NewPageView

Straight Talker by Baker Kurrus, May 25, 2015

Friends,

 
Thanks to all who let me know that they are “all in.”  It means a lot to me, and gives me a sense of optimism for our school district.  I have gotten hundreds of enthusiastic responses, and lots of good ideas.  
 
Mr. Marvin Burton, Deputy Superintendent, and I attended all of the traditional graduations at Verizon Arena.  I was unable to attend the graduations at the Accelerated Learning Center and Hamilton Academy, but Mr. Burton did attend.  It was fun and exciting to see the exuberance of students as they received their diplomas.  It was a privilege to share the moments with them.    Many students from all of our schools received scholarships and accolades.  For a great many of our students and their families, the night was a real celebration.
 
Some of our kids from one high school felt like they graduated by “beating the odds.”  I was deeply troubled by the statement.  After the ceremony, I talked to as many students as I could as they were leaving.  Those conversations remain very disturbing to me.  Some said that they felt as if they had to overcome obstacles that were placed in their paths by the community, or by the school itself.  

ARP (ACT Readness Program) offered at Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School

ARP (ACT Readiness Program) will be offered again this year from June 19 – July 10, 2015 at Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School. Rising 10-12th grades students who have taken the ACT, PLAN or EXPLORE and wish to improve their score are eligible. The program is offered five days per week from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm. The program reviews subject areas covered on the ACT and gives students extensive test-taking practice. There is no charge for the course.  However, transportation is not provided.

Please fill out the following forms at this link:

Civic Advisory Committee Meeting — May 26, 2015, 5:00 p.m.


LRSD Civic Advisory Committee Meeting 

May 26, 2015

LRSD Administration Building-Student Center

5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

  
Members of the LRSD Civic Advisory Committee will hold a meeting today, Tuesday, May 26, 2015, at  5 p.m.  The meeting will be held in the Student Center at the LRSD Administration Building, 810 W. Markham St.

 

LRSD and LREA Reach Agreement For One-Time Bonus

 In a joint news conference, Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus and Little Rock Education Association President Cathy Koehler announced an agreement for a one-time bonus that will be allocated to most district personnel.  Under the agreement, eligible employees will receive $350 by June 19.  The negotiation was required under the agreement between the District and The Little Rock Education Association.

Eligible employees include teachers, school staff, assistant principals, principals and administrative staff with pay grade designations of 65 and under.  

Click on this link to read the complete News Release

Straight Talk by Baker Kurrus

In an effort to promote transparency and to speak directly to LRSD stakeholders about the status and future of the district, Superintendent Baker Kurrus launched a weekly column today, called "Straight Talk."  Highlights from this week's edition include a "where we are" and "where we need to be" perspective, with an invitation to stakeholders to participate in the support of our students, teachers and schools, and to declare that they are "all in."

To read the first article on May 15th, click here:

To email Baker Kurrus, use this email address: Baker.Kurrus@lrsd.org, or use our contact form.

Listing of all "Straight Talk" articles

 

21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Applications

The District intends to submit 21st Century Community Learning Center grant applications for Carver Elementary and Mabelvale Elementary.  The grant applications are due May 28, 2015. The 21st CCLC grant provides funding for out-of-school programming (before school, after school, Saturday, and summer programs) and provides both academic programs and enrichment activities.  Community input is invited.  Please contact Linda Young at linda.young@lrsd.org to share ideas or to volunteer.

ADE Commissioner Johnny Key Appoints Howard “Baker” Kurrus New Superintendent of LRSD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email Baker.Kurrus@lrsd.org

Howard Baker Kurrus was named the new superintendent of the Little Rock School District today at a press conference held at the district. Kurrus will begin his new role immediately.

Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key appointed Kurrus, a former Little Rock School Board member, to the position. Kurrus replaces Marvin Burton, who served as interim superintendent after Dr. Dexter Suggs resigned recently. Burton will resume his previous role as deputy superintendent.

