Back to School 2016: Knox Center for Accelerated Studies

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 12, 2016

SALISBURY — The Knox Center for Accelerated Studies, formerly known as Knox Middle School, is up and running for the 2016-17 school year.

Principal Dr. Mike Waiksnis said the program received 25 applications from students living outside Knox’s attendance zone, and includes several native Knox students, as well.

“We were excited that many applied for it,” Waiksnis said.

Knox is located at 1625 W Park Road.

The new magnet program has three stages. In its first year, the school is opening its doors to students living in other attendance zones and will offer classes for high school credit to qualifying students.

Phase two would extend the school day, but is contingent on outside sources of funding. In its third year, the school hopes to add internships for its students.

According to Waiksnis, 115 students have registered for at least one of the five courses offered across seventh and eighth grade years. At least 40 have signed up for the maximum number of courses allowed.

Phase one lets students take world history and Spanish I in seventh grade, and math, English, earth and environmental science and a secondary Spanish course in eighth grade.

School administrators say the opportunity will help students graduate from high school early.

“It makes it … more competitive once they get to high school,” Knox Deputy Principal Christopher McNeil said.

And the program itself will only grow as it progresses. While Waiksnis said there will always be openings, he expects the number of free seats to drop as students remain in the program for all three years.

The teachers, all Knox teachers certified to teach high school, are training and preparing lesson plans for the new program. Waiksnis said the school is also in talks withRowan County Early College for students who may be accepted there.

“We’re working on building that connection,” he said.

When the program launches Aug. 29, Waiksnis said, he’s confident that students and teachers will rise to the occasion.