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ADE Announces Opportunities for Stakeholder Engagement Regarding the Arkansas Accountability System 

LITTLE ROCK (August 25, 2016) — The Arkansas Department of Education today announced opportunities for stakeholder engagement regarding the Arkansas Accountability System. 

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law Dec. 10, 2015, reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and gives states and districts more authority to develop their own accountability system. 

For more than a year, ADE has collaborated with stakeholders to develop a strategic vision for excellence in education in Arkansas. In order to transform Arkansas to lead the nation in student-focused education, a comprehensive accountability system must be developed in order to measure whether students and schools are meeting educational expectations. 

“Arkansas is leading the nation in computer science education, and we can provide the same leadership role in education as a whole by providing a more student-focused education starting with every child in Arkansas,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Our Department of Education is leading the way by creating a state plan and accountability system under the new Every Student Succeeds Act. ADE, under Commissioner Key’s leadership, is working to create a transparent process that engages students, educators, parents and other stakeholders from across the state. Together we can create a plan that will not only elevate the level of education in Arkansas but will cement our state as a national leader on this critical issue for generations to come.” 

LRSD Enacts New Cell Phone Policy for Five High Schools

The Little Rock School District enacted a new cell phone policy for the responsible use of cell phones at all five high schools during the 2015-2016 school year. The policy allows students to have their phones in their possession, but they cannot use them, and the phones cannot make any noise at all, unless the use is authorized by the classroom teacher. LRSD recognizes the potential of cell phones and other electronic devices to be effective instructional tools and educational classroom resources.

According to the policy, JICJ, ‘Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that respects the rights of others and minimizes any distractions that occur in the learning environment.’  To view the full policy governing the use of cell phones at Central, Hall, J.A. Fair, McClellan and Parkview, click here.

The same disciplinary procedures currently in place for the possession and use of cell phones will apply to the unauthorized use of cell phones or electronic devices. Click here to view the  Student Handbook. See rule 24 regarding use of cell phones and other electronic devices on page 75.  Unauthorized cell phone use is a category 2 offense (see page 34).

LRSD Increases Substitute Pay by 23%

The Little Rock School District has increased the daily rate of pay for degreed (4-year BA/BS or Masters) and certified substitute teachers by $15 in an effort improve the substitute teacher fill rate and become more competitive with neighboring school districts. The new daily rate of pay for degreed or certified substitute teachers will be $80 for subs who work between one and 20 days.  After 20 consecutive days in the same classroom the rate of pay increases to $90. The District aims to increase the quality and retention rate of its substitute teacher pool and convey to substitutes that the District values their dedication to LRSD students.

LRSD, and two neighboring districts contract with PCMI/Will Sub to place substitute teachers in classrooms and share the same pool of qualified teachers. The automated system allows substitutes to select which school district, school and classroom assignment that they prefer.  The ability to receive a higher pay rate is an important factor in the selection process.

LRSD Director of Human Resources Rhonda Benton explains, “We want to recruit and retain the very best substitute teachers. High quality substitutes are vital to student performance. When we demonstrate to substitutes that we value them, it has a positive impact on our students.”

Click here more information about becoming a substitute teacher. 

BIG Changes for Big Pitch

BIG Changes for Big Pitch

The Project Prevent Youth Coalition (PPYC) proudly announces the 13th Annual Big Pitch Film Festival. This year’s festival will be open for submissions on Tuesday, September 6, 2016. The closing date for submissions will be Friday, February 17, 2017.

Special Shout Out to All of Our Convocation Food and Door Prize Sponsors

First Security LogoOur friends at First Security rolled out their popular Teal Grill and sponsored lunch for all 3,500 plus LRSD employees.  A special thanks to Frank Scott and the First Security team for manning the grill.  We also appreciate Dr. Lilly Bouie and our Child Nutrition team, who worked alongside First Security.