“Because of his extensive experience creating and leading effective organizations, Mr. Kurrus will be a tremendous asset and resource for the Little Rock School District,” Key said. “As a former school district board member, Mr. Kurrus is dedicated to district. I have the upmost confidence in his ability to lead the district during this time of transition with six schools in academic distress and pending loss of desegregation funds.”serving the students, parents, teachers and administrators in the district during this time of transition with six schools in academic distress and pending loss of desegregation funds.”

“I also want to thank Mr. Burton for his commitment and service to the district and Little Rock community,” Key said. “His willingness to step in and work with me and the ADE team has been of great value.”

LRSD Salutes Future Engineers From the Campus of Metropolitan Career-Technical Center

Vocational Education, now recognized as Career-Technical Education has long been recognized for learners who choose ‘hands-on’ education.

Advanced academics are incorporated into the lessons in Career-Technical Education for general use and professional development.  Vocational students learn the skills of high paying, highly technical professions as well as learning the advanced literacy, math and general academic skills needed to be well-educated students, potential employees and entrepreneurs.

Arkansas Opportunity School Choice Act Deadline

En Espanol

Your child is eligible to participate in the Arkansas Opportunity Public School Choice Act for the 2015-16 school year, which begins May 1, 2015. She/he may apply to attend any public school or school district that has not been classified by the ADE as a public school or school district in academic distress. The application period will continue through Thursday, July 30, 2015, on a first-come, first-serve basis. All applications should be delivered to 501 Sherman Street, Little Rock, AR, 72202.

 If your transfer is approved you will be notified by first class mail within 30 days from the day you submitted the application.  If we DO NOT receive an application for your child, she/he will attend their assigned school.

Please note:  Transfer request for assignments within the boundary of the Little Rock School District will be made on first-come, first-serve basis and seat availability. Finally, all assignments for The Arkansas Opportunity Public School Choice Act transfers are only available from the following schools which have a distressed status: 

  •  Baseline Elementary
  • Cloverdale Middle School
  • Henderson Middle School
  • Hall High
  • J. A. Fair High
  • McClellan High

If you have further questions, please call 501-447-2950.

Click here to see registration process

 

Volunteers in Public Schools Announces Volunteer Awards Winners

Little Rock School District Volunteers in Public Schools (ViPS) hosted its district-wide volunteer recognition reception, “An Evening for the Stars,” on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. 

Awards were presented to schools, volunteers and organizations.  The highest award established by ViPS in honor of the program’s founder, Jane Mendel, was presented to Ginny Belotti, a volunteer who has achieved an exceptional level of service. 

 

Ginny Belotti (R), Jane Mendel Award Recipient

Ninety-one individual and business nominees were recognized for their volunteer service.  Thirty-two of those nominees were honored with awards.

Statement Regarding Little Rock School District Superintendent

Today, Commissioner Johnny Key reached an agreement with Dr. Dexter Suggs that resulted in Dr. Suggs’ immediate resignation as superintendent of the Little Rock School District. Mr. Marvin Burton will serve as interim superintendent for the Little Rock School District. 

Commissioner Key offered the following statement:

Transforming the LRSD to Best Serve the Needs of Students

The Little Rock School District reaffirms its commitment to putting children first by creating and supporting an educational culture and climate where each school and each student can be successful.  To accomplish this goal, we must transform our district into a model that will continue to proactively address student achievement, teacher/leader quality, parental involvement, community engagement and financial stability.

"In successful schools, the planning, implementation and evaluation of new approaches focus on enhancing student learning," according to the Center for Education Research. It is our pledge to our community to renew our energy so that our purpose is clear – the best results for our children, our families, and our stakeholders.

The information shared on a dedicated page of the website will help provide insight on the district’s goals, processes and plans.  Among the topics on the page are:  proposed plans for Baseline Elementary, Rockefeller Elementary, and the seven-period day.  To learn more and be redirected to the page, please click here.  We will share regular updates.

