The graduating class of 2010 is the first official class of School Counts! Graduates in Conway County. These students enrolled in the School Counts! program their freshman year of high school, and worked diligently over the last four years to meet the School Counts! criteria that designates them as official School Counts! completers. The 2010 class of Conway County School Counts! Graduates included 70 students county-wide, 26 of which are taking advantage of the scholarships offered to them through School Counts! by attending UACCM. The scholarships students receive may be used to purchase books or go toward paying tuition and fees, depending on the students’ existing award package.
The School Counts! Initiative emphasizes the importance of developing the skills and attitudes needed to be competitive in today’s workforce. Students and parents begin to hear the phrase “School Counts” in kindergarten and the message is tied to the scholarship opportunities beginning with high school freshmen. At the heart of the School Counts! Initiative is workforce enhancement. There is no doubt that developing an adequately prepared local workforce will help Conway County be competitive for higher paying jobs in the future and raise the standard of living throughout the area.
Transforming attitudes about the importance of gaining the skills and education that today’s employers are looking for and supporting students financially so that they are able to reach their goals is what the School Counts! Initiative is all about.
In order for students to be designated a School Counts! completer, they must demonstrate quality in their academic work in grades nine through twelve by not making any transcript grade lower than a “C," achieving a 95% attendance record each year of high school, completing high school in four consecutive years, and taking more than the minimum number of credits required by the state for graduation. These criteria correlate with the skills needed in today’s workforce of quality (“not having to repeat work”), attendance (“showing up for work”), persistence (“finishing what they start”) and goal setting (“going the extra mile”).
Individuals or groups interested in learning more about the School Counts! Initiative should contact Lawana Lyon at (501) 977-5153.