August 15 is Dads Take Your Child to School Day

Dads bring your child to Work Day Aug 15thEnter the Dads Take Your Child to School Day Facebook 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, August 15

2. Snap a photo with your cell phone or camera of you with your child at school

3. Upload your photo to LRSD’s Facebook photo contest page (http://woobox.com/ptszjp) or use #LRSDdad2016 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook post at the top of our feed. #LRSDdad2016 entries are only valid after the following information is submitted to communications@lrsd.org:

a. Twitter/Instagram Handle or Facebook Name used for submission
b. Dad's Name
c. Child's School
d. Dad's email Address (for notifying winners + luncheon invitation)
e. Dad's Phone Number

4. Invite your Facebook friends to vote for your photo before the contest closes on Wed., Aug. 24. 

The top 25 will receive invitations to the 50 Fantastic Fathers Luncheon on September 1.  Another 25 Dads will be randomly selected to receive “wild card” invitations. All prizes will be distributed at the 50 Fantastic Fathers Luncheon. You must be present to collect a prize. Contest dates subject to change.

Lucky Linda - Winner of Everett Buick GMC's 2016 Encore at Convocation

Linda Kindy with New Car

Congratulations to Linda Kindy, LRSD Adult Education Department, winner of the 2016 Buick Encore during the district's back-to-school convocation.  Kindy, a 38-year employee, was thrilled when her name was drawn by Everett Buick GMC's namesake and owner Susie Everett.

"My husband teased me and my daughter about it, telling us the night before that one of us Winning ticket being drawn from a tumbler drummight be lucky," said Kindy.  (Her daughter also works for the district)  "I'm so thankful to have had my name pulled," she added.  Kindy, who says she's never won anything, has been supportive of new Superintendent Mike Poore's community walks, and jokingly said she planned to drive her Encore to the site of the next "walk."

Everett Buick GMC to Donate 2016 SUV to Lucky LRSD Educator

A lucky Little Rock School District employee will soon be tooling around town in a brand new 2016 Buick Encore thanks to the generosity of Everett Buick GMC of Benton.  Solidifying the company's commitment to investing in the communities it serves, Everett Buick GMC announced its partnership with the district, and plans to give one employee keys to the sleek SUV during the district's opening day convocation at Barton Coliseum, Monday, August 8, 2016, 9 a.m.

The convocation, themed, "The Power of US - Grand Slam for Student Success," will be the first time all district employees will get to hear from new Superintendent Mike Poore in person, and learn more about the shared vision for all LRSD employees.

"We are proud to have a company like Everett lead the way, stepping up to the plate to say we want to help make a difference in educational communities, our district in particular, "said Poore.  "We could never pay teachers and support staff enough for their time and dedication, ensuring that our students are well equipped for college and career, so this is a great example of how generous businesses like Everett can help us support their work."
 

1st Leg of Community Walk Spans Washington and Stephens Elementary School Zones

Superintendent Mike Poore, Karen Schneider and others pose in front of Washington ElementaryDespite triple digit heat, LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore made good on his promise to hit the pavement during his first "Community Walk" events, July 23.  Going door to door, Poore introduced himself to several residents living in school zones 1 and 2, neighborhoods comprising the Washington and Stephens elementary school areas.  In addition to principals Katherine Snyder and Phillip Carlock, as well as a few of their staff members, community members, PTA representatives, and ministers joined the effort.

          Superintendent Mike Poore and volunteeers pose in front of Stephens Elementary
 

Coming to a Neighborhood Near You...LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore

Listen and Learn Community Walk logo

As part of his Entry Plan, Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore will launch the first of a series of Listen and Learn Community Walks this Saturday, July 23, noon-2 p.m., in neighborhoods that comprise Zone 1 and 2 of the Little Rock School District.

Donning blue shirts with the Community Walk logo, Poore and a small group of  LRSD staff and district supporters will go door-to-door, visiting with stakeholders on designated Saturdays in each of the district's seven zones.  Subsequent dates will be posted on the district's website. 

Arkansas Opportunity School Application Period Runs from July 18 to August 1, 2016

The Arkansas Opportunity (Distressed) School Application period begins today - Monday, July 18 and will end August 1, 2016. Applications will be accepted of a first-come, first served basis, beginning Monday, July 18th - Monday, August 1st.  Click here to download the application. Students may apply for any non-distressed school. LRSD Schools that have a "distressed" designation are Cloverdale Middle, Henderson Middle, Hall High, J.A.

