Gwinnett’s McClure High on target for August opening

McClure Health Science High School, a school designed to provide hands-on learning, internships and certification opportunities for students seeking careers in the health field, is scheduled to open in August, Gwinnett schools officials said.

During a presentation on Thursday at the board of education work session, Steve Flynt, assistant superintendent of school improvement and operations, gave school leaders an update on the school’s progress.

Flynt stressed that the school is committed to the health sciences and not just health care.

“The curriculum is much broader than just healthcare,” he said. “Although there is a huge healthcare component, the focus goes beyond just that.”

McClure will only be open to students in the Meadowcreek Cluster for the first year. If there are at least 100 open slots in subsequent years, it may be opened for transfers. Initially, however, students at Lilburn Middle, Radloff Middle and Meadowcreek High are eligible to enroll.

And unlike Paul Duke High STEM that opened this school year with grades 9 to 11, there is enough interest from rising seniors at Meadowcreek to move to the new school. So McClure will have students in all four grades. Current projections show the school built for 1,500 will have 600 to 700 students the first year. The bulk will be sophomores and juniors. Flynt estimated about 300 9th graders and about 80 seniors.

Also unlike Duke High, McClure won’t be starting a new program. The current Health Science Academy at Meadowcreek will move to the new school.

“So we already have some teachers and staff and we’ll be looking across the district and really across the world for teachers and staff who will fit the other components,” said Flynt.

The school hired hired principal Nicole Mosley in October and the board voted on the name — after former school board member Dr. Robert McClure in December.

“It’s really a big deal, getting those students involved early to build culture and expectations and feel a part of the new school,” he said.

There are groups discussing school colors, crest, logo and a mascot that will be in place before the doors open in August.

“Everything from bell schedules to where items are located throughout the school, to the safety and security to even the students schedules bridge operations,” he said.

Determining if the school will run on block scheduling, rotating schedules, something in-between or something completely different will be determined by the opening, said Flynt.

“Right now we’ve decided not to have the Friday flex day that is currently at Duke,” he said. “We believe the students will need that face-to-face time.”

By the numbers:

Student capacity: 1,500

Expected first year enrollment: 600-700

Classrooms: 42

Health science labs: 5

Areas of concentration: 3 (clinical, medical support and health IT)