Nettleton STEAM

Jonesboro School Stands Alone

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((The following is the press release from Nettleton Public Schools*)

Jonesboro, Arkansas (March 5, 2020) - Nettleton STEAM has earned the National Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) certification by Cognia. The school-improvement, assessment, and certification organization Cognia recognizes organizations that provide quality STEM programs and implement student-directed learning environments.

"We knew when we shifted our Intermediate-aged methodology to themed curriculum that we had to start with science, technology, engineering, art, and math," said Nettleton Superintendent James Dunivan. "The workforce is demanding a higher qualified workforce, and this certification not only demonstrates our commitment to delivering o high-quality STEAM education to all of our students but acknowledges the incredible work that our teachers and administrators are doing at this campus."

The Cognia STEM certification process is carried out by highly qualified reviewers who examine the school or program's adherence and commitment to the research-aligned Cognia STEM standards and indicators. Nettleton STEAM exceeded expectations in nine out of the eleven indicators evaluated by the Cognia team, which they call "Powerful Practices." These practices include supporting a variety of student populations, providing inquiry-based learning environments, empowering self-directed learning experiences, focusing on real-world applications and community, preparing students for post-secondary and workforce readiness, and active involvement of all stakeholders.

Nettleton STEAM is also the recipient of Cognia's Values-Driven Award, which recognizes an organization within the Cognia improvement network that they have been engaged within a meaningful way. The Values-Driven Award is presented to a school or school system that demonstrates the Cognia values of building connections, standing for the learner, driving potential, and by being bold and daring in the pursuit of proving all students the opportunities that knowledge brings.

"We are so proud of our teachers, students, and staff for their hard work in making our school what it is,'' said STEAM Principal Cathelene Gray. "Every day, I am amazed at the work that our students accomplish and the lengths that our teachers go to· make education come alive for their students. This certification validates all of it."

Nettleton STEAM is now part of a prestigious network of Cognia STEM Certified schools being one of only 200 in the world and the first in the State of Arkansas.

Nettleton STEAM was the first in Nettleton Public School's transformation of their Intermediate (3rd-6th grade) campuses into themed buildings based on student choices. The other campuses are Fox Meadow School of Creative Media and University Heights School of Medical Arts. Students have the opportunity to apply to all three on a first-come, first-served basis.

"We realize that as educators, we have lo leach for our students' futures and not our post," Dunivan said. "We have to do whatever it takes for every child to ensure they are prepared for the world of the future."

Cognia offers accreditation and certification, assessment, professional services, and consulting within a framework of continuous improvement. The result of the merger of AdvancED and Measured Progress, Cognia was formed to bridge the gap between school evaluation and student assessment. As a global nonprofit working in over 80 countries, Cognio services 36,000 institutions serve and support nearly 25 million students and 5 million educators every day. It is an undeniable force for enhancing schools, engaging students, and driving better outcomes for all. Find out more at

Contact Our Team
Mark Young - President & CEO
Mark Young
President & CEO
Steven Lamm
Steven Lamm
V.P. of Economic Development
Shelle Randall - Director of Workforce Development & Existing Industry
Shelle Randall
Director of Workforce Development & Existing Industry
Donna Holt - Executive Assistant
Donna Holt
Executive Assistant
Craig Rickert
Craig Rickert
Director of Communications