East Meck named first Global Ready high school in N.C.

Story by Hanna Wondmagegn, Managing Editor

East Meck is the first high school in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to be designated as a Global-Ready School by the State Board of Education.

Officials of the North Carolina Department of Instruction (NCDPI) visited East Meck on Sept. 28  to evaluate if the school displayed global readiness. They met with students, teachers, community partners and parents and visited various classrooms all within a three-hour period.

Senior Sara Holley had the chance to sit and talk with the officials as well as lead them on a tour, giving her the opportunity to show off her school.

“I feel privileged to attend a global ready school,” Holley said. “Not everyone gets to walk into class every day and experience diverse perspectives from diverse students.”

Shortly after the visit, NCDPI officials met together and announced their final decision, designating East Meck as a Global-Ready School at the “prepared” level.

“There’s prepared level and there’s model level, and model is really meant to be like you’ve been doing this for several years and you’ve refined your practice,” said International Baccalaureate (IB) coordinator Heather Lajoie. “We’re at a prepared level, but we will be considered a Global-Ready School.”

In 2011, the state board created a task force on global education in order to prepare students to “live, work and contribute in an interconnected world.” This led to the formation of the Global-Ready Schools and Districts Designation.

Piedmont IB Middle School was the first school in CMS to be designated as a Global-Ready School in 2015 and East Meck now follows as the first high school.

“One of the things they said in the aftermath [was] that for you [students], you’ve been so immersed in the atmosphere of the school and how global the school is that it never occurred to you to notice it,” Lajoie said. “It was more like it was life for us, this is everyday. That made me feel so good because I hadn’t seen it from that perspective.”

Although East Meck is just now being recognized for their efforts to prepare students globally, for Lajoie and Holley, the title is just an assertion on what they both already knew about the school.

“It’s an affirmation that [what] we were doing with the Global Immersion Steering Team – that we were trying to get the school more immersed in global issues – has been, at least partly successful,” Lajoie said. “Can we do better,? Sure. It’s really just a recognition of what our teachers and students are doing.”

East Meck will be officially recognized Nov. 3 as a Global Ready School at the monthly  meeting of the State Board of Education in Raleigh .