March 20, 2003
The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, 2003, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. President Judy Magness presided.
T. Kenneth James, Superintendent of Schools
Beverly Griffin, Recorder of Minutes
I. CALL TO ORDER / ROLL CALL
Ms. Magness called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. All members of the Board were present at roll call. Mary Ann Washington, teacher ex officio representative from McDermott Elementary School was also present. The student representative from McClellan High School did not attend.
II. PROCEDURAL MATTERS / WELCOMING COMMENTS
Ms. Magness greeted the audience and introduced the Hall High School madrigals, directed by Kelly Rush. The choir performed two selections, Blow, Blow the Winter Wind, and a patriotic medley.
III. REPORTS/RECOGNITIONS/PUBLIC COMMENTS
Dr. James introduced Anne Ye, a seventh grade student from Dunbar Magnet Middle School. Anne won the Arkansas spelling bee at a competition last weekend at UALR. Anne will represent Arkansas at the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. in May.
The J. A. Fair High School basketball team and Coach Charlie Johnson were recognized for winning the state 4-A men’s basketball tournament last weekend in Pine Bluff. Several team members were present and certificates were presented in recognition of their achievement. The senior team members were: Melvin Fisher, Vincent Hunter, Earnest Maxwell, and Quen Spencer; juniors on the team included: Lonnie Henry, Shaun Reynolds, Larry Porter, and Dwight Watkins; sophomore team members were: Quincy Googe, Charles Hayes and Parris Pattillo. In addition to Coach Johnson, assistant coaches Tom Poole and Erik Jackson were in attendance.
Five Central High School students were selected as semi-finalists in the Siemens Westinghouse competition for Math, Science & Technology. The students were Daniel Liu, Satish Mahalingam, Mark Mazumder, Ananth Ranganathan, and Xiazhog Wang.
In addition, Mark Mazumder was a regional finalist in the Siemens competition and went to the southwest regionals at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition, Mark was named a national semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search, one of only three from the state of Arkansas this year.
The Board and Superintendent offered congratulations to all of these students for their scientific achievements.
Ann Blaylock was congratulated and presented with a citation in recognition of her election to the Southern Region National Middle School Association Board of Trustees. She will serve until November 2005.
MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals recently named Linda Brown, principal of Parkview Magnet High School, as their 2003 Principal of the Year. This is the first time a principal from the LRSD has received this prestigious award, and the Board and Superintendent offered their congratulations.
Principal John Bacon and representatives from the Dunbar Magnet School PTA were present. The Dunbar PTA was recognized for receiving the National PTA Certificate of Excellence Award and the Arkansas PTA Outstanding Local Unit. They will receive awards at the state PTA convention in Fort Smith in April and will represent the state of Arkansas at the National convention in Charlotte, North Caroline in June.
Retiring LRSD employees were recognized for their years of service. Those who were recognized, but not present included: Eva Alexander, Sheila Armstrong, Gwyn Fortson, Dorothy Underwood, and Dr. Gary Smith.
Dr. Bonnie Lesley was present to receive a plaque in recognition of her service to the District. She briefly addressed the Board and expressed appreciation of their support and hard work on behalf of the students in the LRSD.
The final citation was presented to the ex-officio Board representative for the month of March, Mary Ann Washington, teacher at McDermott Elementary School.
B. Remarks from Citizens
Frank Martin reported that negotiations were scheduled to begin on March 31st for the 2003-04 school year. He stated that he is optimistic that an agreement can be reached before teachers leave for summer break, and he is hopeful that negotiations can be “creative” even in light of the bleak financial outlook.
D. Joshua Intervenors
F. Update on Implementation of Teacher Advancement Program
Dr. James provided a brief written summary on the implementation of year-one of the Teacher Advancement Program at Stephens and Rockefeller Elementary Schools. This initiative, funded by the Milken Family Foundation and the Walton Foundation, provides professional development opportunities and additional opportunities for career growth and salary increases for teachers.
Anne Mangan and Sharon Brooks, principals of Rockefeller and Stephens, provided an overview of the first year of implementation at their schools and gave specific instances of student-based achievement based on the goals of TAP. In addition, several teachers provided personal comments on their experiences with TAP, and stressed the importance of improving teacher performance in order to achieve improved student performance.
Dr. Mitchell left the meeting at approximately 6:20 p.m.
IV. REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Rose thanked Dr. Lesley for her service to the District, and expressed great admiration for her skills and abilities to follow through with the difficult tasks assigned to her. He then read a statement of personal beliefs regarding the war in Iraq.
Mr. Kurrus noted that he is closely monitoring the proposed TIF district in Southwest Little Rock and the Midtown Redevelopment project to make sure that the best interests of the LRSD are maintained as these developments occur. He also thanked the staff and parents of Fulbright Elementary and the Fulbright PTA for the recent “Swamp Stomp” Cajun festival. The funds raised will be used to provide software for the computer laboratory.
