LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT

810 WEST MARKHAM STREET

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS

 

 

MINUTES

REGULAR BOARD MEETING

October 28, 2004

 

The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 28, 2004, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas.President Larry Berkley presided.

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:

†††††††††††

Tony Rose

Larry Berkley

Micheal Daugherty

Bryan Day

Baker Kurrus

Katherine Mitchell

Sue Strickland

 

MEMBERS ABSENT:

 

None

 

ALSO PRESENT:

 

††††††††††† 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 5:35 p.m.All members of the Board were present at roll call. In addition, ex officio representatives for the month of September were also present: Tonya Johnson, teacher at Hall High School, and Cassandra Carter, Hall High School student.†

 

 

II.                  PROCEDURAL MATTERS / WELCOMING COMMENTS

 

Mr. Berkley welcomed the audience and introduced Mr. Danny Fletcher, director of fine arts. Mr. Fletcher presented Choir Director Carolyn Foreman and the Parkview Madrigals for a brief performance.

 

 

III.                  REPORTS/RECOGNITIONS/PUBLIC COMMENTS††††††††

 

A.                Superintendentís Citations

 

Roberta Mannon, principal of Jefferson Elementary School, accepted a Superintendent's citation in recognition of Jefferson being named a "Best Practice School" by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Arkansas, and the Arkansas PTA. Jefferson was one of 12 elementary schools in the state to receive this designation. "Best Practice Schools" demonstrate excellence in student achievement, dedication to students and a consistent effort to help all students succeed.

 

Cheryl Chapman, Director of UALR Children International, was not present, but was recognized for her involvement in the UALR Children International-formerly known as UALR Share America Program. Share America recently celebrated its tenth anniversary of collaboration with the Little Rock School District. In addition to the anniversary celebration, the dental clinic at Wakefield Elementary School was dedicated this week. Share America, in collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Health and Arkansas Dental Health Association, will operate the clinic to serve approximately 2,000 LRSD students who otherwise would not have regular access to a dentist.

 

The final citations were presented to ex-officio representatives to the Board for the month of October, Tonya Johnson, teacher at Hall High School, and student representative Cassandra Carter, also from Hall.

 

B.                Partners in Education:New Partnerships

 

Debbie Milam reminded the Board and audience that ViPS Reading Day will be November 16. She distributed cards and asked for additional volunteer participation. She presented three new partnerships for the Board's adoption:

 

Franklin Elementary School, represented by Ethel Dunbar and Carolyn Gray, in partnership with Fellowship Bible Church, represented by Ray Williams

 

Pulaski Heights Middle School, represented by Dan Whitehorn, in partnership with Arkansas Department of Health, represented by Shirley Ezell

 

McClellan Magnet High School, represented by Carol Overton, in partnership with Gifts in Kind, represented by Pamela Boles

 

Dr. Daugherty made a motion to accept the partnerships, Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried 7-0.

 

 

BOARD PRESENTATION:

 

President Berkley presented a gavel to Tony Rose in honor and recognition of his year of service as the President of the Board. Mr. Berkley expressed gratitude on behalf of the Board for Mr. Rose's commitment and service to the LRSD.

 

C.                Remarks from Citizens

 

Jessica Szenher addressed the Board individually and on behalf of parents from the western part of Little Rock. She thanked the Board for making a commitment to build a school in west Little Rock. Ms. Szenher stated that one of her children was a Central High School graduate and the other a student at Terry Elementary. She encouraged the Board to build the school to include elementary and middle grades to make it easier and more attractive to parents to become a part of the LRSD.

 

Bernadette Turner stated that she had three children in the LRSD, and had lived in Little Rock for a little over three years. She considered all available educational options before deciding to place her children in public schools, and felt that her children were receiving a quality education in the LRSD. She thanked Superintendent Brooks for giving parents a voice in making decisions and she thanked the Board for voting to build a new school in west Little Rock. She asked the Board to maintain focus on excelling and striving to become the "measuring stick for the nation."

 

R. S. McCullough addressed the board as a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and as a supporter of Mitchell Elementary School. Mr. McCullough stated that his fraternity had been in partnership with Mitchell for over ten years providing mentoring and tutoring for students. He acknowledged that repairs and maintenance are costly and that the enrollment is down, but that the school is the foundation of the community and the effect of closing the school would be devastating. He asked the Board to renovate the school and save Mitchell Elementary.

 

D.                Little Rock Classroom Teachers Association

 

Mary Ann Hansen addressed the Board. She noted that the annual Arkansas Education Association conference would be held on November 4 and 5; she encouraged teachers to participate in the many staff development opportunities available.

 

Ms. Hansen also expressed personal concern over the possible closing of Mitchell Elementary School. She stated that the school is vital to the community and that she maintained a personal interest in seeing the school remain open.

