The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 27, 2005, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. President Larry Berkley presided.
Roy G. Brooks, Superintendent of Schools
Beverly Griffin, Recorder of Minutes
I. CALL TO ORDER / ROLL CALL
Mr. Berkley called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Six members of the Board were present at roll call; Dr. Daugherty arrived at 5:40 p.m. In addition, ex officio representatives for the month of January were also present: Nona Whittaker, teacher at Cloverdale Magnet Middle School, and Kristian Henderson, Central High School student.
II. PROCEDURAL MATTERS / WELCOMING COMMENTS
Mr. Berkley welcomed the audience and introduced Danny Fletcher, Director of Fine Arts, who presented the M. L. King Elementary School string choir. The choir is directed by Mary Zies.
III. REPORTS/RECOGNITIONS/PUBLIC COMMENTS
Prior to the presentation of Superintendent’s Citations, Dr. Brooks introduced his fiancé, Brenda Whitmore.
The first recognition was given to Mr. Frank Barofsky and Friends of Donnie Dietz. This group of gentlemen donated funds to install the Dietz Physical Development Center at Hall High School. The dedication ceremony was held on January 11, and Dr. Brooks asked the audience to join him in expressing appreciation for this generous donation.
Nancy Rousseau assisted in the presentation of citations to Central High School math teacher, Lenora Murray. Ms. Murray’s students received state recognition in the American Math Competitions. Students who were present included: Ann Ye, Don Ding, Lawrence Watts, and Cherry Fu.
Kristian Henderson, this month’s student ex officio representative to the Board, was recognized for receiving a $20,000 scholarship as one of the Urban America’s Best and Brightest Students. Dell, Inc. and College Broadband, Inc sponsor this competition, which will provide $5,000 per year for four years.
Kristian and Nona Whittaker, teacher ex officio representative, received certificates of appreciation from the Board and Superintendent for participating in the January board meetings.
Mr. Ledbetter was present, but had no remarks or reports.
Dr. Linda Remele from the Public Education Foundation provided a brief overview of the on-line assessment tool, Project SOAR, which is being installed and implemented at several LRSD middle schools.
SOAR will allow teachers to monitor student progress in order to tailor individualized instructional plans and provide appropriate remediation.
The tool is being piloted at Dunbar, Mabelvale, Southwest and Pulaski Heights Middle Schools.
IV. REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Katherine Mitchell reported that she had attended the Stamp-Out Smoking rally at McClellan. She also invited audience members to attend a Reader & Writer Series on Saturday, January 29 at Philander Smith College. These workshops will promote literature by African American authors; middle and high school students are encouraged to attend.
Baker Kurrus attended the Dietz Awards ceremony at Hall High School. He thanked the donors for making this contribution in memory of their friend, Donnie Dietz. The gentlemen who made this contribution had never been to Little Rock before, and chose to honor the memory of their friend by making a contribution to his high school alma mater.
Mr. Kurrus also reminded the audience that open enrollment for students new to the district was taking place this week and next. He encouraged the audience to visit our schools and experience excellence in education first hand.
Tony Rose remarked that our students were achieving well and that the LRSD was doing a very good job at providing a quality education. He thanked the Public Education Foundation and the donors who made the contributions that allowed implementation of Project SOAR.
Sue Strickland also expressed appreciation to the Public Education Foundation. She congratulated Dr. Brooks on his engagement, and extended a welcome to Ms. Whitmore.
Mr. Berkley closed the remarks section by extending appreciation to Dr. Remele and Lisa Black for attending the meeting and for providing the information on Project SOAR.
Dr. Brooks provided a written summary report on the Entry Plan. There were no questions or comments from the Board.
Dr. Sadie Mitchell presented a brief overview of the process used to select members of the first Superintendent’s Aspiring Principals Institute. This year-long process will prepare the participants to become effective building principals. A detailed report was printed as part of the Board’s agenda.