In addition, Mr. Kurrus recognized the LRSD student athletes for their remarkable year. The J. A. Fair basketball team was the No. 1 team in the state, the Parkview Magnet school team was the runner-up, and Central made the play-offs.
Individually, Mr. Berkley, Ms. Strickland, Dr. Daugherty and Ms. Magness thanked Bonnie Lesley for her contributions to the recent successes of the LRSD. She was applauded for putting others at ease with the breadth of her knowledge, for her patience and honesty in dealing with the Board and with patrons, for her hard work and diligence, and for her sincere concern for the children in our District. Ms. Magness read excerpts of Dr. Lesley’s letter of resignation where she gave credit to the employees of the Division of Instruction, to the District’s principals, and to the parents and volunteers.
The Board took a brief break at 7:15 p.m. and reconvened at 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Babbs reported that the registration and assignment process for the
2003-04 school year was progressing as usual. Letters had been mailed and requests for student transfers were being processed. School assignment letters for the four-year-old seats are due to be mailed on April 11.
Dr. Stewart reported that he had been concentrating on preliminary figures from revenue sources indicating that we will not be able to do business as usual next school year. It is fairly certain that deep cuts will have to be made and the Board will be asked to approve and establish priorities for funding. Staff is working through the list of things that can be removed from the budget and the proposals will be based on recommended items that can be eliminated without affecting student instruction.
Mr. Goodman’s report was printed in the Board’s agenda. Mr. Eaton was present to review the summary information and to respond to questions.
Mr. Becker was not present at the meeting, but his report was printed in the Board’s agenda.
Ms. Neal was present and reviewed the summary report printed in the Board’s agenda.
Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on February 27, and from a special meeting held on March 13, 2003 , were presented for review and approval. Mr. Rose made a motion to approve the minutes as presented; Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
B. Personnel Changes
Personnel changes were printed in the agenda. One correction was made to the report: the resignation date was changed to June 30, 2003 for Central High School business teacher Eleanor Holeman. Ms. Strickland moved to approve the personnel changes as presented, with the noted correction. Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
C. Adoption of Arkansas School Boards Standards
The Arkansas School Boards Association developed recommended standards for operation of local school boards. Those standards were presented for the Board’s review and discussion at a recent retreat and were presented for adoption by the LRSD Board. Mr. Rose made a motion to approve the standards for adoption. Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried 6-0. A copy is attached to these minutes.
Dennis Glasgow, Vanessa Cleaver and Marcelline Carr presented a brief overview of sample test items from the Arkansas Benchmark exams. Students in grades 4, 6, and 8 will take these exams the second week of April. Stanford 9 achievement testing in grades 5, 7 and 10 will take place the following week, beginning April 14. The PowerPoint presentation of test items was multiple choice and remote devices were used by audience members to test their knowledge on several sample test questions.
The revised LRSD technology plan was developed by the District’s technology committee and presented for review and approval by Lucy Neal. Ms. Neal provided a brief review of the changes and indicated the report was ready for submission to the Arkansas Department of Education by April 15. Mr. Berkley, who served as the Board’s representative on the Technology Committee, made a motion to approve the plan for submission to the ADE. Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.
No items for action or review.
A. Donations of Property
The Board was asked to approve acceptance of recent donations to the District. Mr. Berkley read the listed donations, and made a motion to accept the donated items; Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously. The donations are listed in the following chart:
Brady Elementary School
$800.00 cash to be used to defray the cost of art teacher
Bank of the Ozarks
Central High School
Golf cart, valued at approximately $1,000 to be used by security personnel to assist in the surveillance of the campus
Refrigerator, valued at approximately $400 for the teacher’s lounge
David & Dawn Terry
Mr. & Mrs. Mark Ramm and
Dr. & Mrs. Randall Hundley
McClellan Magnet High School
$250.00 cash to be used in the McClellan baseball program
Ms. Melissa Kumpe
IX. SCHOOL SERVICES DIVISION
No items for action or review.
X. CLOSING REMARKS
Dr. James thanked the Little Rock Public Education Foundation for their generous awarding of $100,000 in grants to LRSD teachers. The grant committee made their selection of winners, and on April 2 the “Prize Patrol” will go to the schools to distribute the awards. Board members were invited to meet at the administration building at 8:45 a.m. and ride along with the members of the foundation committee to distribute the awards.
Dr. James also announced that the SREB had concluded a workshop on data-driven decision making for LRSD employees who are involved in this 3-year initiative. These workshops are critical to the development of building action plans and developing operational standards of quality leadership.
He announced that all twelve LRSD schools received Arkansas Reading First grant awards. He noted that Linda Austin is scheduled to meet with ADE staff to work through implementation of these grants.
He announced that he and several board members would be attending the National School Boards Association meeting in San Francisco the first week of April.
XI. EMPLOYEE HEARINGS
There being no further business before the Board, Ms. Strickland moved to adjourn at 8:25 p.m. Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
APPROVED: _ 04-24-03 __ Originals Signed by:
Tony Rose, Vice President
Larry Berkley, Secretary