Straight Talk by Baker Kurrus, June 26, 2015


I just left a meeting of the eight incoming principals who were recently appointed.  I told them that they were an outstanding group, and they are.  Six of the new principals will work in elementary schools or early childhood centers.   One thing the principals and I discussed was the transition of their students to middle school.   I have spent some time examining the readiness of our sixth-graders for middle school.  Far too many are not prepared.  We have one middle school where less than 49.5% of the students are proficient or advanced in math and literacy.  At another middle school, 46% percent of the students entering sixth grade last year were not proficient in literacy.  Sixty percent were not proficient in math.  We need to eradicate these problems, root and branch, both in the early grades and thereafter.  We will do all we can in every grade, but we simply must kill these problems at the root.    

Registration Extended for Two Weeks for New Pre-K Seats

In an effort to provide more families with the district's exciting new pre-K4 option, LRSD is extending registration for two additional weeks:

June 29-July 2, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and July 6-10, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

See additional details regarding qualifications and documents you will need to take with you to registration in attached flyer.

LRSD Giving Our Youngest Scholars the Tools They Need to Succeed!

Flyer - English - Espanol


Scott Field Temporarily Closed for Maintenance Work

Please be advised that due to maintenance work on the turf, Scott Field will be closed until July 6th. Thank you for your understanding.

LRSD Spring 2015 Newsletter

                                   Click here to read the LRSD Spring 2015 Newsletter

                                              Click here to read the LRSD Spring 2015 Newsletter

Straight Talk by Baker Kurrus, June 18, 2015

Straight Talk

Last week I spent more time visiting schools, particularly those that are in “academic distress.”  Thursday and Friday I spoke to the staffs at Cloverdale, Henderson, Fair and McClellan.  I had already visited with the staff at Hall, and the Baseline staff is going to be reconstituted.   (This means that most of the current staff, except for some support personnel, will be moved.  Some staff at Baseline who want to return may be rehired, but I expect the majority to be new in the fall.) I think the staffs at Hall, Fair, McClellan, Henderson and Cloverdale expected me to criticize them, or threaten them with some major reconstitution if results did not improve.  Instead of chastising them, I thanked them for hanging in there during a tumultuous year.  I told them that we face some real challenges, but that we will face those challenges together.  Some were relieved that reconstitution was not in the works.  Some of the folks were just plain tired.  I asked them to rest up, get recharged, and get ready for a new and focused school year this fall.  It is only about two months away.  We are going to have a fresh start.

The biggest challenge now for those staffs, including principals, assistant principals, teachers, specialists and support staff, is to work together as a team.  Organizations that are effective pull together and work together.   Effective school personnel spend their time on teaching and learning in the classroom.   Once that focus is lost, there is just not much else that gets done.  We will spend some time before school starts in  goal-setting processes that will let us know if we have the teams in place that can work together.  In schools where we do not, we will struggle.  If we are able to build some committed teams with common goals and with unity of purpose, we will succeed.  It will also be a lot more enjoyable for everyone.

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.

1. Forest Heights STEM Academy: 23,579
2. McDermott: 21,259
3. Fulbright: 18,952
4. Chicot Primary: 13,816
5. Washington: 13,376
6. Brady: 11,847
7. Meadowcliff: 10,662
8. Wakefield: 8,504
9. Forest Park: 8,222
10. Carver: 8,176

14,671 LRSD students participated in the program; 507,106 books were opened; 234,996 books were read with 46, 451 hours and 2 minutes total reading time as of June 15, 2015. This does not include reading time or book count in hard cover books.

Top photo: Fulbright students with most time spent reading banner
Bottom photo: McDermott with principal Scott Morgan who began the reading competition in LRSD

LRSD Slated to Open 15 New Pre-K Classrooms this Fall

The Little Rock School District is pleased to announce that it will be adding 15 new P-4 (four-year-old) classrooms for qualifying students in the 2015-16 school year. In addition to families meeting the criteria listed in the chart found on the flyer, the student must be four by August 1, 2015.  Click here to download the flyer in English - en Espanol

The new seats will be available at Woodruff Early Childhood Center and Bale, Booker, Carver, Franklin, Geyer Springs, Rockefeller, Romine, Stephens, and Washington  elementary schools. Registration will be held at Woodruff Early Childhood Center, 3010 W. 7th on the following dates:

  • June 23, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • June 24, 10 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • June 25, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

To register, qualifying families must bring:
Birth Certificate or Proof of Birth
Child's Social Security Card or Number
Current Proof of Address (utility bill or rental agreement with parent/guardian's name )
Current Proof of Income (pay stub from previous 30 days or 2014 W-2)

If your child has already been assigned a pre-K seat, he or she will remain at his/her assigned school.


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