Parkview's Ryan Pippins Named February Athlete of the Month

February 17, 2016 —Parkview Arts & Science Magnet stand-out boys basketball player, Ryan Pippins, was named the Athlete of the Month for February at the Superintendent's Citation Program on Thursday, February 11. His outstanding performance on the court has helped the team accumulate an impressive 8-1 record in conference and 19-3 record overall. Through 21 games, Ryan "Pip" Pippins has a points per game average of 10.3, 3 assists/game, 3.7 rebounds/game. This season, he has scored over 20 points in three games.  Congratulations, Pip!"

Latest Edition of Straight Talk by Baker Kurrus, February 15, 2016

Valentine’s Day is a lovely day.   We extend our love and affection to spouses, significant others, children, parents, good friends and many others.  We send flowers, candy and cards to those we love.  

 While incarcerated with Ralph Abernathy,   Dr. King wrote a beautiful sermon about redemptive and reconciling love directed to those who would try to hurt us.  Dr. King quotes Jesus and Lincoln, who both told us that the best way to defeat our “enemies” is to make them our friends.   From Dr. King’s sermon come the often-quoted words, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  We could really use a holiday where reconciliation and cooperation are encouraged.  Loving those we love is not nearly as difficult as loving our detractors.  A “reconciliation” holiday would be a surprising, productive and fruitful celebration of the love that Dr. King somehow managed to summon and personify at the times when such emotion would be impossible for most. 

Last Friday night I read a legal document filed against LRSD which asserts that LRSD plans to close ten elementary schools.  There are no such plans.  In fact, we have already assigned students to our schools for next year, and we have no plans to close any school in 2016-2017.  Our Civic Advisory Committee is planning a series of community meetings to discuss the future of our school district. Our facilities needs will be a big part of the discussion.  We need to decide, as I said last June in a report to the Civic Advisory Committee, whether we want to replace a number of older buildings with new facilities.  I have said that my preference is to afford our students the better opportunities that new facilities provide.   We do not, however, have the financial capability to rebuild all our schools at once.  Just so there is no confusion, we have no plans to close any schools for 2016-2017.  The future will be driven, as it must be, by how we as a community cooperate to confront the issues now before us.  All of us need to work together if we hope to succeed.   

Earlier Registration Dates Help LRSD Prepare for Exciting New School Year

The Little Rock School District will not close any schools in the 2016-17 school year.  In fact, plans for the upcoming year are off to a great start!  Student assignment letters have already been mailed out; and the district continues to enroll students daily

Mabelvale Middle Sweeps Fall Stock Market Game

Mabelvale Middle School took First and Second Place at the regional Fall Stock Market Game. The two teams were honored at a luncheon hosted by Economics of Arkansas at Verizon Arena January 13th. The two winning teams, comprised of Environmental Investigations students and supervised by teacher Graham Goodloe, swept the regional competition, which is no small feat with more than 200 teams competing. The first place team was awarded a trophy and $100 cash prize, while the second place team was given a certificate and $50 cash prize. The Stock Market Game exposes students to “real time” trading on the stock exchange. Teams are given a mock $100,000 to invest in open trading and the top two teams that make the most money within 10 weeks of trading are honored once the game concludes.  Mabelvale Middle School will be playing in the upcoming Spring Stock Market Game and hope to sweep the awards again.

Hall High Robotics Team Has Impressive Showing at First Ever Competition Appearance

The Hall High School Robotics team placed first at the UAM STEM Center Robotics Challenge Competition with team members Kyarha Meadows-Russell and Ti'shun Advance. Hall also placed second with team members Joshua Estrada and Raphael del Carmen. More importantly, the entire team won Best Sportsmenship for working together with others while solving problems. This was Hall's first competition ever!

Three FHSA VEX IQ Robotics Teams Land on Top

Three VEX IQ Robotics Teams from Forest Heights STEM Academy (FHSA) won awards on February 6th at the University of Arkansas at Monticello VEX Robotics Tournament. This year’s 2015-2016 Vex IQ Challenge is the Bankshot Competition.  Students compete in three areas: teamwork, robot skills and autonomous movement (programming). 

"The Team"  tied for 1st place with  Star City.  Team members include:  Jalen Cole, Jacob Collier-Tenison, Cooper Fisken, Aiden Jones, and Xavier Parker.

"R2D-Dudes" tied for 2nd place with "iCode Pro," both from FHSA.  R2D-Dudes team members include:  Evan Ayres, Brian Jones, Fardeen Kawsar, Dimitri Kittrell, and Xander Parker.  iCode Pro (an all girls robotic team) includes Charlotte Boehme, Surabhee Eswaran, Sanskriti Garg, Savannah Gordon, Deanna Kamanga, and Niya Norfolk.

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 laureen.isom@lrsd.org.

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. 

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