"Its focus will be on energy as well as sustainability," Becoats said. "One of our thoughts is that Southern High School would over time transfer to the Southern (School) of Energy and Sustainability."
Under the plan, next year's rising ninth and 10th graders would choose from four pathways:
- The existing Southern School of Engineering
- The School of Business Management and Sustainability
- The School of Biomedical Technology
- The School of Infrastructure Engineering
The School of Engineering, which operates on the Southern High campus as a separate school, would essentially remain the same, and rising 11th and 12th graders at the traditional Southern High would not be affected, officials said. The change is part of a partnership with North Carolina New Schools, which will provide training and professional development to the faculty.Video produced by Durham Public Schools
Durham Public Schools officials hope a Southern High redesign will increase enrollment and improve test scores at the district's lowest-performing high school. Last week, Superintendent Eric Becoats announced a plan to create four smaller academies under the larger umbrella of Southern High. The Board of Education unanimously approved the redesign Thursday.