THE HISTORY OF UTAH’S NEW CENTURY HIGH SCHOOLS
The Utah State Legislature upon the urging of the Governor Mike Leavitt passed legislation authorizing the creation of six “New Century High Schools.” These schools were to be smaller high schools that work with existing colleges or universities and local school districts to encourage math, science and engineering. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with the Utah Partnership for Education, agreed to support the planning and development of these schools.
The first New Century High School, the Academy of Math, Engineering and Science (AMES) opened at Cottonwood High School. The partners were Salt Lake District, Granite District and the University of Utah.
JANUARY – MAY 2004
The Governor’s Education assistant, Darrell White, met with the three Utah Valley Superintendents, Vern Henshaw, Carl Nielson and Randy Merrill. Together with UVSC President William Sederburg, a plan emerged to establish a New Century Early College High School in Utah Valley.
The three superintendents and President Sederburg met together and selected Clark Baron, a retiring administrator from Provo School District, as the principal of the proposed school and directed him to move forward in establishing the school.
APRIL – JUNE 2004
An advisory board for the Utah County New Century High School was selected and then appointed by the Governor. This board consisted of school administrators from each of the three districts, representatives from UVSC as well as parent representatives from the different districts. The Board agreed that the name of the school would be the Utah County Academy of Sciences.
The Northern Utah Academy of Math, Engineering and Science (NUAMES) opened as a partnership with Weber, Davis and Ogden School Districts along with Weber State University. Jordan School District and Salt Lake Community College opened a third New Century High School called ITINERIS on the campus of the Salt Lake Community College.
JULY 2004 – JULY 2005
Two new Early College High Schools, UCAS and SUCCESS Academy have begun planning for a fall of 2005 opening. UCAS with Nebo, Provo and Alpine School Districts will work with UVSC and the SUCCESS Academy has an agreement to work with Iron County School District and SUU.
First year of UCAS. Accepted only Tenth and Eleventh grade students, totaling 180.
Second year of UCAS, 310 students enrolled. First graduating class for UCAS. Most seniors graduated with their degree from UVSC. Others are very close and will be completing this summer. Approved to begin construction on additional building for UCAS.
Third year at UCAS. Our partner, UVSC, officially changes their status from college to university at the end of this year, becoming Utah Valley University.
Anticipation and excitement are high at UCAS as we open our fourth year. We began the year with a ribbon cutting ceremony for our new Activity Center. The new center allows us to create both a new classroom and a student study center in our original building. We added a new class for our Senior students, Senior Connect.