LRSD Community Advisory Board Named

The State Board of Education approved Friday the list of names recommended by Commissioner Johnny Key to serve as LRSD Community Advisory Board (CAB) members.  The CAB consists of representatives from each of the seven (7) LRSD school zones.  Members and their zones are listed below:

Chauncey Holloman Pettis – Zone 1

Maria Chavarria-Garcia – Zone 2

Melanie Fox – Zone 3

Jeff Wood – Zone 4

Larry Clark – Zone 5

Anthony Hampton – Zone 6

3 World Leaders Recognize 2016 Presidential Leadership Grads at LRCHS

Picture of  Former Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush, and Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair joined three of the Little Rock Nine, Ernest Green, Minnijean Brown-Tricky and Carlotta Walls LaNierJuly 14, 2016— Former Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush, and Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair joined three of the Little Rock Nine, Ernest Green, Minnijean Brown-Tricky and Carlotta Walls LaNier in honoring graduates of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program on the stage of the Roosevelt Thompson Auditorium at Little Rock Central High School.  The 61 scholars were selected among more than 600 applicants to participate in the unique leadership development initiative that draws upon the resources of the presidential centers of Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George W. Bush.  The Class of 2016 Presidential Leadership Scholars Program included individuals form diverse backgrounds and geographies, coming from a variety of sectors, including private, public, non-profit, military, and academia. During the 6-month executive-style program, scholars traveled to each participating presidential center to learn from former presidents, key administration officials and leading academics.

Dr. Mike Hemphill, director of Academic Programming at the Clinton Foundation, moderated the inspirational conversation with the three members of the Little Rock Nine. Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman moderated the lively conversation with the three former world leaders.

LRSD Welcomes New Superintendent Mike Poore

Picture of Mike PooreThe Little Rock School District  welcomes Michael Poore as its new superintendent.  Although he has been working in the district in a transitional capacity for the past two weeks, he began his first official day in the office today, July 1.

In order to help with the transition, Mr. Poore has created an Entry Plan that includes a series of outreach efforts in the coming days. LRSD will post the dates on the district's online calendar.  Information will also be shared via the district's mass notification system, Blackboard.

Click on this link to read more about Superintendent Poore's Entry Plan.
Click on this link to read Mr. Poore's letter to LRSD Stakeholders.

We hope you will join us in extending best wishes and a warm welcome to Superintendent Poore.  

Superintendent’s Listen & Learn Entry Plan

Michael A. Poore, Superintendent (effective July 1, 2016)
Little Rock School District

Little Rock Skyline
 

Introduction and Purpose

Picture of Mike PooreLittle Rock is a vibrant and unique city with a long, rich heritage of cultural diversity.  I am excited and humbled to serve as the new superintendent (effective July 1, 2016) of this historic school district. I take this opportunity very seriously and will perform my job with energy, enthusiasm, and commitment.  I will “hit the ground listening and learning” in order to gather as much information from stakeholders within the schools, as well as from parents and community members. I firmly believe that the greatest asset the Little Rock School District (LRSD) has is the passion of its people. This plan is another step forward in returning LRSD to local control.  

    The purpose of this entry plan is to establish a set of activities that will guide my transition into the district and community. The activities described below will utilize an Appreciative Inquiry approach to elicit direction from the community.  In its simplistic form, Appreciative Inquiry seeks to understand key commitments and objectives that must be maintained. Furthermore, it allows the community to share its most important aspirations.

    The following activities will be accomplished as we prepare for the first day our students return in August for the 2016-2017 school year:

Otter Creek Educator Among 12 Finalist Teams for National Learning Challenge

“Leaning Forward” and the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future (NCTAF) recently selected 12 finalist teams in its “Agents for Learning” challenge. Lori Martin, an Otter Creek teacher, was among the 12 teams representing 56 teachers, administrators, and learning leaders from 12 different states. Each team proposed plans describing a comprehensive vision for effective professional learning, identified specific needs, strategies to address those needs, and outlined roles and responsibilities for states, districts, and individual educators to achieve that vision.

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

Bus with door open and smiling bus driver
 
Picture of School bus with opened doors, the female bus driver with a yellow hat is smiling at you
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

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.

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.

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