 

IV.††††††††††† REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

A.                Remarks from Board Members

 

Dr. Mitchell discussed traveling to Austin, TX with others from the LRSD to tour the Pickle Elementary School / St. John Community Center complex. She described the community school and various components including a social services office, senior citizens activities center, a library and a museum. Most notable was that overall student achievement improved after students entered the new school, test scores were up and the people in the community felt that they were a part of the school.†

 

Dr. Mitchell had also attended the ACC graduation and motivational ceremony. She stated pride in the program, in that the ACC is meeting the needs of many students who would otherwise give up and drop out of school. Most of the students receive their diploma or a GED and go on to attend college or receive post-secondary technical training.

 

Ms. Strickland complimented Dr. Mitchell on her commitment, dedication and passion for children.

 

Mr. Kurrus thanked the Parkview Madrigals for their performance. He reported that he had attended and enjoyed the Fulbright Elementary School carnival on Friday night.

 

In addition, Mr. Kurrus discussed the sensitivity of the Mitchell School renovation project, describing it as "touchy." He took exception to comments that construction of a west Little Rock school was at the expense of Mitchell or any other District school. He stressed the importance of striving for excellent instruction and excellent academic programs at every school in the district. He reinforced previous statements regarding his commitment to spending the money allocated to renovate Mitchell, but asked that considerable thought be given to how much additional money should be allocated.

 

Mr. Kurrus provided demographic information on the growth in west Little Rock and stated that a school in that area is essential to the success of the District.

 

Mr. Day reported that he had attended the Central vs. Parkview football game at Quigley stadium with his family. He encouraged everyone to check out high school football; "it is great fun and great entertainment for families."

 

Mr. Day reported that he had also visited the Austin, TX, Pickle Elementary school and he encouraged the District to look at the unique approach to building a high performance school using design, construction and management techniques specific to the community school concept.

 

Dr. Daugherty offered condolences to Katherine Wright Knight on the loss of her husband. In addition, he thanked Khyaam Eddings and the Friday law firm for providing tickets to the recent Black Hall of Fame Awards program.

 

Dr. Daugherty thanked Ms. Szenher and Ms. Turner for their comments on the west Little Rock school and stated that it is always good to hear from people who feel we are doing the right thing.

 

Mr. Berkley reported on his visit to the Rockefeller Early Childhood Center with Dr. Brooks. He complimented the program and expressed hope in being able to offer more educational opportunities for younger children.

 

He discussed the possibility of establishing partnerships and dialogue between public and private entities in Little Rock to establish a process and gather input from community partners, parents and others who have an interest in the Mitchell community. He stated that there was a need to dialogue, think outside the box, and determine if there is a way to make the school a viable part of the community without placing the entire burden on the LRSD.

 

B.                Student Assignment Report

 

Mr. Babbs was present and reported that the No Child Left Behind status report for the LRSD was printed in the Board's agenda. A total of fifty-five applications were approved and accepted. This number was fewer than the past two years: 135 in the 2002-03 school year; 72 in the 2003-04 school year.

 

C.                Budget Update

 

Mr. Milhollen reported briefly that the budget preparation and a review of the process, plans, and strategies had begun for the development of next year's budget. The legislative sessions begin in January and budgets are fairly tentative until school districts are provided guidelines for revenues and expenditures that come from those sessions.

 

In addition, Mr. Milhollen reported that he had attended a conference at the Arkansas Department of Education related to the statewide facilities study. The results of that review are due within the month and after that time school districts will have a better idea of what will be required from the state in order to improve facilities.

 

D.                Construction Report: Proposed Bond Projects

 

Mr. Goodman presented a brief overview of his monthly written report. Students have been moved into the new classroom addition at Parkview and the field house will be complete within a few weeks.†

 

Dr. Mitchell questioned Mr. Goodman regarding the bidding process for Mitchell Elementary School. The project was targeted for completion by August 2005. Mr. Goodman reported that the drawings had been completed, but that the letting of bids had been delayed while waiting on the administration's review of funding issues.

 

Dr. Mitchell asked Dr. Brooks to move forward with the planned project. Dr. Daugherty agreed with this request and asked for the administration to develop a timeline or checklist for completion of the project. He noted that there had been no board action that would require a delay.

 

Dr. Brooks responded that it was not his intent to back away from the Board's decision, but that the projected increase of $157,000 over the original estimates justified additional review to ensure that the Board was aware that additional funds would be needed.

 

Mr. Day suggested that the administration let the bids to see if the amount allocated would be enough to complete the project. It should be determined how much of the project could be accomplished for the amount budgeted.

