Back to School 2016: 2016-17 brings new opportunities for students in Kannapolis City Schools

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 12, 2016

By Dr. Chip Buckwell

Superintendent of Kannapolis City Schools

KANNAPOLIS — Exciting things are happening in Kannapolis City Schools, and we’re thrilled to welcome everyone back for another great school year!

During 2016-2017, we will launch our engineering academy at A.L. Brown High School. Students enrolled in the academy will take part in hands-on, real world projects that will help them master science and prepare them for success in college and careers.

We also will expand our innovative partnership with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College that allows KCS students to become certified welders when they graduate from high school. Our welding certification program makes students eligible for high paying jobs right out of high school and gives them the chance to pursue continued technical education at the college level.

It is one of many certification programs that we offer in Kannapolis City Schools. During 2016-2017, we also will increase our online course offerings and return art classes to Kannapolis Middle School.

As we enter 2017, we will continue positive momentum from last year. During 2016, we celebrated many accomplishments. One of our students, Samuel Jijon-Bacilio, was named the top culinary art student in North Carolina. He is part of A.L. Brown’s culinary arts program and a wonderful representative of our school system and state.

Two of our 2016 graduates earned prestigious appointments to U.S. military academies, and the class of 2016 earned more than $3 million in scholarships. KCS also is the home of the National Music Educator of the Year. A.L. Brown music teacher Gordon Snyder was named the top music educator in the country out of more than 2,000 nominees.

We also celebrated a North Carolina Teacher of Excellence, multiple students who earned statewide honors in the Young Authors contest and multiple award-winning scholar athletes.

We are extremely proud of our outstanding students and staff in Kannapolis City Schools, and we are looking forward to even more accomplishments in 2016-2017. During the coming year, we will finish construction on a new building for Kannapolis Middle School. It will open in August 2017 and will offer tremendous new resources for our students. We also will open applications for exciting new programs that will start in the 2017-2018 school year.

Beginning in August 2017, we will launch a Spanish language immersion program, a global studies program and an arts focus in Kannapolis City Schools. All of these programs will provide tremendous opportunities for our students and families.

Families who live within the Kannapolis City School district will be able to apply for these programs beginning in late fall or early winter. We will make presentations at each of our elementary schools this fall to give parents more information and to explain the application process.

All of these changes are part of our continuing commitment to creating the future with our students, families and community. We are excited about the 2016-2017 school year and are looking forward to welcoming everyone back on Aug. 29. Thank you for being part of Kannapolis City Schools and have a wonderful school year!