Reflecting on the class of 2021 and looking ahead

By Jessica Duff

Pulaski County Special School District serves nearly 12,000 students in Pulaski County, with almost 3,000 students attending schools in the Maumelle feeder zone. The Maumelle feeder within PCSSD includes three elementary schools (Crystal Hill, Oak Grove and Pine Forest), one middle school (Maumelle Middle) and one high school (Maumelle High). As we prepare for a new school year, we also want to give a final shout-out to the graduating class of 2021.

I wanted to take a moment to wish you well, to wish you the best life has to offer, and to wish you continued blessings. There have been many obstacles that we have had to overcome since you began Maumelle High School four years ago. I hope as you look back, you can say this time in your life had a positive impact and you will carry each memory with you wherever you go. It was my pleasure being your principal and helping to guide your high school journey through each grade.

Imagine yourself stepping into the world with someone who believes in you. I am certainly that person. You are ready. Life keeps moving forward, and we all have to put each foot in front of the other, going up, going down, going on with passion toward each step of life. You are MHS strong!

PCSSD is looking forward to the 2021-2022 school year and returning to a more traditional school setting. In addition, we are excited to offer a new full-time virtual schooling option for students called DRIVEN and the kickoff of the Academies of Central Arkansas created by Ford NGL.

DRIVEN is a two-part platform within the district that includes the School of Opportunity and the Virtual Academy. The DRIVEN concept engages students in online and in-person learning to meet students where they are and allow them to work at their own pace.

DRIVEN Virtual Academy (DVA) will serve students in homeschool or who are homebound due to health or social-emotional issues. DVA will also serve students whose families must travel often or are involved in extracurricular activities and desire a more flexible option through online or accelerated learning. Blended learning and extended, in-person tutoring opportunities will add other resources to support students and families. DVA students may participate in PCSSD extracurricular activities upon meeting academic requirements.

The Academies of Central Arkansas is an educational initiative to help students prepare for college and career by engaging them in project-based learning to provide real-world learning experiences for students.

All PCSSD high schools are implementing freshman seminars, which is the first class taken by high school students before selecting their pathway for 10-12 grades. In preparation for the academy concept in high school, all PCSSD middle schools are moving to a block schedule.