FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where is the Governor’s School located?
The Governor’s School has two sites: Governor’s School West at Salem College in Winston-Salem, and Governor’s School East at Meredith College in Raleigh.
Are the programs the same at Governor’s School East and West?
Yes, except that West offers Spanish and an orchestra and East offers French and a wind ensemble. Also, East will have a mixed chorus (i.e., sopranos, altos, tenors and bass/baritones) for 2016; the West chorus will include only sopranos and altos. Otherwise the curriculum of both schools is the same.
What classes are regularly scheduled at Governor’s School?
Students attend their Area I class (the discipline for which they are selected) for one period in the morning and another in the afternoon. They also attend their Area II and Area III classes, each three times per week. See page 1 for more information on these areas.
How is a typical Governor’s School class conducted?
Highly energized and committed teachers invite students to explore new and significant ideas, not principally through lecture but through discussion. Teachers may use an occasional mini-lecture to present a formula in math or physics, demonstrate a new movement in art or music, or explain a recent theory of social groups or literary texts. The hallmark of our intellectual work, however, is the interplay between theory and students’ responses, between the abstract and the personal. Without the common burdens of covering a defined body of material and being tested on it, students and teachers can forge a safe, non-competitive intellectual environment where ideas from many disciplines are entertained and all active learners are taken seriously.
What kinds of dance, theater, and music are performed?
The emphasis throughout the arts (and academic) curriculum is on modern and contemporary ideas and forms of expression. More information is on page 2. This emphasis has been one of the most successful parts of this 53 year old program for several reasons: it surprises and energizes students with its often unexpected uniqueness; it alerts students to current ideas; it encourages students and teachers to become creative explorers of uncharted territory; it introduces intellectual inquiries that often do not come into view until advanced college and graduate study.
What options are there after regular classes end in the afternoon?
Governor’s School provides many options for afternoon and evening hours that complement and extend the work of classes. Major outside speakers who are active contributors to current knowledge in their fields address students once a week. Student performances in dance, theater, and music electrify both campuses. Daily optional seminars or electives range from the Aesthetics of Choreography (dance faculty) to a discussion of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time (natural science faculty). Film series offer not only substantive films, but discussions that deepen the understanding of particular offerings and sharpen the ability to see and interpret any film.
What kinds of recreational and social activities are offered?
Each afternoon and evening, numerous facilities are open for individual and group recreation. Later in the evening, students can choose social events such as swing dance instruction, ultimate frisbee tournaments, capture the flag competitions, and scavenger hunts. For many, the high social moments are the masquerade ball and, on the final evening, a semi-formal dance. Others say that their best free moments are spent in the spontaneous conversations, gatherings, and activities that students initiate on the benches of quads and by fountains, at meals and on dormitory halls.
How strict are the rules at the Governor’s School?
Governor’s School is clearly situated between high school and college – an ambitious residential school for high school students. It grants students many freedoms associated with university study, especially the freedom of choice between many different intellectual and community experiences. It is also governed by a number of rules and regulations associated with residential life for high school students. These are enumerated in an honor code and the Student Handbook – documents mailed with selection letters so students will know what is expected of them before they decide to attend. Governor’s School is not a rule-bound place, but those few rules that exist are taken seriously. Strict adherence to them exercises student self-discipline and responsibility, ensures student safety, and frees the community to focus on vital and essential new ideas and experiences.
Do students have to attend Governor’s School the entire five and one-half weeks?
Yes. If a student accepts the invitation to attend Governor’s School, he/she must agree to attend the entire session. (NOTE: Any student who does not stay until the closing session on the last day will not receive a Governor’s School certificate, nor be permitted to cite the Governor’s School experience on college and scholarship applications.) Students are not excused to attend school, family, or community events (i.e., camps, competitions, reunions, etc.). On rare occasions students may be excused for events of great urgency that cannot be rescheduled. Such requests may only be submitted after the student selection process.
May students go home on weekends?
No. Students must remain at the Governor’s School through the weekends, except during the middle of the session when all students go home for three days. Brief approved visits by families and friends during other weekends are allowed.
