Straight Talk by Baker Kurrus, July 24, 2015

This has been an interesting week.  We are working hard on a number of important tasks that need to be completed before school starts.  We are really trying to put our best foot forward in our schools.  We are planning for a transformational year.

I met with the Civic Advisory Committee last night.   We talked about a lot of things.  I reviewed a process map which we will use in the schools which are set to receive intensive support.  I want to be sure that each educator has a clearly defined role.  Last year we had a lot of folks who were working at the tasks, but I understand that there was some confusion—maybe too many cooks in the kitchen, or perhaps too many recipes being used.  The map is still in draft form.  The Arkansas Department of Education has worked with our team to assist with this process, and with the process map.  Students are at the top of the chart, with teachers just below the students. All of the support personnel are layered in the middle.  The commissioner of education is at the bottom, and I am just above him.   It is a servant leadership model, where everyone on the map serves those above them.   I was explaining the alignment to a group of my colleagues, and I wasn’t getting through to them.  I finally asked the group to imagine that everyone on the chart was in a classroom.  The teacher would be teaching, and the students would be learning.  Those in the middle would be supporting and assisting the teacher.  If a student were to get sick and throw up, the teacher would keep teaching.  I would clean up the floor, and the commissioner would take the student to the school nurse.    Classroom instruction would not be interrupted.  I was not joking.

Dads Take Your Child to School Day is August 17

Once again the first day of school we are asking all dads to take your child to school. Enter the Facebook Photo Contest for a chance to win great prizes!

Here’s how it works:
1. Dads and father figures take your child (Pre-K -12th) to school on the first day of school, August 17.  
2. Snap a photo with your cell phone or camera of you with  your child at school (photo must be taken on
 school grounds).
3. Upload your photo to LRSD’s Facebook photo contest page by midnight August 17.
4. Invite your Facebook friends to vote for your photo before the contest closes on Wed., Aug. 26.

The top 25 will receive invitations to the 50 Fantastic Fathers Luncheon on September 4. Another 25 Dads will will be randomly selected to receive "wild card" invitations.The Dad with the most votes will receive a technology prize. All prized will be distributed at the 50 Fantastic Fathers Luncheon. You must be present to collect a prize.

Top LRSD Teachers from Six LRSD Schools Attend Prestigious Teachers Academy

Teachers from Baseline Academy, Forest Heights STEM Academy (FHSA), Forest Park, Fulbright, Otter Creek and Rockefeller elementary schools recently attended the 2015 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in Pittsburg, PA for a rigorous week of professional learning in science and mathematics. These teachers were among 140 teachers selected nationwide to attend one of three summer academies. Significantly, LRSD's own Gene Williams, FHSA, is considered an expert in the field and served as an instructor during one week of the academy. Participating in this academy is an honor and it enhances our teachers STEM knowledge to bring back to their buildings and classrooms. Teachers also received memberships to the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) Learning Center as well as a membership to NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics).

Plus, Otter Creek Principal Donna Hall won a scholarship for an additional 20 memberships to the NSTA Learning Center for her staff at Otter Creek.

The following teachers and administrator attended the 2015 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy:

Important Upcoming Events for August

Please take a moment to review the 2015-2016 student calendar page for the month of August below. You'll find many important dates including Check In, 6th and 9th grade orientations, the first day of school and Dads Take Your Child to School Day. To view the entire calendar, click here. Student calendars will be distributed at Check In—August 3-4, 10 am - 7 pm. Click here to view the entire 2015-2016 student calendar.




FHSA, McDermott and Fulbright Land on Top in myOn Reading Challenge

The results for the 2014-2015 myOn Reading Challenge are in and Forest Heights STEM Academy won the top spot with 23,579 books read. McDermott earned the number two spot with 21,259 books read and Fulbright came in third with 18,952 books read.

LRSD Spring 2015 Newsletter

                                   Click here to read the LRSD Spring 2015 Newsletter

                                              Click here to read the LRSD Spring 2015 Newsletter

LRSD Security Officer Showcases Jefferson Jammers


This past fall, LRSD Safety and Security Officer Chad Henson began mentoring aspiring student musicians at the school where he is assigned, Jefferson Elementary.  Now, after six months of honing their horn skills, the talented students showcased their talents in an end-of-the-year musical performance on Tuesday, June 9th.


You may recall that Henson wanted to make a difference in the lives of students at Jefferson through music, but did not have instruments or the means to acquire them. Henson contacted the non-profit organization Art Porter Music Education, Inc. (APME) for help.  


The request aligned perfectly with APME's mission - to provide scholarships and to enhance reading, language and mathematical skills and other learning experiences" for students through music. Henson and some of Jefferson's fifth graders were on full display for a concert to remember.


Visitors & Former Students