Moms Matter Facebook: Enter Feb. 15; Vote Feb. 16-24

Enter February 15 • Vote February 16-24 • Rx Catering Winner's Luncheon Friday, March 1

Calling all moms and female guardians! Don't forget to attend Parent Conference Day, February 15, take a photo and enter the Moms Matter Facebook Contest by midnight for a chance to win great prizes including two (2) technology prizes. Our list of prize donors is growing daily, but here is the current list: zenstudio, Arkansas Burger, Graffiti's, Tease Salon, Catering to You, Maggie Moos, Museum of Discovery, Playtime Pizza, and Big Rock Mini Golf and Fun Park.

Click here to view the flyer in English and Español.

PREFERRED ENTRY METHOD (FACEBOOK): Please use the Moms Matter APP or go to
Or use #LRSDmom2016 on Twitter, Instagram (public profiles only) or the post pinned at the top of our Facebook page. THESE METHODS require an email to with the following information: 1) Mom/Female guardian name 2) Twitter, Instagram or Facebook handle used to enter contest in the subject line 3) mom’s email address to be used to invite winners to luncheon 4) valid phone number 5) school name.

PLEASE NOTE: Facebook and Instagram likes, Twitter re-tweets/favorites are not votes. One vote per Facebook user per day.  To vote or enter you must like the LRSD Facebook page. The top 25 vote getters and 25 randomly selected “wild card” winners will receive an email invitation to a luncheon on Friday, March 4. RSVP in a timely manner to reserve your spot. A special thank you to our luncheon sponsors: Rx Catering and Olive Garden!

Photo should  be of mom and child’s teacher and taken at the child’s school. Photos and/or captions containing inappropriate content will be disqualified.  To be eligible for prizes moms/female guardians must have student(s) enrolled in the LRSD and follow all contest rules including entry method rules for #LRSDmom2016 entries. The administrator reserves the right to remove entries and change entry and voting deadlines.

LRSD Offers Career Day— March 16, 2016

Maybe college is the right choice for you...maybe not. Maybe you’d like to work while you go to college. The LRSD will, once again, offer students an opportunity to meet with two-year colleges, technical schools, employers and representatives from the military to help students make the right post-secondary choice at the LRSD Career Day on Tuesday, March 16, 2016 at Pulaski Technical College-South Campus, located at 13000 Interstate I-30.

High school junior and seniors are encouraged to attend LRSD Career Day, which will be held from 9:30 to 12:00a.m.

For more information, please contact Laureen Isom, Career Day Coordinator at 447-2971 or

Two-year colleges, employers, apprenticeship programs and technical schools who would like to attend Career Day are encouraged to inquire.

Former LRSD Administrator Dr. Jason Pickering Selected Principal for New WLR Middle School

(February 5, 2016) Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus announced today the selection of Dr. Jason Pickering, of Little Rock, as principal of the new west Little Rock middle school, located at 5701 Ranch Road. 

Pickering has served as principal of Bryant High School since 2010.  His previous experience includes an extensive administrative career in the Little Rock School District, having served as assistant principal at Central High School (2005-2010) and the former Southwest Middle School (2002-2005). Prior to his administrative roles, he was a teacher and coach at Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School. 

2016 10th Annual Career Day Event— Tuesday, March 16

Maybe college is the right choice for you...maybe not? Maybe you’d like to work while you go to college. The LRSD will, once again, offer students an opportunity to meet with two-year colleges, technical schools, employers and representatives from the military to help students make the right post-secondary choice at the LRSD Career Day on Tuesday, March 16, 2016 at Pulaski Technical College-South Campus, located at 13000 Interstate I-30.

ESL Department’s Name is changing to ESOL

January, 21, 2016—The ESL Department, which provides services for students who speak other languages, will undergo a formal name change to the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Department.  This change is consistent with the name used by the Arkansas Department of Education and national standards. It addresses the fact that many of our students are actually learning two languages simultaneously or come to us with proficiency in more than one language. Referring to these students as “ESL” or “English as a Second Language” learners implies that one language is learned exclusively before English has been introduced.

When our identified ELs (English Learners) are learning English in a native English-speaking country like the United States, where English is used in the classroom to teach them, these students are not necessarily learning a second language. It could, in fact, be a student’s third or even fourth language. Referring to English as a second language is too limiting, and not comprehensive enough in its description. English for Speakers of Other Languages, “ESOL,” is a more accurate description.

