This August, a group of 632 students begin the school year at the new McClure Health Science High School in Duluth — a $38 million-dollar Gwinnett County Public Schools facility where high school students can earn college credit and industry experience while working towards their diploma.
Located at 3921 Club Drive, the school is nestled in the Meadowcreek Cluster and sits adjacent to Kaiser Permanente Gwinnett Comprehensive Medical Center. The building spans 17 acres and includes more than 42 classrooms for students to complete their high school education while gaining hands-on, real-world experience.
“Everything we do in this school will be ‘Awakening the Wonder’ of students,” said Principal Nicole Mos-ley. She explained the motto comes straight from Dr. Robert McClure, a former GCPS board member for whom the school is named.
Weeks before the school year was to start, all of the high school’s new staff were required to complete CPR and Stop the Bleed training and certification. Incoming students will have the opportunity to do the same as well as earn other professional certifications.
McClure High allows students to complete their regular academics while concentrating on one of the four schools of health science: Patient Care, Allied Health, and Health Informatics and Advanced Medicine. Lowerclassmen will begin their curriculum with seminar-style learning followed by opportunities for intern-ships and activity-based learning as they advance. The program allows students to work towards a dual diploma, completing credits for their high school diploma and two years of college at once.
The school will feature a unique student experience that offers a taste of what it’s like to study in college or work in the healthcare industry. All of the classrooms are equipped with moving furniture to allow teachers and students to customize their learning space. “This state-of-the-art facility really allows them to explore and differentiate their learning,” Principal Karen Mosley said.
On each floor of the school, students will have access to collaborative learning spaces where they can study in groups. Mosley adds, “We are super excited to have enrolled a senior class who may want to utilize this space. Students will be able to come in here and just relax and learn. It gives students a look into what the professional or post-secondary life will look like for themselves.”
While the school will not have traditional sports teams, students can participate in a variety of intramural sports, including soccer, basketball, pickleball, racquetball and more. The school also features an activities room where students can break a sweat during classes lead by exercise physiologists hired to teach critical concepts such as reaching a target heart rate during exercise routines.
“So, we’ll be offering a variety of sports for students to participate in wellness activities and still have that team-building experience,” said Meridith Watts, who joins McClure from Gwinnett Medical Center as the school’s Health Science Coordinator.
Watts explained that the school’s mascot and student body are called the Pulse, and students will have the opportunity to receive a phlebotomy certification before graduating. The goal is to prepare students to go straight into the workforce or to lend a competitive edge for those pursuing further education. Advisors will provide counseling to help students make these decisions.
On Thursdays, local health professionals will visit the school and give advisement talks about “real-world opportunities” Principal Mosley says. With cameras in every classroom, these discussions can be streamed throughout the school.
Principal Mosley explained the students will be able to dive deep in their academic and professional interests, as the school has invested in some of the latest health education technologies. Students will have access to the digital 3D maps of the human body, tactile models and digitally programmed ‘smart dummy’ patients that are responsive to voice and touch.
Academic coordinators have no intention to skimp on the Arts, either. McClure High’s Fine Arts Department will feature robust Dance and Theater programs. Complete with advanced sound and lighting systems, the stage includes extensive seating for the community to enjoy student performances at the new high school.
According to Mosley, it all circles back to Dr. McClure’s mission to prepare the new generation to be both competent and compassionate health professionals.
Addressing Dr. McClure at the brand-new building, Mosley said, “It’s an honor to found this school and represent your vision and mission along with some of your core beliefs about how we treat human beings.”
Those who live in GCPS’s Meadowcreek Cluster are welcome to seek future enrollment opportunities. Register online at https://www. gcpsk12.org/domain/6589.