Big changes are in store for students attending Maumelle High School next year as the school shifts to an academy format with an emphasis on college preparatory classes.

The Pulaski County Special School District announced the change with the release of the following news release which was also attached to Maumelle Monitor’s Website on Monday at

The news release implies that the first-year grant is simply to allow teachers and staff to visit this program in other schools but it also said that the high school will restructure itself for the upcoming school year for freshmen.

The release suggests better test scores and improved discipline will be outcomes of the change.

Efforts to ask questions of principal Becky Gutherie who submitted the photo of a visit to Mountain Home last week were unsuccessful.

"Maumelle High School was awarded a $30,000 grant for the 2013-2014 school year to plan and implement wall-to-wall, career-college academies. The Arkansas Department of Career Education (ACE) Career Academy Initiate encourages high schools to embrace the National Career Academy Model as a proven means to improve attendance, increase student participation, increase graduation rate, improve school climate, improve standardized test scores and decrease discipline/behavior problems.

ACE provides grants to progressive, innovative Arkansa[s] high schools that show promise toward building effective high school career academies. The first year grant will allow Maumelle High School to visit nationally recognized high schools that have created model career academies and to attend the National Career Academy Conference.

Maumelle High School will restructure itself into two academies for the incoming freshmen class: STEM Academy (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and Business Humanities. Each career academy is a small school within a school with a small group of students who are served by the same small group of teachers. Rigorous and relevant academic activities are organized around career related themes.

Successful academies are characterized by having strong business partnerships and numerous enrichment experiences that prepare students for life after graduation.

According to ACE, grant funds will enable Maumelle High School to take the next step in exploring potential life-changing experiences for students, increase student achievement and provide students with a meaningful purpose for attending school."