Save the Date for 2nd Semester Parent Involvement Conferences

Saturday, January 23, 10am-12noon, Washington Elementary School, 2700 S. Main St. (Central/East) POSTPONED. NEW DATE TO COME.
Thursday, February 4, 5:30-7pm, Southwest Community Center, 6401 Baseline Rd. (Southwest)
Thursday, February 25, 5:30-7pm, Parkview High School, 2501 John Barrow Rd. (West)

Click here to view the flyer. Participating schools for each conference included on the hyperlinked flyer. Haga clic aquí para versión en español.

Plans Underway to Open Two New Schools

January 11, 2016—The Little Rock School District is moving forward with the planning, design and construction of a new middle school in west Little Rock and a new high school in southwest Little Rock. The former board of the Little Rock School District envisioned both projects in the broader context of a millage increase and bond issue. However, LRSD Superintendent Baker Kurrus and administrative staff now believe both projects can be planned, designed, constructed and equipped using existing revenues. Superintendent Kurrus is appointing a committee to choose architects for both projects with their work beginning immediately.

The new west Little Rock middle school will open this fall at the Leisure Arts location for sixth graders with grades 7-8 added in subsequent years. Temporary space for the sixth grade will be provided in the office building while the district begins the process of converting the large warehouse into the permanent middle school facility to accommodate students as they move up. Land and improvements are now under contract for $11,500,000 with a total estimated cost of $15,000,000 to $19,000,000 for the conversion, a new gymnasium, furniture and equipment. The expected enrollment for fall 2016 will be 250-300 sixth graders.

The planning and design phase for the new southwest Little Rock high school will also begin immediately on the $1,372,000 Richsmith Lane property previously purchased with the approval of the former LRSD board of directors. The exact size, scope and cost of the southwest Little Rock high school will be defined through the planning and design process. A large, new, state-of-the-art high school could have a total cost of around $85 million compared to a cost of $19-31 million to refurbish McClellan High School, and will have the capacity to serve the 2,700 students who live in southwest Little Rock.

Latest Edition of Straight Talk by Baker Kurrus, December 21, 2015

The administrative staff of LRSD and I have determined that we should proceed with the planning, design and construction of a new middle school in west Little Rock and a new high school in southwest Little Rock.  These projects were envisioned by the former board of LRSD in the broader context of a millage increase and bond issue.  I believe these projects can be planned, designed, constructed and equipped using existing revenues.  These projects can be the beginning of a new and more fulfilling era for our district if we can work together.  We will put each project on a fast track.

We are planning to open an area middle school (6th grade initially, grades 7-8 will be added in subsequent years) at the Leisure Arts location in the fall of 2016.  We will prepare temporary space for the 6th grade in the office building.  We will also begin the process of converting the large warehouse into the permanent middle school facility so that we can accommodate the students as they move up.  Land and improvements are now under contract for $11,500,000.  A substantial amount of construction will be required to convert the existing facilities to school use.  Current estimates are for total costs in the range of $15,000,000 to $19,000,000 for the conversion, a new gymnasium, furniture and equipment. 

The attendance zone that we have planned will include the elementary zones for Fulbright, Terry and Roberts.  Current LRSD fifth grade students who reside within one of the aforementioned attendance zones will automatically be assigned to the new school without any action by parents/guardians.  If a parent/guardian from the new zone has completed an Optional Enrollment Request Form (“OERF”) requesting assignment to an LRSD magnet/specialty school (Dunbar, Forest Heights STEM, Horace Mann), and if the magnet/specialty assignment is no longer desired, the OERF may be rescinded.   The parent/guardian may also wait to see if the alternative assignment is received.  The alternative assignment may then be accepted or declined.  Based on historic patterns, almost all students from these zones can receive an assignment to Dunbar or Mann.  Space is very limited at FH STEM.  If you wish to rescind your OERF, please do so on January 5 through 8 so we can plan accordingly. 

We will have an open enrollment period on January 5, 2016 through January 8, 2016 for non-LRSD students living in the zone who wish to attend the new school as sixth graders in the fall of 2016.  Planning will be ongoing, and we will communicate with prospective students promptly after the open enrollment period closes.

I am appointing a committee to choose architects for the new SWLR high school and for the Leisure Arts warehouse conversion.  Their work will begin immediately.

The reasons to start at this time on these two projects are compelling.  The middle school is needed from a purely demographic standpoint.  The three elementary zones which will be served have a population of about 38,000 people. The area continues to grow. LRSD has over 2,700 students who live in the Fair and McClellan zones.  The cost to refurbish McClellan is estimated to be at least $18,000,000.  The size, scope and cost of the SWLR project will be defined through the planning and design process.  The ultimate costs of the new projects will be driven by the sizes of the schools and their projected enrollments.  Funding will always be a challenge, but LRSD has great resources.  If we approach the same efficiency metrics that exist in other districts, we will be able to continue with a phased plan of facilities improvements.

