Vance County Schools has officially closed the Western Vance High School building on Poplar Creek Road near Henderson.
The facility will no longer be used to house instructional programs by the school system. Superintendent Anthony Jackson recommended relocating the programs currently housed at the Western facility to available unused space on the campus of Henderson Middle School. This recommendation was approved by the Vance County Board of Education at its meeting on June 12.
With the board’s action, the AdVance Academy formerly housed at Western Vance was relocated to a two-story building on the campus of Henderson Middle School (HMS) on Charles Street in Henderson. The school system’s Youth Empowerment Academy also has been moved to the same location and will use a portion of the first-floor area of the building. The Youth Empowerment Academy, a successful middle school intervention program, had been located in a portion of the old two-story building across from Eaton-Johnson Middle School on Beckford Drive in Henderson.
The decision to close the Western Vance facility was made to save operational costs for the school system and to utilize available space on the HMS campus.
“As the board of education continues to look at strategies to improve the efficient use of resources, we will intentionally look internally for opportunities to maximize the use of all available tools as we continue working to improve student achievement,” Jackson said.
The two-story building, located to the right of the main entrance to HMS, has been updated to accommodate the academies. New flooring and painting were completed throughout the building. Improved lighting and new ceiling tiles also have been installed as part of our district-wide energy improvement project. Furniture and equipment from the AdVance Academy, Youth Empowerment Academy and Evening Academy were moved to the new location, as well. Art panels designed by students from Southern Vance High School will be placed on the entrance wall facing the street and will provide just a glimpse of the modern feel of the facility. This site will focus not only on strong academics, but on social and emotional development for students. It will provide clubs, workplace experiences and visits to universities and colleges to ensure students understand the opportunities available to them upon graduation.
Principal Stephanie Ayscue is leading a staff of core teachers at AdVance Academy, where approximately 90 high school students complete much of their course work using a blended learning model of both face-to-face and online instruction in a technology-infused environment where students and staff are consistently encouraged to be innovative. Dr. Ralphel Holloman continues as the coordinator for the Youth Empowerment Academy, which serves middle school students with a team of instructors and community volunteers who provide a multitude of experiential opportunities for the middle school students as a means of helping them choose a career pathway. The Evening Academy, coordinated by Kerry Morrison, will continue to provide another option for middle and high school students who need an alternative pathway to complete their high school experience. All of the programs at AdVance Academy are presented using blended learning models in collaborative environments where students are given opportunities to choose their pathways to graduation.
The academies operate separately from Henderson Middle School. The main entrance to the academies is located on the front of the building facing Charles Street. Signs have been erected at the entrance to direct visitors.