• Project LIFT works to increase graduation rates at schools

    By: Torie Wells


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - There's something special about the start of school, from the newness of everything to the excitement and the energy.

    As you walk the halls of Bruns Academy in west Charlotte, you can feel all of that energy building, but it's only July 19.

    "Getting everything ready, just as if they were coming back in August. They are just coming back a little bit sooner," said Sarah Forshee, a third-grade teacher at Bruns Academy.

    On Tuesday, students at Bruns Academy and Walter G. Byers will start a new school year. On Monday, children at Thomasboro and Druid Hills will. It is all part of an effort by Project LIFT, the public-private partnership working to increase achievement and graduation rates in west Charlotte.

    "We will be reducing summer learning loss. There will not be these large chunks of time where students do not have opportunity for learning," said Mary Weston, the principal at Bruns Academy.

    All four schools will still get breaks, but for a shorter period of time throughout the year. During that time, educational camps will be offered.

    Eyewitness News was there Friday as parents trickled in, asking last-minute questions as teachers got rooms ready and had professional development. One mother said she is excited. She hopes her children grow and that the community will as well.

    "I want them to go way further than I ever did so for me, this is an awesome opportunity for them to do that," said parent Schameka Earl.

    Channel 9 was told that assessments throughout the year will help track how well the new schedule works. The school hopes that what happens starting this summer sets more children up for success and graduation down the road.

    "Make the pathway for their future a little brighter and clearer," said Weston.

    The four Project LIFT schools are the only ones starting early. The new schedule does not impact all Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

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