LRSD to Show Lion Pride at Friday's 5-A Title Game

December 1, 2015 - It’s been more than 40 years since the Crimson Lions of McClellan have brought home a state football championship.  But this hungry pride is hoping to reverse its fortune this Friday night when the 10-2 team takes on Pulaski Academy for the 5-A title.

Western Hills Art Teacher’s Grant Submission Earns State’s only $10K Technology Grant As LRSD Students Go Global with Hour of Code

November 30, 2015 - Sarah Burns had no idea that her creative “outside the box” thinking would pay off in a big way when she submitted a grant request to help improve technology at Western Hills Elementary where she spends part of her instruction time as an art teacher.   Word came just over a week ago that her school had been the only Arkansas campus selected, along with one entry from each of the 50 states and Washington, DC, to win a $10,000 technology grant.  Burns’ submission detailed how she would incorporate the use of technology in art instruction, and demonstrate that effort during the global movement, the “Hour of Code.”  

The Hour of Code is an international initiative that reaches tens of millions of students in 180+ countries, and provides an opportunity for all of us to see what computer science is about.  The Little Rock School District will have hundreds of students from 16 campuses participating in the “Hour of Code” the week of December 7th , including those attending Roberts and Forest Heights STEM Academy.  To show their excitement about and commitment to this year’s event, staff and students at Forest Heights will be donning Star Wars costumes on campus, Tuesday, December 8.  Last year, LRSD’s students were among 120 million nationwide participating.  Additionally, anyone - ages 4-104, anywhere, can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. No experience is needed.

"The Hour of Code is designed to demystify code and show that computer science is not rocket-science, anybody can learn the basics," said Hadi Partovi, founder and CEO of "Over 100 million students worldwide have tried an Hour of Code. The demand for relevant 21st century computer science education crosses all borders and knows no boundaries."

New, Earlier Open Enrollment for the 2016-2017 School Year

New, this year Open Enrollment in the Little Rock School District began October 19 and ends December 18, 2015 with designated enrollment periods. Open Enrollment will NOT be held in January and February.

Please Note: Applications are still being accepted for Early Childhood P3/P4. 

The last day to submit Forest Heights STEM Academy applications will be December 11, 2015. 

LRCH Senior Name One of Only Five National Student Poets

LRSD is proud to recognize Little Rock Central High Senior David Xiang as one of only five students in the country to be awarded the country’s highest honor for student poets.  See information in article from the National Student Poets Program below.


“Every year we have great young people who take this pledge and go on to do some wonderful things. This is the beginning of something phenomenal for each and every one of you. And I am so excited for you. And I don’t want you to be nervous about it . . . I want you to feel empowered by it. You all can do this. You made it to this point. There is nothing you can’t do.”
–First Lady Michelle Obama, during her remarks at the National Student Poets Pinning Ceremony at the White House, October 8, 2015.

First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a poetry reading in honor of the 2015 National Student Poets (from left: Anna Lance, David Xiang, De’John Hardges, Chasity Hale, and Eileen Huang) in the Blue Room of the White House, October 8, 2015. (Photo by Patrick G. Ryan for the National Student Poets Program.)

Meet the Class of 2015 National Student Poets

  • The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers partner to present the National Student Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for young poets (grades 10–11) presenting original work. We are thrilled to introduce the 2015 National Student Poets, who were appointed on October 8, 2015.

David Xiang
Age 17
Little Rock Central High School
Little Rock, AR
Southwest Region

Eileen Huang
Age 15
High Technology High School
Lincroft, NJ
Northeast Region


Chasity Hale
Age 16
Miami Arts Charter School
Miami Beach, Florida
Southeast Region

Anna Lance
Age 17
West High School
Anchorage, AK
West Region


De’John Hardges
Age 16
Cleveland School of the Arts
Cleveland, OH
Midwest Region


Former LRSD Teacher of the Year Named 2015 Arkansas History Teacher of the Year

Former Little Rock School District Teacher of the Year, Steven Helmick can now add another distinction to his list of impressive accomplishments - his selection as 2015 Arkansas History Teacher of the Year.  The news about Helmick, now assistant principal at Don Roberts Elementary School, came earlier in the school year, but his school colleagues and officials from the Arkansas Department of Education hosted a surprise reception in his honor Monday at the elementary campus. Helmick was a fifth grade social studies teacher when curriculum specialist Laura Beth Arnold nominated him for the award.  

