LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's that time of year that parents love, and many kids do too.
School will be back in session Monday morning for thousands around the state. But at one school in Little Rock, there's a new and exciting reason to celebrate. eStem Public Charter Schools held an open house Saturday morning for a new high school campus, but it isn't your typical place where only 10th through 12th graders will attend.
"I'm a junior and I'm super excited for this new school. I've been at eStem since the second grade,” said Truth Betts-McCullum .
“This is history in the making right here in Little Rock,” Debra Myton said.
It's been two years since the idea first was developed.
“This marks the beginning of something really special, our students are going to have college experiences every single day,” said Johnecia Howard, Director of eStem High School.
She’s excited to give students an early taste of the college life.
“My daughter was attending school with about 2,000 students, whereas now she'll be attending school with about 10,000 plus students,” Myton said.
It's an opportunity many parents think is like no other. eStem High School is located on the University of Arkansas Little Rock college campus.
“Dr. John Bacon, our CEO, envisioned this. Our goal is to make sure our students have a college experience. eStem’s motto is college ready, career ready, world ready. There's no better place to get college ready than right here,” said Howard.
Howard wants her students to be prepared for the future and not overwhelmed their freshman year of college.
"I'm really excited for the opportunities this gives us. I get to take concurrent credit or dual enrollment,” Betts-McCullum said.
Students have an opportunity to get ahead by taking advanced and college classes at the same time.
“Once they have 60 hours of college credits, they'll be awarded an Associate's Degree and high school diploma by UA Little Rock,” Howard said.
It’s an exciting time for the entire community. No matter the focus, eStem High School aims to develop risk-takers and lifelong learners.
“My daughter Jamaica attended Little Rock Central High School, this is her first year at eStem. We are excited to be here at the opening, it's so wonderful,” said Myton.
The original eStem campus is still in downtown Little Rock. This expansion allows that building to accommodate more students. eStem plans to open another elementary and junior high campus in the East Village neighborhood of Little Rock next summer.
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