WEINER, AR (KAIT) - A public meeting plans to rally support and get input on the possibility of bringing a charter school to a community who's school district closed in 2010.
A public meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Rice Festival Building in Weiner.
Greta Greeno is one of the volunteers behind the effort to open the school.
"This is a chance to inform and engage our community concerning a really exciting educational opportunity for their students," Greeno said.
They plan to submit their application next week to open a charter school.
"We plan on opening an open enrollment charter school in Weiner for the 2018-2019 school year," Greeno said. "This Weiner Academy of Agriculture and Technology will be the first Arkansas school that will have a focus primarily on agriculture, science, and technology."
While it will be like other project-based schools, Greeno said there will not be one quite like this.
"It's going to be different in the fact that we are going to have an acute focus on agriculture," Greeno said.
Greeno said one out of six jobs in Arkansas relate to agriculture, which is why it's vital to have a school that can prepare students for what the industry needs.
"We are working and consulting with industry leaders who are looking for well trained, highly skilled technicians, engineers, analyst, developers, researchers, bankers, so many career opportunities," Greeno said.
At Thursday's meeting, Greeno hopes everyone will leave excited.
"We are asking for their support, and we feel that once the community is aware of exactly what this school can be for not just this community but the state of Arkansas, we feel they are going to be very excited about it," Greeno said.
She also wants community members to give input on what they would like to see the school achieve.
Because they are applying as an open enrollment charter school, Greeno said they can accept students from across the state and with school choice.
She said their focus would be within a 25-mile radius of Weiner.
Greeno said after years of working to bring a 7-12 grade school to Weiner, she is confident.
"We've had this idea for an agriculture-focused school, and this seems like the best opportunity and the best timing to actually bring it to pass," Greeno said.
If you can't make the meeting, Greeno said to contact her at 870-897-0857 to get more information.
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