Students from all middle schools in Baltimore County, as well as those homeschooled, can apply to attend Carver, although it may be much farther from their houses than their home school. Admission is based on a combination of an audition and a lottery.
Carver has been recorded as being the high school with the second-best academics in Baltimore County.
What makes Carver unusual among Baltimore County public schools is its strong magnet system. Carver's magnet programs feature ten specialty areas, or "primes": literary arts, culinary, business, carpentry, cosmetology, dance, design and production ,acting, vocal music, and visual arts(art such as painting, sculpture etc.). The visual art prime is further divided into concentrations, including drawing and painting, multimedia, photography, sculpture, and telemedia.
As of the 2007-2008 school year General Fine Arts/Multimedia/Digital Filmmaking (formerly known as Telemedia) will hold separate auditions under the Visual Arts prime. This provides for an opportunity for students interested in the areas of filmmaking and graphic design to come to Carver for these areas and use these mediums to create art. All Visual Arts students will still be encouraged to take classes in drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, etc.sweet
As of the 2001-2002 school year "theatre" and "technical theatre" were advanced to become the theatre primes of "Acting" and "Design & Production." This provided an opportunity for students interested in performance, design, theatre management and administration, technique, etc. to study these fields without the common stereotypes or restrictions of "actors" or "techies." During the 2005-2006 school year, "Vocal Music" was considered to be renamed "Singing" (but remains "Vocal Music") and is considered part of the theatre primes as well.
Carver does not have a football team; however, it still holds an annual Homecoming dance after a Homecoming sports game (could be soccer, field hockey, etc.) or no sports game at all. It is run by the Student Government Association and is usually a dance that is a fundraiser for the SGA.
The varsity golf team (often referred to by its members as "G-unit") won an award for having the highest GPA of any of the fall sports teams in Baltimore County.
In addition, Carver's FBLA Chapter has had multiple students qualify for the National Leadership Conference for the past six years.
The Culinary Arts Prime has also recently won the Statewide competition for ProStart and traveled to Nationals.
In the spring, work from many of the primes is incorporated into the Renaissance Festival, which is held during the school day. Food is served by Culinary Arts students, performances are given by Acting and Dance students, spontaneous art and writing is created by the Visual Arts and Literary students, as well as many other activities.
The Culinary Arts department operates a public restaurant as part of their curriculum. The students run and operate the front of the house (serving and managing the operation) as well as the back of the house (cooking and managing the kitchen). This provides the students with a real-life experience in the restaurant industry.
After graduation many of the students go on to college to continue their education in their selected "prime". Carver offers a unique opportunity to its students in that when they graduate, the students already have an idea of what they want to study and major in when they go to college. Some students continue their "prime" studies at such renowned schools as The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson and Wales University, Berkeley College School of Music, The Peabody Institute, The Maryland Institute College of Art and The Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU).
The Carver Theatre Company (mostly the design and production, acting, and vocal music primes) puts on four theatre productions a year, along with many other smaller events. The Carver Theatre Company is recognized as an established student-run theatre company and puts on professional-quality productions with the Carver Center student body.
Carver Center was named after George Washington Carver, a man of many talents, in recognition of the talented people who attend the school. A painting of Carver now hangs in the main office.
Carver was at first used for construction activities. The current cafeteria has hooks hanging from its ceiling and a huge garage that was once used for unloading. The theatre, photography room, business room, and sculpture room, were all once auto shops. The Carver culture has embraced these places and the garage door found in the cafeteria now has a gigantic mural painted on it and the garages in the sculpture room and theaters are used for loading and unloading materials.
As of March 2008 Baltimore county has approved a new building design for Carver. It would cost less then all the renovations. The new building will be built up on the lacrosse and soccer fields and new fields will be laid down at the old school after it's knocked down. The current building will be knocked down after completion. The current freshmen class('11) or the in-coming freshmen('12) will be the last to graduate from the current building.
Carver has produced three Presidential Scholars: J. Cook in [, (Abdi) Farah (also one of ARTS winners) in 2005, and Alex Levy (2008). Carver has produced numerous winners in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search, a program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.
Carver has produced five nominees for presidential scholars in 2008. That is more than any other school in the country.
The interdisciplinary methods of the school have also led to consistent student participation in the annual NAACP ACT-SO (Afro-American Cultural and Technical Scientific Olympics) competitions. Students often qualify at the national level and have a strong showing in state competitions.
Theresa McDaniel, a painting and drawing teacher, has been nominated five times for the 'Distinguished Teachers in the Arts' award, and won it once. Photography teacher Carrol Cook, and Visual Arts chair Joe Giordano have both been nominated twice but neither have ever won. In 2004 Carver not only had the most visual art entrants in the national art competition 'ARTS', (which is a national art competition for high school students grades 9-12 who excel at Dance, Film & Video, Jazz, Music, Theater, Photography, Visual Arts, Voice, and Writing) but had the most entrants from any one school in the US. In 2007, more Carver students received awards in the NFAA competition than in any other year!
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