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SMART LUNCH IMPROVES GRADUATION RATE AT PANTHER CREEK

Lunch is a very ordinary part of every high school student’s school day. But a lunchtime experiment at the county’s newest high school in Cary has led to extraordinary results — a 94.7 percent graduation rate.

SMART (Students Maximizing Achievement Relationships and Time) Lunch is the vision of Panther Creek High School Principal Rodney Nelson. Its effects, say students, teachers and administrators, are staggering. The SMART lunch modifies the traditional lunch schedule so that every student and teacher in the school has a one-hour lunch period at the same time. Strict rules are in place regarding where students can and cannot eat. Part of the student population eats during the first 30 minutes while others are in SMART lunch. A bell rings after 30 minutes and they rotate.

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