|Wilbur D. Mills University Studies High School|
708 E. Dixon Road
|Type||Comprehensive Public High School|
with University Studies Scholars Program
|Established||25 August 1969|
|School district||Pulaski County Special School District|
|NCES District ID||0511850|
|NCES School ID||051185000945|
|Faculty||49.17 (on full time equivalent (FTE) basis)|
|Student to teacher ratio||12.16|
|Education system||Smart Core curriculum|
|Slogan||Look at us, Mills High!|
|Athletics conference||5A Central|
|Sports||Baseball, Basketball (B/G), Competitive Cheer, Dance, Football, Golf (B/G), Soccer (B/G), Softball, Track and Field (B/G), Volleyball,|
|Affiliations||Arkansas Activities Association|
|Television Network||Comet TV|
Mills University Studies High School is a secondary school in Sweet Home, Arkansas (with a Little Rock postal address), serving students in grades 9 through 12 and is one of six high schools within the Pulaski County Special School District. The school opened on August 25, 1969 and is named after the late Congressman Wilbur Daigh Mills. While drawing students from around its home area, Mills also contains a hybrid Gifted & Talented magnet school focusing on college preparation through Advanced Placement courses. According to the school's website, it is also the only high school in the PCSSD which is authorized to develop new AP courses.
Its attendance area includes the city of Wrightsville, sections of Little Rock, a portion of Shannon Hills, and the census-designated places of Sweet Home, College Station, Landmark, Hensley, Scott, Woodson, as well as a portion of McAlmont CDP, and the unincorporated community of Ironton.
The assumed course of study for students follow the Smart Core curriculum developed by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) with an emphasis on preparing students for "university studies" and college readiness. Students complete regular (core and career focus) courses and exams and may select from 36 Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams that provide an opportunity for college credit.
Awards and recognition
In 2003 it was ranked as the 20th "best" high school in the nation, according to the value of the ratio that exists between number of graduating seniors compared with the number of AP Exams administered to those seniors. The Mills program emphasizes involvement in the Advanced Placement Program which allows students to earn college credit through integration in the high school curriculum.
From 2003–07, Mills University Studies was named to be among the top 100 best high schools in the nation according to the Newsweek magazine's Top 1300 US Schools. In the 2011 and 2012 Washington Post's The High School Challenge Index, Mills was ranked 303 and 424, respectively, compared to more than 1900 schools for this ranking system.
According to the school's website, Mills students have consistently received recognition for academic excellence including:
- U.S. Presidential Scholars Program
- National Merit Scholar
- National Merit Finalists
- National Merit Semifinalists
- United States Senate Youth Program
- United States Senate Page Program
- National Achievement Semifinalists/Finalists
- Arkansas Governor's School
- Advanced Placement Scholars
- AP Scholars with Honors
- AP Scholars with Distinction
- AP National Scholars
The Mills High School mascot and athletic emblem is the Comet with green, gold and black serving as its school colors.
For 2016-18, the Mills Comets competed in the 5A Classification within the 5A Central conference as sanctioned by the Arkansas Activities Association. The Comets participate in football, soccer (boys/girls), volleyball, golf (boys), basketball (boys/girls), baseball, softball, competitive cheer, dance, and track and field (boys/girls). The 5A Central conference includes John L. McClellan, Pulaski Academy, Beebe, J.A. Fair High School, Little Rock Christian Academy, Little Rock Parkview, and Sylvan Hills.
From 2008–12, the Mills Comets competed in the Class 5A-Southeast conference with Sylvan Hills Bears, West Helena Central, Watson Chapel, Monticello Billies, Crossett Eagles, White Hall Bulldogs, and North Pulaski Falcons. From 2012-14, Mills competed in the 5A Central conference with Sylvan Hills, West Helena Central, North Pulaski, John L. McClellan, Little Rock Christian, Pulaski Academy, and Pulaski Academy.
The Mills Comets have won three state baseball championships (1975, 1990, 1999), four state boys basketball titles (2004, 2017, 2020, 2021), a state weightlifting title (1996), four bowling state titles, and two tennis state titles. The Comets have won multiple conference championships across all sports, most notably boys basketball. During the 2000s, the Comets won seven conference championships in basketball, and appeared in the state championship twice under the direction of Coach Tracy Allen. The first basketball state championship was won on March 12th, 2004, as Allen's Comets beat the Sylvan Hills Bears 58-53 at Alltel Arena in North Little Rock.
In 2011, Raymond Cooper took the reins of the basketball program. On March 10, 2012, Mills would appear in the 5A State Championship game in Cooper's first year as head coach, eventually losing to the Sylvan Hills Bears 59-54. The Comets finished the 2011-12 season with a record of 22-7. Almost 5 years later, on March 9, 2017, the Comets defeated the Little Rock Parkview Patriots 65-61 to earn the school's second state title in a season that saw them set new records for the longest winning streak in program history (22) and the most wins in school history (31).
The Comet boys basketball team returned to the state championship in 2018, losing to Little Rock Parkview. In 2019, they made yet another appearance in the state championship game, losing to Magnolia in overtime. The next year, the Comets shared the class 4A title with Magnolia, having the state title game cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the Comets made a fifth consecutive appearance in the championship game, beating Morrilton 49-46 to earn the school's fourth state title.
- Kris Allen (Class of 2003)-Musician; American Idol Winner
- Marcus Harrison (Class of 2003)-Former American football player (defensive lineman); Chicago Bears
- "Search for Public Schools - Wilbur D. Mills High School (051185000945)". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
- "WILBUR D. MILLS HIGH SCHOOL". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
- "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Pulaski CO. SPEC. School DIST". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
- "The High School Challenge (2011)". Washington Post. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Sweet Home CDP, AR." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on July 31, 2017.
- Home. Mills University Studies High School. Retrieved on July 31, 2017. "1205 East Dixon Road Little Rock, AR 72206"
- "SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP (2010 CENSUS): Pulaski County, AR" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
- "School Zone Map". Pulaski County Special School District. Retrieved 2021-03-03.
- "General Highway Map Pulaski County, Arkansas" (PDF). Arkansas Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2021-02-28. - See Ironton on the map.
- "Wilbur D. Mills High School". Civil Rights Data Collection, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
- "School Profile, Wilbur D Mills Univ Studies High". AdvancED. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- "Newsweek Web Exclusive, The Top of the Class". Newsweek. 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2008.
- Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge (2012)". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Wilbur Mills Univ Studies H S". Arkansas Activities Association. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
- Marcus Harrison | New England Patriots | NFL - Yahoo! Sports