Soirée Kids: What to Know to Have a Successful School Year

Pulaski County Special School District is excited to provide equity and excellence once again to all students in the 2021-2022 school year. Entering his fourth year as superintendent, Dr. Charles McNulty continues to improve education, opportunities and collaboration across the district.

PCSSD executive director of communications, Jessica Duff, spoke with Dr. McNulty about how parents and educators work together to help students thrive this school year.

What are the instructional options that PCSSD is offering for the 2021-2022 school year?
PCSSD is looking forward to returning to a more traditional school setting but also offering a new full-time virtual option for students, known as the DRIVEN Virtual Academy.

DRIVEN is a two-part platform within the district that includes the School of Innovation and the Virtual Academy. DRIVEN Virtual Academy (DVA) will serve K-12 students in Pulaski County and beyond whose families prefer a homeschool setting but want a structured, monitored curriculum.

Additionally, it is beneficial for families who must travel often or are involved in extracurricular activities and desire a more flexible option through online or accelerated learning. DVA students may participate in PCSSD extracurricular activities upon meeting academic requirements.

What are the Academies of Central Arkansas and how is PCSSD adopting the program?
The Academies of Central Arkansas was created by Ford NGL and is another new academic approach. This 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.

With these changes, is PCSSD still using AVID and PBIS?
Yes! PCSSD will continue to enhance ongoing initiatives like our Big Rocks: AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). AVID increases student engagement, promotes classroom collaboration and activates deeper levels of learning with practical, useful tools and instructional strategies. PBIS assists our schools with enhancing our school climates and provides additional support to all students.

We look forward to seeing what the 2021-2022 school year will bring us. Every day in PCSSD, we are working to find solutions to continue to provide a quality education, equity and excellence to our students.


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