 

Mr. Kurrus requested a review of the plans and the bids to see if $2.2 million would be a sufficient amount for the project. He thanked Dr. Brooks for addressing the concerns regarding the costs involved and noted that it was wise to weigh all options to see how much could be done at Mitchell for the amount of money allocated

 

E.                 Internal Auditors Report

 

Mr. Becker was present and reviewed the brief summary report printed in the Board's agenda. He reminded the Board that Sharefest was scheduled for Saturday, November 6, and reported that eleven schools were slated to participate with community partners to complete school improvement projects.†

 

F.                Technology Update

 

Lucy Neal presented a review of the technology report printed in the Board's agenda. She announced that all of the e-rate funding appeals had been granted and that we were waiting on receipt of the money.

 

Additionally, John Ruffins reported that Riverdeep Software was now available to students from their home computers.

 

Mr. Berkley requested information on the Technology Center and whether there was a valid way to measure the effectiveness or success of the center. It was suggested that a future board meeting be held at the technology center.

 

Mr. Berkley also requested a status report regarding access to grades and attendance on-line. Parents have expressed interest and Mr. Berkley has requested implementation of this software as soon as possible. Ms. Neal reported that we were awaiting approval of state funds from Title II. The software is Edline, and is being used in other districts across the state.

 

V.                  APPROVAL OF ROUTINE MATTERS ††††††††

 

A.                Minutes

 

Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on September 23, 2004, and from a special meeting held on October 14, 2004, were presented for review and approval. Dr. Daugherty moved to approve the minutes as submitted. Mr. Day seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

VI.                  SCHOOL SERVICES††††††††

 

A.             Second Reading: Policy JIH-- Student Searches

 

The Board approved Policy JIH, Student Searches, on first reading at the September meeting. Attorney Chris Heller is working with the city attorney to determine how to best regulate the implementation of the District's policies on student searches and how to conduct and control seizure of contraband or illegal items and substances.

 

Based on the need for additional review and input, Mr. Heller requested that the Board table action on second reading until a later date. Dr. Daugherty moved to table, Mr. Day seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.

 

 

VII.                  HUMAN RESOURCES ††††††††

 

A.             Personnel Changes

 

Routine personnel changes were printed in the Board's agenda. Mr. Rose moved to approve the personnel changes as presented. Mr. Day seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.†

 

VIII.                  BUSINESS SERVICES ††††††

 

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. Cassandra Carter, student ex officio, read the items listed in the Board's agenda. Dr. Mitchell made a motion to accept the donated items; Mr. Day seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

 

SCHOOL/DEPARTMENT

ITEM

DONOR

 

Central High School

 

Desk, chair, HP monitor and desktop scanner, total value $200.00

 

$500 cash to the swim team

 

$80.00 cash to purchase a spirit banner

 

$245 cash to purchase a spirit banner

 

$300 cash to the Troubadours Club

 

$250 cash toward the completion of the reflecting pool and $250 cash to be used as needed

 

Tonya, Michael and Chris Hettinger

 

 

Jeanie Brown

 

Bob and Wanda Wimberley

 

Sol Almon Company

 

Randal and Jan Hundley

 

Bob and Wanda Wimberley

 

Cloverdale Magnet Middle School

 

Large sandwich food coupons valued at approximately $50.00

 

Employee of the month food coupons valued at approximately $50.00

 

Burger King / Allied Food Industries, Inc.

 

 

Ryan's Grill, Buffet and Bakery

 

Gibbs Magnet School

 

Six computer monitors, valued at $600 to be used for student advancement

 

Nuvell Financial Services

 

Hall High School

 

Weight and training equipment valued at approximately $20,000 for new gym and Donnie Dietz Scholar Athlete Citizenship Award

 

Fred Barofsky and friends in memory of Donnie Dietz, 1962 Hall graduate

 

M. L. King, Jr. Magnet School

 

$100 cash for use to purchase uniforms and supplies

 

Reza Hakkak, parent

 

McClellan Magnet High School

 

$1,000 cash to be distributed equally to students who score proficient and advanced on the Algebra I end of course exams

 

Jerome Tidemore, Algebra I teacher

 

Pulaski Heights Elementary

 

Sound system, valued at $2,765 for the auditorium

 

Services of a full-time art teacher, valued at $21,640.50 for the 2004-05 school year

 

PH Elementary and Middle School PTAs

 

 

Pulaski Heights Elementary PTA

 

Rightsell Academy

 

$300 cash to be applied toward the school uniform drive

 

J.R. and Mary Sue Gusewelle

 

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. Dr. Daugherty moved to accept the reports as submitted and Mr. Day seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

 

 

IX.               CLOSING REMARKS

 

Dr. Brooks reminded the Board that there was a community forum on the schedule, Monday, November 1, at the Terry branch of the Central Arkansas Library.†

 

X.           ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m. †

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPROVED:_11-16-04††† __††††††††††††††Originals Signed by:

††††††††††† ††††††††††† Larry Berkley, President

††††††††††† ††††††††††† Katherine P.Mitchell, Secretary