Conway High School chosen for national ‘Lead Higher’ program

Conway High School will “Lead Higher” in 2017-18, taking specific actions to make its Advanced Placement and most rigorous classes fully reflect the district’s overall demographics.

CHS has been chosen to partner with Equal Opportunity Schools as a member of the second “Lead Higher” Cohort, a group of schools from 26 states across the country committed to increase participation in Advanced Placement Programs among low income and minority students.

As a member of the Lead Higher cohort, Conway schools will receive funding and technical assistance from Equal Opportunity Schools as they work toward closing the participation gap in their AP programs.

“We know student success in college is connected to the level of rigor they received in K-12 school settings,” said Dr. Charlotte Green, Advanced Placement and Gifted/Talented Supervisor for Conway Public Schools.  “We also know there is a gap between low-income and/or minority students and affluent and/or non-minority students who take Advanced Placement and other advanced level classes. We want to be intentional about going after EVERY student to make sure they are equipped and are taking advantage of all opportunities to help them be successful in life.”

The purpose of Lead Higher is to enable secondary schools to fully reflect their racial and economic diversity at their highest academic levels. The program is not just about getting low income and racially diverse students to be academically proficient. Lead Higher strives to get those students to achieve academic excellence.  

The goal is to see a five-fold increase in schools whose academic programs reflect their student diversity, by the year 2019.  

Conway High School is one of only three schools in Arkansas selected for the program. The school will implement a new mentoring program where teachers and staff will spend more one-on-one time with students, helping them feel more connected with their school community.

“The Lead Higher initiative lines up well with the Core Values of our district, making this an excellent partnership,” said Superintendent Dr. Greg Murry. “It expands our resources as we continue to build an AP program that is both diverse and rigorous.”