Straight Talk by Baker Kurrus, June 24, 2016

" Eternal vigilance is not just the price of liberty.  It is also the price of freedom and equality. "

I have been a poor correspondent lately, primarily due to the daily pressures of this job.  I am under contract until June 30, 2016.  I intend to press on until the finish.

On Mother's Day, I spent some time thinking about my mother, Joan Baker Kurrus.  She died before I got out of law school.  She was always loving and supportive, even when perhaps a more unbiased person would have seen my flaws.  She convinced me that I could do just about anything if I did my best.  I can still remember her taking my brother, sister and me to the shallow end of the swimming pool when we were small children.  She didn’t want us to have any fear of the water.  She enrolled us in Red Cross swimming lessons when we were old enough to go.  I found out a bit later, maybe when I was six or seven, that she couldn’t swim, and that she was deathly afraid of the water.  She didn’t want us to live with her fears.

My mother was not college-educated, but she took a correspondence course on children’s literature so that she could help us with our reading.  She had wonderful friends, Betty, Rusty and Betty.  They played bridge, and tried to learn to speak French because they loved the sound of the language.  Mom was born too soon to be everything she might have been in different times.  She was engaged politically and socially, and she always tried to help those in greatest need.  She grew up in Pine Bluff during segregation.  She and my dad knew it was reprehensible, and they never countenanced any kind of discrimination.  They threw kinfolks out of our house who used the wrong words.

LRSD Students Invited to Submit Art for School Award and Marketing Competition

Bus with door open and smiling bus driver
 
Cartoon Illustration of bus
In an effort to highlight the school bus experience, First Student has organized an art contest for key district partners, such as Little Rock School District, to help communicate the idea that “Happiness Starts with YellowTM”. Students are encouraged to use their imaginations and draw whatever their creative young minds dream up involving the yellow school bus. Some may choose to depict friendships on the bus, studying on the bus, or even bus drivers. The artwork should convey whatever the student associates with happiness while riding the bus. A First Student school bus must be featured somewhere within the artwork.
 

LRSD Announces Summer Meal Service

To see a close up version of the list of summer meal service sites, click here (PDF).

Screenshot of Summer Food Program Schedule

Rising LRCH Sophomore Earns the Silver Medal at International Competition

                Picture of Rock Cenral High sophomore Meghana Bollimpali
Congratulations to Silver Medal winner and Little Rock Cenral High sophomore Meghana Bollimpali, who represented Arkansas at the GENIUS Olympiad in New York this month.
 

Temporary Closings at Scott Field and McClellan High School

Warning Illustration usually used in Highway Signs (black and yellow bars)Scott Field, located on the campus of Forest Heights STEM Academy, will be closed for approximately three weeks beginning June 20, 2016. The gates will remain locked during surface repair.

The McClellan High School football stadium and field will be closed this summer in preparation for another winning football season. Major renovations will include upgrades to the fence, field, and press box.

Please be patient with us as we work to improve our facilities to better serve the needs of students. Thank you for your support.

ADE Announces Upcoming Meetings for CAB and Stakeholder Group

The State Board of Education will meet Monday, June 27, 2016, in the ADE auditorium at 5:00 p.m.  All LRSD Community Advisory Board applicants have been invited to give a brief introduction.  The meeting will be live streamed.

The Little Rock Area Little Rock Area Public Education Stakeholder Group will meet Wednesday, June 29, 2016, in the ADE auditorium at 5:00 p.m.

The agendas for both meetings will be available at https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001636.

Important Information about Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Picture of smiling woman with a bottle of water in her handDehydration occurs when the amount a person is drinking is less than the amount of fluids lost through sweating, urination, diarrhea or vomiting.  Dehydration is very common when exercising outside, and it can lead to more serious problems like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  It’s important to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Click here to download the flyer (pagina dos en Español).

Signs of dehydration:
•          Thirst
•          Dry or sticky mouth
•          Headache
•          Muscle cramping
•          Irritability
•          Extreme fatigue or weakness
•          Dizziness

Talk with your children to make sure they’re taking the right steps to prevent dehydration while playing. Preventing dehydration will keep your child safe from more serious problems like heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.

Make sure they:
•          Drink water 30 minutes before play begins.
•          Take a break every 15-20 min-utes to drink more.  Don’t wait for a child to
            tell you they are thirsty.
•          Drink plenty of water after the play ends.

12 LRSD Schools Receive 32 OEP Awards for Academic Achievement

Two icons of awards from the University of Arkansas College of Education for Best test scores in LIteracy and MathThe Office of Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas recognized 12 LRSD schools with a combined total of 32 awards for top performance on the PARCC exams during the 2014-15 academic year.

Forest Park Elementary School won the top spot in every elementary achievement and performance category.
• Rank #1: State Top 20 Overall PARCC Achievement
• Rank #1: Central Region Overall PARCC Performance
• Rank #1: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC Math Achievement
• Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 Elementary Schools PARCC Math performance
• Rank #1: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC  Literacy Achievement
• Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 Elementary Schools PARCC Literacy performance

Don Roberts Elementary School was also recognized in every elementary achievement and performance category.
Rank #4: State Top 20 Overall PARCC Achievement
Rank #3: Central Region Overall PARCC Performance
Rank #5: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC Math Achievement
Rank #4: Central Region Top 5 Elementary Schools PARCC Math performance
Rank #2: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC  Literacy Achievement
Rank #2:  Central Region Top 5 Elementary Schools PARCC Literacy performance

Four additional LRSD elementary schools received OEP Awards.

Gibbs Magnet Elementary School was recognized for literacy achievement and performance.
Rank #4: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #4: Central Region Top 5 Elementary Schools PARCC Literacy performance 

Jefferson Elementary School was recognized for literacy achievement.
Rank #9: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC  Literacy Achievement

Three LRSD elementary schools were recognized for “beating the odds” with top performances among “high poverty” elementary schools in the state and region.

Forest Heights STEM Academy was recognized in four categories.
Rank #3: State Top 10 “High Poverty” Overall PARCC Achievement
Rank #2: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” Overall PARCC Math
Rank #2: State Top 10 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy

Geyer Springs Gifted & Talented Academy was recognized in two categories.
Rank #8: State Top 10 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #2: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy Achievement

Terry Elementary was ranked #3 among  “High Poverty” elementary schools in Central Arkansas based on PARCC Math.

Otter Creek Elementary was ranked #4 among “High Poverty” elementary schools in Central Arkansas on PARCC Literacy.

Both Pulaski Heights Middle School and Mann Magnet Middle School received OEP Awards.

Pulaski Heights Middle School was ranked #4 in the central region for middle school literacy performance.

Mann Magnet Middle School was recognized in three “beating the odds” categories.
Rank #7: State Top 10 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Math Achievement

Two LRSD high schools received OEP Awards.

Parkview Magnet High School was recognized in three achievement categories.
Rank #5: State Top 10 Overall PARCC Achievement
Rank #7: State Top 10 PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 PARCC Literacy Performance

J.A. Fair High School was recognized for high achievement among high poverty schools in for math and literacy.
Rank #4: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Math
Rank #4: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy

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