The applicants were introduced to the Board, and M’ Shay Callicott, the group’s spokesperson, thanked Dr. Brooks and the Board for giving them an opportunity to receive professional development and career enhancement.
Dr. Daugherty encouraged those who applied but were not selected to try again next year.
Mr. Babbs reminded the audience that open enrollment for the 2005-06 school year was underway through February 4. Access to registration and enrollment information is now available on the LRSD website. He reported that approximately 600 applications had been processed on the first day of enrollment.
Mr. Milhollen took this opportunity to provide a brief overview of the statewide facilities assessment that had been widely reported in the news over the past week. He admitted that the report had generated negative comments and publicity. The findings were somewhat controversial, however, each district had been asked to review their data reports, make comments or corrections and then meet with the Arkansas Facilities Commission. These meetings are intended to facilitate corrections with the expected result being an accurate final version of the report to be submitted to the State legislature.
Mr. Milhollen reported that he would provide additional information as the legislative sessions continue and as more information becomes available. Additional funding for facilities should be expected, but the amount cannot be predicted.
Mr. Goodman was present, and the monthly report was printed in the agenda. Dr. Mitchell requested an update on planning for the Rightsell project. Mr. Goodman reported that final reviews and planning were in process and that it would be late March or early April before the final estimates were completed. Estimated time for completion of the work is one year.
Mr. Becker was present. His printed report was provided as part of the Board’s agenda. He reported that he had met with Dr. Mitchell to review goals and to set priorities as directed by the Board.
John Ruffins presented a review of the technology report printed in the Board’s agenda. In addition, he reported that computer replacements were taking place in fourteen schools.
Mr. Berkley requested on-going updates on installation of the Edline system at Parkview. He asked Mr. Ruffins to provide an estimate for expansion to other schools once the Parkview system was operational. Mr. Berkley stressed the importance of parents having on-line access to their children’s grades and attendance information.
Minutes from the regular meeting of the
Board of Directors held on
December 16, 2004, and from special meetings held on December 8, 2004, and January 13, 2005, were presented for review and approval. Mr. Rose moved to approve the minutes as submitted; Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
A. Personnel Changes
Routine personnel changes were printed in the Board’s agenda. Ms. Strickland moved to approve the report as presented. Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
A. Donations of Property
The Board was asked to approve the acceptance of recent donations to schools and departments within the District. The donations are listed in the following chart. Kristian Henderson, student ex officio, read the items listed in the Board’s agenda. Dr. Daugherty made a motion to accept the donated items; Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Central High School
Office furniture, valued at approximately $8,322.
$2,000 cash to the baseball team
Gary Stephenson / State Farm Insurance Company
Walter C. Coleman
Cloverdale Middle School
Gift cards, valued at 2=$125 and trophies valued at $95 to be used for student rewards and teacher incentives
Bank of America
Terry Elementary School
Piano valued at $1,500.
$958 cash to purchase a video camera for the media center
Karen Stein, Music Specialist at Terry
Robert Jones, Optimist Club of Greater Little Rock
Side-by-side refrigerator, valued at $200
Mr. & Mrs. Richard Blain
B. Financial Report
The monthly financial summary reports were provided to the Board as part of the printed agenda. Mr. Milhollen was present to review the reports and respond to questions. The reports were accepted by consensus.
VIII. CLOSING REMARKS
Dr. Brooks announced intersession dates for students who attend the extended year schools; those students will be out from January 31 – February 11.
Dr. Mitchell requested copies of the results of customer service surveys completed by principals for the Facilities Services and Human Resources Department.
Ms. Whittaker expressed her appreciation to the Board for providing her an opportunity to serve as representative for Cloverdale Magnet Middle School.
There being no further business before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m. on a motion by Dr. Daugherty, seconded by Ms. Strickland.
APPROVED: 02-24-05 Originals Signed by:
Larry Berkley, President
Katherine P. Mitchell, Secretary