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.

LRSD Students Excel In Destination Imagination Competition

Students from Booker Arts Magnet and Pulaski Heights Middle School were among four LRSD schools that  participated in the Destination ImagiNation Global Finals in Knoxville, TN from May 19th - 23rd.

Booker Arts Magnet Jackson's Jaguars team placed 16th out of 82 teams competing in the scientific challenge, Making Waves. The team had to design and construct an incredible sound machine that produces two different sounds. They also created and integrated two visible displays of sound waves into the presentation. The end result allowed them to create and present a story that included a change to a faster or slower narrative pace.

Pulaski Heights Middle School's 7th grade team, the Alpha Einsteins, placed 27th in the competition. While competing in the structural challenge, they were tasked with creating a structure that could hold up to 10 pounds, have playing cards within the structure, and then were asked to remove the cards with an original removal device while the structure remained standing. 

Throughout the four-day event, teams at the elementary, middle, secondary and University level competed in team and instant challenges to determine their final standings. Destination Imagination (DI), is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering students' curiosity, courage and creativity through open-ended STEM, fine arts and service learning challenges.

 

 

Straight Talk by Baker Kurrus, June 9, 2015

I spent some time last Saturday morning with the incoming student council officers from McClellan High School.  Most of you know that the McClellan mascot is a lion, so I met with a “pride” of wonderful young Lions.  I enjoyed getting acquainted with them, and I learned a lot.  They have some great ideas for next year, and I want to be a part of their plans.  I want all of our schools to have a quiet, confident sense of pride.  If we can instill a justifiable sense of pride and accomplishment in our schools, then our staffs and our students will expect more from themselves, and they will not accept behavior that erodes or undermines that sense of self-worth. 

The McClellan students asked me a number of great questions, including questions about our district’s long term ability to fund new schools.  I put some numbers on the board for them, so in sort of an odd twist the student council at McClellan was the first group to get a summary of the beginnings of a long range capital improvement plan.  As I mentioned, they asked a lot of great questions. I will share more on this subject, and we are going to need to talk a great deal as a community if we want to move ahead with respect to facilities.

Attention LRSD Parents:

Between now and June 15, 2015, please update your address, if you have moved.

Updating your address does NOT mean that students will be required to leave their current school during the 2014-15 school year. Current addresses must be in the system for transportation to be in place for the 2015-16 school year and for accurate scheduling to take place at the appropriate school.

Thanks for your support and cooperation.

Six Little Rock Schools Honored with Reward Funding

Six Little Rock Schools Honored with Reward Funding

By Communications Intern Jasmine Threatt with contributions from Tiffany Kidd

State legislators joined LRSD Superintendent Baker Kurrus this week in handing out ceremonial checks to district winners in the Arkansas School Recognition and Reward Program.  Six of the 215 schools being recognized statewide as high performing and gaining are in the Little Rock School District:   

  • Forest Park Elementary
  • Gibbs Magnet Elementary
  • Terry Elementary
  • Jefferson Elementary
  • Don Roberts Elementary
  • Williams Magnet Elementary

The Arkansas School Recognition Program was created to provide financial rewards to public schools displaying high performance, student academic growth, and a high graduation rate for secondary schools.

 Schools received $100 per student if they ranked within the top 10% of all public schools combined; for those within the top 11-20%, $50 was awarded per student.  A special committee was formed for schools receiving the recognition incentives to determine the best way to use the funding. That committee included a faculty-elected teacher, the principal, and a parent to represent the local parent teacher association.

Funding may be used for staff bonuses, educational materials or any personnel or methods used to improve or maintain student performance. Some LRSD campuses designated their awards for the purchase of technology tools like iPads and iPad minis for students.

 

LRSD Joins myON in Support of 24/7 National Reading Challenge

In a joint partnership, the Little Rock School District and representatives of myON, a digital literacy platform, announced local participation in a national reading challenge that promotes convenient opportunities for reading wherever students are. LRSD administrators created a vision to fully integrate technology within the curriculum in the spring of 2013 to ensure all students are reading at or above grade level.  The level of commitment from initial pilot to district wide implementation throughout the 30 plus elementary schools exceeded expectations. With access to thousands of digital titles, Little Rock students are reading more, becoming more engaged and more confident in their ability to read.

Little Rock School District, which serves approximately 25,000 students, in 31 elementary and seven middle schools, is committed to raising academic achievement throughout the district. In order to accomplish this, administrators are providing several technology tools, as well as unlimited access to myON’s books to encourage reading in and out of school to ensure that all students are reading at grade level by the 3rd grade.

Straight Talk by Baker Kurrus, June 1, 2015

You can learn a lot from visiting schools, and talking to parents and students. 

I spoke at the 5th grade graduation at Jefferson on Friday.  I took my law school diploma, which has remained in the red mailing tube in which I received it since 1979.  I asked the kids if they wanted me to give my prepared speech, or talk about what was in the mailing tube.  They picked the tube.  I told the students that my first grade teacher at Jefferson, Mrs. Meeks, taught me to read in 1960.  Nineteen years later I got the diploma, but I would never have received it if I hadn’t learned to read.  In a way, she really sent it to me.  I went to her old room that morning.  I remember the way the chalk clicked when she wrote on the board. 

I went to McClellan high school several times last week.  I made arrangements with the incoming student council president to go to their planning retreat next Saturday.  We are going to get acquainted.  They will know I care about them.  I want them to set the tone in the school.  We need a good year there.  I will meet with the staff and principal before school starts.

Free Summer Meals Program Kick Off

On Thursday, May 26, Patty Barker of the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign, LRSD Supt. Baker Kurrus and representatives from the Dept. of Education and Dept. of Human Services gathered at Mabelvale Elementary to kick off the 2015 USDA Summer Food Service Program in Arkansas. The annual event focuses awareness on the importance of providing free meals to children from families who might otherwise not get enough nutritious food during the summer. Of the 250,000 Arkansas children who are eligible for free and reduced price lunch, 85% are NOT getting summer meals.

To find a location near you, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or go to www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks. Open to ALL CHILDREN, 18 and younger at no cost; no enrollment required.

Arkansas has one of the highest rates of child hunger in the nation, with more than 1 in 4 children struggling with hunger. In the summer of 2014, Summer Food Service Program sponsors served more than 4 million meals at over 1,200 sites across the state.

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