Parkland High School has placed second in the national competition for the ACT College and Career Transition Award. ACT is a national nonprofit organization that produces college-entrance tests as part of its College and Career Readiness Campaign.
The award was announced May 23 at the ACT national gala in Washington, D.C. Parkland became eligible for the national award by winning the N.C. College and Career Transition Award.
In a letter sent to his staff last week, Parkland Principal Tim Lee wrote, “I have said to many people that I consider winning the North Carolina ACT College and Career Transition Award and placing second nationally to be public validation of the good things that have been happening at Parkland for some time. I have said to you on many occasions that I recognize the positive accomplishments our students have achieved under your guidance. Many in the central office and the community have recognized those accomplishments as well.”
Parkland is the only high school in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. It also provides a focus on the arts and on internationalism. A partnership with the United Way provides Parkland with additional support for its goal of improving academic achievement and the graduation rate. Numerous community groups provide mentoring and educational services, including Men of Distinction, Daughters of Destiny, E-Girls, Hispanic Achievers, and the Goler Institute for Development and Education, which promotes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education.
In recent years, proficiency scores on end-of-course (EOC) tests improved from 42.3 percent to 67.9 percent, and the graduation rate climbed from 65.8 percent to 74.3 percent. In 2012, members of the senior class received $8.3 million in scholarships and grants, compared to $3 million in 2007.
As a result of these accomplishments, Parkland was nominated for the 2010 National Panasonic School Change Award. In 2011, the National Youth-at-Risk Conference recognized Parkland as one of five “High Flying Schools” in the nation. Parkland’s Choral Ensemble placed second in a national competition in conjunction with the 2008 Presidential Inauguration, and the 2013 Parkland marching band was invited to represent North Carolina on Memorial Day in Washington, D.C.