Who can be nominated for Governor’s School?
For eligibility, a student must be a legal North Carolina resident enrolled in eleventh grade in a North Carolina school. There are some exceptions made for tenth grade students in certain nomination areas. Also, the student must have a qualifying score on an approved achievement test. See page 7 for more details.
How is a student nominated for Governor’s School?
Students are nominated only by their school/school system, not by a parent or any other individual. The nomination process has multiple steps at the school and district levels. Teachers, principals, and counselors nominate students to the local public school superintendent, charter school director, or private school headmaster. (If a discipline studied at Governor’s School is not offered in an individual high school, a student still may request to be nominated in that discipline. All nominees must meet the criteria established for the N.C. Governor’s School.) The school/school system determines which of its nominees will be sent for final selection at the state level. NOTE: These schools/school systems are allowed and may elect to use additional methods (e.g., aptitude tests, other measures, local auditions, interviews, etc.) to determine these nominees.
Can a student be nominated in more than one area?
No. A student may express an interest at the local level in multiple areas. However, when a nomination advances to the state level, it must indicate only one area.
Is there a limit on the number of nominations a school/school system can submit?
Yes. Each school system, charter school, non-public school and special school is allotted a certain number of nominations based on its tenth and eleventh grade student population, with exceptions in French and certain performing arts areas. See page 9 for details of this allocation.
How are nominated students selected to attend Governor’s School?
The process varies, depending on the area of nomination.
- To ensure statewide representation of students, each public school system superintendent (not charter, special or non-public schools) may nominate one academic area student who will automatically be invited to attend, provided the student meets all eligibility requirements. The selection committee chooses the remaining academic students, just as college admissions committees choose among college applicants.
- French and Spanish applications are also reviewed by the selection committee. In addition, these nominees may be contacted for phone interviews with selection committee members to ensure adequate language competency, as classes are conducted entirely in French and Spanish.
- Performing and visual arts students’ selections are determined by audition before judges complemented by the students’ applications.
May the performing/visual arts students audition in more than one area?
No. They may only audition in one area of nomination.
How do students get information about auditions?
The Department of Public Instruction will mail specific information about auditions directly to individual nominees in January, about four weeks prior to auditions. Those letters will include instructions about the audition day, audition times and places (buildings), and directions to Meredith College (the audition site). See page 8 for more audition information.
What are the odds of being selected?
Due to limited funding, only approximately 35% of nominees are selected each year. This selection rate tends to vary across disciplines, according to the number of nominations received in a particular discipline in a given year. For the 2015 Governor’s School, a total of 650 students were selected from 1,849 received nominations.
When/how are students notified about selection?
In early March 2016, all schools that nominated students will be notified of which of their nominees have been selected. One week later, each nominated student will be mailed kind letters of selection or non-selection. Selected students will have time to declare if they accept selection. Non-selected students should move on to other summer plans. Though a small number may be contacted to fill slots vacated by selected students, they should not put other opportunities on hold to wait for such contact.
May students request which campus they would like to attend and request roommates?
No. Students must attend their assigned campus and with their assigned roommate.
May students attend Governor’s School more than one time?
No, students may attend Governor’s School for one session only.
What is the cost to students to attend the Governor’s School?
Governor’s School is partially funded by the North Carolina General Assembly. To address remaining funding needs, there is a tuition charge of $500 per student. The school systems, charter schools and private schools that nominate students are responsible for submitting tuition payments. However, these schools/school systems have great flexibility on how they choose to access and collect tuition funds. This may include requesting families to contribute some or all of the tuition costs. Details on tuition payment options and procedures have been sent to schools and school systems. Families are responsible for the transportation costs to and from the campuses and for their children’s spending money.
Are scholarships available?
Yes. Scholarship information can be found at www.ncgsfoundation.org/scholarships/.
Is tuition refundable?
Where can additional information about the North Carolina Governor’s School be found?
For statewide information, visit the Governor’s School website at www.ncgovschool.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For local information, contact a school counselor at the local high school.