REIDSVILLE – Things are different this year at Moss Street Partnership School – just ask the kids.
In 2016, the NC General Assembly asked UNC institutions to establish “lab schools” at nearby low-performing K-12 schools. The idea was to improve student outcomes with state-of-the-art instruction, but also to give aspiring educators real-world experience in high-demand schools.1
So UNC Greensboro’s School of Education established a partnership with Moss Street Elementary School, traditionally one of the poorest-performing schools in Rockingham County.
“This partnership works in both directions,” Christina O’Connor of the UNCG School of Education and Co-Chair of the Partnership School Team declares in the accompanying video. “Partnership is really important to who we are, because it is not just about one way.”
The effort benefits the children at Moss Street, but also will help UNCG produce better educators, she says. And it makes both the Moss Street and UNCG communities stronger.
Principal Tina Chestnut – herself an alumna of Moss Street – is a no-nonsense leader who inspires students.
“The most important way that Moss Street is different this year than in years past is that we intentionally try to meet kids where they are academically, socially and behaviorally,” she says during a break from a Fall Festival that was attended by more than 300 students and family members.
Camille McCollum, parent of a second-grader at Moss Street, says parents are much more engaged with the school this year.
“My son loves coming to school here,” McCollum says. “He always says he feels like it’s a family…. Everyone just works together, kind of for the better of the child.”
In a separate interview, UNCG Chancellor Franklin Gilliam Jr. said that when he first visited Moss Street, it was “a very gray sort of place” – and now it is “vibrant.”
“The one common thread is that people want the best for their children – I don’t care where they live,” said Gilliam, whose sons both attended a lab school in California when he worked at UCLA.
“The Moss Street Partnership School … is a partnership designed to help students discover and unleash their potential with the help of cutting-edge, hands-on learning and innovative teaching techniques,” Gilliam says.
Fifth-grader Kaylei Hodge agrees.
“I think it’s going to be fun this year,” she says. “I think it’s going to be really exciting!”