The local teacher of the year designation is an arm of the National History Teacher of the Year Award program, which supports the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States. Each year, one K-12 American History teacher is chosen from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Schools, and U.S. Territories. The program is co-sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, HISTORY® and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation on behalf of its Preserve America program. 

DJ and Payton - Dynamic Debating Duo - Continues Winning Ways

Not only did Little Rock Central High's DJ Williams and Payton Wood win the University of Michigan Round Robin this weekend, they also won the regular University of Michigan Tournament, placing as the top team in a field of over 100.  And, if that's not awesome enough, Payton and DJ were awarded 2nd and 3rd speaker, respectively!  The two are making quite the impression on the national debate circuit.  See highlighted article. 

Article from HS Impact

Click here to read article on corresponding website - photo and text from article found below.


Little Rock WW wins Michigan Tournament and Seniors Round Robin

November 2, 2015 · by Josh Clark

Little Rock Central’s Payton Woods and Darrin Williams had an amazing week.  After already leading the TOC bid count through the first two and a half months of the season, they now have even more accolades to their impressive start.  Payton and Darrin started the week by winning the Seniors Round Robin with a 7-1 record.  Payton was also top speaker and Darrin was 5th.

Public Notice - Discussion of 2014-15 LRSD Annual Report Scheduled for Monday, November 2


Public Notice
October 30, 2015

Discussion of 2014-2015 LRSD Annual Report 
Monday, November 2, 2015
LRSD Admin Bldg
810 W. Markham
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.


Parkview Quarterback Named LRSD Athlete of the Month for September 2015

In October of 2014, the Little Rock School District launched a new student-athlete recognition program. Recognizing the importance that athletic competition can have in developing well-rounded, achievement-driven students, the district now recognizes an athlete, or in some cases athletes, to feature as the “LRSD Athlete of the Month.”

September 2015
Parkview Patriots Quarterback Koilon Jackson, a junior, was named Student Athlete of the Month for September. In 5 games he has 34 rushing, 806 passing, 1 rushing TD, 14 passing TD’s and 2 interceptions.
Koilon was instrumental in the recent Parkview Patriot win over rival Little Rock Catholic (35-5). In addition to the important leadership role he plays on the team, Koilon is a solid student who volunteers at his dad’s center, P.A.R.K.  (Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids). P.A.R.K. is a non-profit organization which was established in 1993 by Keith Jackson. The mission of P.A.R.K. is to provide "high-risk" students the opportunity to further their education by completing high school so they can attend college.

Click here to read more about other outstanding LRSD student athletes.

Important Message to Parents from ADE Commissioner Johnny Key

Attention LRSD Parents:

Please see an important message below from Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key.


October 13, 2015  

Statement and Letter to Parents from Commissioner Johnny Key 

Upon review of the communication regarding the release of scores from the PARCC assessment, it is apparent that we used language that left a misleading impression that Arkansas was backing away from high standards. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the action taken by the State Board of Education on Thursday was adoption of the cut scores for the high school level assessments as recommended by the PARCC states.  

Any assertion that Arkansas has adopted Level 3 as demonstrating proficiency is inaccurate. We fully embrace the higher level of expectations reflected in our standards and our assessment system, as these are critical components of advancing our K-12 education along the path to excellence.

Our description of Level 3 and above as reflecting students being "on track for college and career readiness" was in error. We should have then, as we will from this point forward, used the actual descriptions from PARCC to accurately reflect the performance of students at Level 3 as approaching academic expectations for college and career readiness.

To assist parents in understanding the PARCC results, we have prepared the letter below that explains the levels and what they mean for students. It is our hope that this information will generate robust conversations between parents and educators.


New, Earlier Open Enrollment for 2016-17 School Year


In an effort to make the Open Enrollment process easier and more convenient for parents, the Little Rock School District has moved up the dates for the 2016-17 school year.  New this year, Open Enrollment will be held from October 19 - December 18, 2015 during periods designated in the chart above.

Check Us Out! Find Out What's New and Exciting in the LRSD!!!

The Little Rock School District offers a variety of educational opportunities to meet your child’s needs.  If you are looking for classrooms that are interesting, innovative and rigorous, be sure to take advantage of visiting any of the district’s K-12 campuses during our “Check Us Out” events.  Simply contact the school you’d like to visit by calling to make an appointment for either Wednesday or Thursday of this week, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., to see for yourself.

Check Us Out Tours
All Schools
Wednesday, October 7
Thursday, October 8