The Star City School District was awarded the PLTW Distinguished District Award for the 2017-2018 school year. This award, given to recognize and honor districts for their commitment to increasing  student access, engagement, and achievement in PLTW programs, was received by 30 districts across the nation. The Star City School District is honored to be one of the districts to receive this award.

The STEM department at Star City has grown immensely since its introduction. When the program was first brought to our district, there were minimal classes available for students. Since then, there have been many new courses, programs, and departments in which students can enroll. These STEM courses have allowed students to develop new skills such as problem solving and critical thinking. These STEM classes are much more than the students’ normal core classes. The PLTW courses tie in real-world problems with a problem-solving based curriculum, which helps build much needed skills for success in many career paths.

The district’s administration is very ecstatic about receiving this award and very proud of the students and teachers for their hard work in the PLTW courses. Superintendent Jon Laffoon stated, "We are proud of the teachers and students of the Star City School District. The Star City School District has the distinct honor of being the only Project Lead the Way Distinguished District in Arkansas and one of the thirty-one districts in the nation to receive this award.  At the K-5 level, 100% of our students participate in STEM education, which prepares learners to collaborate, think critically, and problem solve. Star City Middle School is providing STEM opportunities for all students and Star City High School provides students the opportunity to access and engage in Career Pathways that include: Biomedical, Engineering, and Computer Science. These STEM pathways allow students to meet the challenge of College and Career Readiness and excel academically and personally." Lisa McGriff, SCMS Assistant Principal, added “I think this is a very distinguished honor for our school.  The enthusiasm of students and staff is reflected in the high number of students enrolled in our PLTW classes. These classes are helping to prepare our students for successful careers in the fields of technology, medical sciences, and engineering.”

Star City School District is very grateful for this recognition and will continue to grow the STEM program. Star City encourages all of their students to take stem courses during their school career.