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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.

Central's Ace Debaters, Williams & Woods, Still #1 in the Nation

Another historic weekend for Central's #1 debating team in the nation! DJ Williams and Payton Woods were one of eight teams to compete at the University of Oklahoma (OU) Round Robin in Norman this past weekend. The Round Robin is an elite competition that precedes the high school Tournament of Champions (TOC) Qualifying Tournament at Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City. DJ and Payton are the first team in the history of the OU event to finish with a perfect 8-0 record, winning the Round Robin and earning 1st Speaker (Payton) and 2nd Speaker (DJ)!

After a grueling two days and 16 hours of debating at OU, DJ and Payton headed into the TOC qualifier very confident. They earned their historic NINTH bid to the Tournament of Champions--and (again), are the only team in the country with this many bids to the TOC. After 22 hours of debating at the TOC qualifier, DJ and Payton emerged victorious, placing 1st and snagging 1st and 2nd Speaker again!

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.

Central's Kiara Williams Named January Athlete of the Month AGAIN!

Once again, Central High's Lady Tiger basketball star Kiara Williams has been named the Athlete of the Month for January. As a junior, Kiara was named the January 2015 Athlete of the Month and she continues to be a stand-out star and team leader. Earlier this year, Kiara signed to play college ball for the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville next fall. She has a 3.0 GPA and averages 13 points a game— proving that outstanding athletes have the discipline and dedication required to be successful in the classroom. Already her team is off to a 13-0 start and is ranked number one in the state. Significantly, Maxpreps has ranked the Lady Tigers #20 in the nation and USA Today has ranked the team as #25 in the nation. We have every expectation that Kiara and her team will have the right stuff to take home the 7A State Championship this year.

Dunbar PTSA Funds Cash Prizes for Science Fair Winners

January 11, 2016—The results are in for Dunbar Gifted and Talented/International Studies Middle School’s annual Science Fair and thanks to Dunbar’s PTSA three young scientists are taking home a total of $175 for their outstanding work. The overall winners are:

• 1st Place: Maleah Neal (6th grade) $100 prize
• 2nd place: Kaylin Allen (7th grade) $50 prize
• 3rd place: Julio Castrillo (6th grade) $25 prize

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.

McClellan's Pierre Strong Named December Athlete of the Month

December 15, 2015—McClellan Crimson Lion Junior Pierre Strong, running back and wide receiver, was named LRSD's Athlete of the Month. Recent honors include: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Player of the Week and Yarnell's Sweetest Play and standout performances all season long (10-2). McClellan entered the 5A State Championship Tournament as the number two seed for the 5A Central. After defeating Morrilton, Lakeside and Batesville, the Crimson Lions vied for the state title against Pulaski Academy. Although they didn't take home the title this year, when accepting the Athlete of the Month award from Superintendent Baker Kurrus and Deputy Superintendent Marvin Burton, Strong vowed to emerge on top next year. We are looking forward to another standout performance from Strong in 2016 during his final year of high school competition.


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