through 12th grades.

Beginning earlier this month, current eighth-grade students submitted intent forms saying they want to attend high school at Uwharrie.

“Sixty eighth-graders have already said they want to stay,” Randolph County Schools Superintendent Dr. Stephen Gainey said.

The project was developed partly to ease overcrowding in southwest Randolph County.

Uwharrie Middle School is about 53 percent under capacity, with room for about 300 students, while Southwestern Randolph High School is 104 percent over capacity.

The school system is still waiting on 18 forms to be turned in - an important detail considering the high school grade levels will be capped at 75 students.

“[If] the remaining 18 say, 'Yes, we want to come,' now we’ve got 78, so we’ll have to do a lottery to see which 75 come,” Gainey said.

The school will have a career focus including a school of public service, a school of technology design and a school of leadership and communication.

The curriculum will focus on the students’ chosen field of study.

It will also be the first one-to-one technology school in the school system.

“The one-to-one technology is going to be through grades six through 12, it’s not just going to be the nine through 12 group,” Gainey said.

Enrollment is open to other students including students at Southwestern Randolph Middle.

The process is also open to students system-wide and those residing outside of Randolph County Schools.

A lottery system will also apply in those circumstances should the interest exceed available seats.

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