Arkansas Business Editorial Regarding LRSD's Excel Program

               Photo from news conference about CTE and Excel

Arkansas Business featured an editorial on LRSD's new Excel program.  To read actual article, click on link below - otherwise the text from the article is posted below the link.

On Wednesday, the Little Rock School District announced an initiative to expose high school students to different careers by adding classes in the fields of health care, technology, teaching and construction.

This Excel Careers for Advanced Professional Studies program offers high school juniors and seniors courses in these careers — along with a revived law enforcement program — while earning industry certificates and college hours as well as high school graduation credits. The courses give students the chance to immerse themselves in particular fields and the opportunity to learn by doing.

Superintendent Mike Poore, in announcing the program, praised the work done at the Metropolitan Career Technical Center, but added that the district also wanted to provide “a new level of support for our students and for our business community.”

The program is getting the backing of local business leaders like Keith Owen, vice president of Baptist Health; Joel Gordon, CEO of the Makerspace at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub; and Jake Nabholz, executive vice president of Nabholz Construction Corp.

Jay Chesshir, president of the Little Rock Regional Chamber, said the Little Rock program was an effort to copy a model in Rome, Georgia, that connects high school students to postsecondary education and local careers.

“Today is a beautiful day,” Chesshir said. “Today, the state’s largest school district plants a flag in the ground and says every child, every kid, has an opportunity to do what they want to do, to earn a living that they want to earn that provides a quality of life that allows them to live in a place that makes Little Rock and central Arkansas even greater than it is today.”

Real-world career exposure is invaluable, and we applaud the efforts of the district and business leaders to help students make their way in the world. May it become a model worthy of imitation.

The recruitment schedule for LRSD high schools is posted below.

        Excel schedule include in photo - Feb 13 - 16 and Feb 21; Hall, Central, Parkview, McClellan, Fair, 1st and 2nd lunch periods

Click here to see video with industry partners.