Star City School District was recently honored as a distinguished district for its STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and career learning program, according to a news release.


Star City is a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished District for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through the district’s PLTW programs.


Star City is one of 21 districts across the U.S. to receive this honor and the only district in Arkansas recognized.


PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S., according to the release.


“We’re honored to be recognized as PLTW Distinguished District for 2018-2019,” said Gina Richard, secondary STEM Curriculum Coordinator. “Star City School District has propelled forward in Arkansas as a premier STEM school district. We are currently the only district in Arkansas to receive this award for the past two years. The award is made possible from the dedication of the PreK-12 teachers at Star City School District.”


“Our staff are the key to our success and are an integral part of the district’s success since its implementation in 2011. PLTW provides a great opportunity for our students to not only build their problem-solving skills, but also prepare them for college and career readiness.”


The PLTW Distinguished District recognition honors districts committed to increasing student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW programs.


To be eligible for the designation, Star City needed 20 percent or more of its students in each grade, K-12, participate in a PLTW program during the 2017-18 school year.


“Star City School District had 100 percent of the elementary, 62 percent of the middle school, and 46 percent of the high school participating during the 2017-2018 school year and our vision is to continue to increase those numbers,” Star City Superintendent Jon Laffoon said. “Our board of directors, teachers and students deserve all the credit for allowing us to create pathways that provide students access to careers and skills that will translate into the workforce.”


Through PLTW programs, students develop in-demand knowledge and skills that they will use in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path. As PLTW students progress through grades PreK-12, they are empowered to engage in problem-solving and process thinking, develop technical knowledge and skills, build communication skills and explore career opportunities.


Star City School District offers PLTW PreK (beta launch for the 2018-2019 school year), PLTW Launch (K-5), PLTW Gateway (6-8), and PLTW (Computer Science, Engineering, and Biomedical Science).


“It is a great honor to recognize Star City School District for its commitment to students,” said Vince Bertram, president and chief executive officer of PLTW. “These are leaders in what school should look like, and they should be very proud of ensuring students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”


Details: Gina Richard, gina.richard@starcityschools.org or 870-628- 5125.