Blackboard has Acquired ParentLink - What this Means for LRSD

Over the last 18 months Blackboard has been redoubling its focus on K12 education. A part of this effort has included the acquisition of ParentLink, the provider of the industry leading mobile application, mass notification services, and social media tools.  This purchase took place in November of 2014, and over the last several months Blackboard has been integrating ParentLink products into their portfolio.

A part of this migration has been to re-brand the products that were formerly marked as ParentLink products.   You may have seen this in the mobile app as the “powered by ParentLink” became “powered by Blackboard”.  You will notice this eventual change of branding on the lrsd.org website in the area where you have normally accessed ParentLink.

We recognize that in any time of change there can be uncertainty, but Blackboard has assured us that during this transition they have been highly interested in adopting not only the products, but the service levels and customer success practices established by ParentLink.  In short, they say they will continue to provide the same level of service, and provide the same personal support on which our stakeholders have come to rely.

Over the next several days/weeks/months, your ParentLink App will receive an update which will include changes in branding - the "powered by ParentLink" will be replaced by “powered by Blackboard”. 

 

However, our District icon should remain the same. (This is the one teachers, parents, community members and other stakeholders have been downloading on Google Play and iTunes.)

Please know that it remains our commitment to provide stakeholders with timely, accurate and beneficial information.  We will keep you  posted regarding any additional changes. 

 

Exciting New Microsoft Technology Opportunity Offered to LRSD Students and Staff

The Little Rock School District, in partnership with Microsoft, has purchased the opportunity for students to download and use the current version of Microsoft Office as part of its contract with the software company.  Now students, grades 3-12, have free access to the current version of Microsoft Office for their home computers, laptops, or other mobile devices capable of running Microsoft Office.  Other benefits such as the web version of Office are included.

Slate of Members Selected to Serve on LRSD Civic Advisory Committee

 

Following a selection process Tuesday that included state legislators from Little Rock School District boundaries, seven zone representatives and two philanthropic organizations were identified to serve on the LRSD Civic Advisory Committee. These members will help comprise the 33-member body (legislators selected one additional philanthropic organization from the original applicants) that will also consist of two students and two teachers from each of the six LRSD schools with academic distress designations.

 

The zone members and philanthropic organizations are:

 

Zone 1

Joy Springer

Zone 2

Anika Whitfield

Zone 3

Peter Gess

Zone 4

Dionne B. Jackson

Zone 5

John L. Wilkerson

Zone 6

Marq Golden

Zone 7

Brenda "BJ" Wyrick

Philanthropic Organizations

         Little Rock Public Education Foundation - Eugene Levy

         Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance - Kathy Webb

 

The LRSD Civic Advisory Committee will meet monthly on the third Tuesday of each month from 5:00-6:00 p.m. in the Little Rock School District Administration Building, 810 W. Markham, to review the progress of the LRSD in meeting established goals to be removed from state authority. The LRSD Civic Advisory Committee will make recommendations for communication of data to the general public and stakeholders of the LRSD.

 

The superintendent and LRSD staff will make presentations of data to the LRSD Civic Advisory Committee for consideration. The LRSD will provide staff support to the committee. A written agenda and minutes of each meeting will be posted monthly on the LRSD website. Transportation of the student committee members will be provided by the district. No stipend, salary, fees membership, or travel reimbursement will be provided to committee members.

 

Additional information regarding meetings of the LRSD Civic Advisory Committee will be posted on the district's website. 

 

McClellan's Crimson Lions Bring Home 5A State Boys Basketball Championship

Congratulations to the McClellan Crimson Lions and their Coach Chris Threatt following their 82-73 victory over Maumelle in the 2015 state basketball finals. 

Former LRSD Athlete of the Month Keith Hayes scored 26 points while teammate Andre Jones added 24 points and  pulled down 16 rebounds during Saturday's game.

McClellan, with its 24-6 record, led the entire game shutting down Maumelle - 22-9.

We are proud of the team for representing McClellan and LRSD so well!  Feel free to leave a congratulatory note on our Facebook page:  facebook.com/mylrsd.

