The Roanoker - July/August 2017 - 74
Group projects are an
The Roanoke Valley Governor's School for Science
and Technology, which accepts students from the entire
Roanoke Valley (including surrounding counties) is "a
regional public school for motivated students in grades 9
through 12 who want to learn all they can about science,
mathematics and technology. Students come from seven
local school districts around the Roanoke Valley- 269
students from seven localities. Costs are covered by the
school districts and the Virginia Department of Education," according the school's literature. The emphasis is
heavily on STEM learning and students spend half a
day at the school and half a day at their home schools,
studying traditional curriculum.
The Community College Access Program (CCAP)
allows graduating seniors in the Roanoke Valley to attend Virginia Western Community College tuition-free
for two years. Students from Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools can take dual enrollment
classes at Virginia Western Community College at no
cost to them.
The Arnold Burton Center for Arts and Technology
in Roanoke County, founded in 1962 as a vocational
school, was once an escape for non-academic types who
wanted to study shop/auto mechanics or cosmetology/
child care, and is now a high-tech school for those who
see little relevance in English lit.
The Burton Center is divided into five categories:
Associate Degree Technicians, College Bound, Work
Force Entry, Specialized Programs, and Adult Education. Most courses are cumulative and build upon a
previous one. Burton has had a number of names, reflecting its various and growing emphasis at the time
of the changes.
Salem High School's International Baccalaureate Di74 | JULY/AUGUST 2017
ploma Programme is "is a rigorous pre-university course
of studies leading to examinations, which meets the
needs of highly motivated secondary school students between the ages of 16 and 19," according to promotional
material. "The IBDP is accepted worldwide as a superior
secondary school qualification, giving students access
to college and university study throughout the world."
The Roanoke Valley has 16 different private schools
(and within them, high schools, elementary schools and
pre-schools) with 2,661 students in 2017. Classes are
generally small (an average of 11 students per teacher)
and with the high schools, high success rates in entering college.
Most of the schools are religious, but schools like
Community High and North Cross School are non-affiliated and intensely academic. Community High specializes in the arts. There is a special ed school (Minnick,
a system of Lutheran Family Services schools), a girls
school (Eastern Appalachian Academy) and a number
of church-affiliated schools (Roanoke Catholic, Roanoke
Valley Christian, Faith Christian, Life Academy, Parkway
Christian and Grace Academy).
Roanoke Catholic and North Cross, meanwhile,
have combined forces to offer foreign students downtown Roanoke lodging at the old Boxley Building
(under renovation). The rooms will only be available
to high school students with the emphasis on foreign
students, though some from the mid-Atlantic will also
Overall, the valley comes pretty close to offering
something for everyone, regardless of age, background,
or goals. I