Read more to see more pictures...

Revised LRSD Student Calendar for Make-up Days

Attention LRSD Parents:
 
We wanted to inform you of the district’s decision regarding make-up days due to the recent inclement weather. A number of factors were taken into consideration, among them, testing dates, adjusting 3rd and 4th quarters to meet required student-teacher contact days and afterschool activities. Here is a link to the revised Student Calendar
 
Additionally,  here are a few more important dates:
  • End of 3rd Quarter – April 3, 2015
  • Beginning of 4th Quarter – April 6, 2015
  • End of 4th Quarter – June 15, 2015
  • Last Day for Students – June 15, 2015
  • Semester Exams will be held on the last (4) student contact days:
    • June 10, 2015
    • June 11, 2015
    • June 12, 2015
    • June 15, 2015

Arkansas's First Lady a Big Hit at Geyer Springs Gifted and Talented Academy

Students at Geyer Springs Gifted and Talented Academy(GSGTA) hosted Arkansas's new First Lady Susan Hutchinson Thursday, (March 14) as she took a tour of the campus and saw firsthand the impressive skills on display.  

The mission of GSGTA is" to provide enriching experiences and advanced opportunities to expand students' creative, social, and academic potential."

Students were excited to share their knowledge about "coding" - an area in which Governor Asa Hutchinson has expressed he'd like to see  more students exposed - and to show off their mastery of technology. Students even had the opportunity to  conduct their own interviews of Mrs. Hutchinson.  

More photos of the First Lady's visit can be found on our Facebook page: facebook.com/mylrsd

To learn more about GSGTA, visit their page by clicking on the logo below.

 

 

 

 

Important Reminders - Upcoming Town Hall Meeting, PARCC Testing and Computer Power Day

Please be advised that the Town Hall meeting scheduled for Monday, March 9, 2015, 5:30 p.m., will take place as planned.  The meeting will be held at the Centre at University Park, 6401 W. 12th Street - formerly the Adult Leisure Center location.

Update Regarding LRSD Civic Advisory Committee

Due to inclement weather during the week of February 23, the meeting of state legislators to select zone representatives for the Little Rock School District Civic Advisory Committee was delayed.  State senators and representatives from LRSD boundaries will now convene Monday, March 16, 2015, 3:30 p.m. to select seven (7) regional representatives consisting of parents and community members who reside in the seven (7) zones within the LRSD.  In addition, the committee of elected representatives and senators from the LRSD boundaries will select (1) philanthropic organization serving the Little Rock School District to serve on the LRSD Civic Advisory Committee.  Legislators will select representatives from among the names that were previously submitted by the deadline of February 20, 2015.

Each principal from the six academically distressed schools in LRSD has also been requested to select two (2) students and two (2) teachers who will represent the six academically distressed schools to serve on the LRSD Civic Advisory Committee.  

The final list of 32 committee members will be posted to the LRSD website:

12 Teachers

12 Students

7 Regional reps

1 Philanthropic organization

Civic Advisory Committee Roles and Responsibilities

LRSD Civic Advisory Committee

The LRSD Civic Advisory Committee will meet monthly on the third Tuesday of each month from 5:00-6:00 p.m. in the Little Rock School District Administration Building, 810 W. Markham, to review the progress of the LRSD in meeting established goals to be removed from state authority.  The LRSD Civic Advisory Committee will make recommendations for communication of data to the general public and stakeholders of the LRSD.   Additional electronic meetings may be held at the discretion of the superintendent.

LRSD Superintendent and LRSD Staff

The superintendent and LRSD staff will make presentations of data to the LRSD Civic Advisory Committee for consideration.  The LRSD will provide staff support to the committee.  A written agenda and minutes of each meeting will be posted monthly on the LRSD website.  Transportation of the student committee members will be provided by the district.  No stipend, salary, fees, membership, or travel reimbursement will be provided to committee members.

 

Pages