October 24, 2002


The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 24, 2002, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas.  President Judy Magness presided.




Judy Magness

Tony Rose

Larry Berkley

Micheal Daugherty

Baker Kurrus

Katherine Mitchell




Sue Strickland




         T. Kenneth James, Superintendent of Schools

         Beverly Griffin, Recorder of Minutes





President Judy Magness called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.  Six members of the Board were present at roll call; Ms. Strickland was absent.  Christina Swindle, teacher representative from Geyer Springs Elementary School, and Shana Reese, student from McClellan Magnet High School, served as ex officio representatives for the month of October. 





Ms. Magness welcomed the audience and noted that several UCA students were in attendance as part of a class project.  She then introduced Tyrone Harris, principal of M. L. King Elementary School.  Mr. Harris introduced the choir, directed by music teacher Mary Zies, and the students performed several patriotic tunes.





A.             Superintendent’s Citations


Dr. James announced that the National Merit and National Achievement semifinalists had attended a reception in their honor just prior to the Board meeting.  Nineteen LRSD students were named National Merit Semifinalists: from Central High School - - Kyla B. Achard, Adva Biton, Fredrick W. Brantley, Kevin R. Burns, David H. Gutierrez, Catherine D. Keisler, Daniel S. Liu, Mark Mazumder, Colin McAlister, Joseph M. McDonnell, Stephanie A. Nielson, Nadia A. Patel, Rachel Rouby, Brennan E. Taylor, and Benjamin T. Wells; and from Parkview Magnet High School - - Alison Boland, Benjamin Carson, Jessica Lovelace-Chandler and Lorinda Peoples. 


Two students were named National Achievement Semifinalists:  Everette Callaway, J. A. Fair High School, and Lorinda Peoples, Parkview Magnet High School. 


Three were named National Merit Commended students:  Annie B. Bauman and Mary K. Orsini from Central High School and Dori Scallett from Parkview Magnet High School. 


Dr. James announced that Adva Biton, Fredrick Brantley and Stephanie Nielson received Achievement Awards in Writing from the National Council of Teachers of English. 


Diane Rynders was the District’s coordinator for this year’s Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.  She provided a brief summary of this year’s race results.  The participating 630 LRSD employees raised over $10,000. 


As a new tradition, retiring employees will be recognized at Board meetings instead of the one-time-per-year reception that has been held in the past.  The retiring employees will receive a plaque in recognition of their service.  Those who were present were:  Blenda Mosley, Edna Schoemaker, Barbara Thomas, Shirley Gordon, Gretchen Spinelli, and Carolyn Parson. 


The October ex-officio representatives to the Board were also recognized with a certification of appreciation, Christina Swindle, teacher at Geyer Springs Elementary School, and Shana Reese, student at McClellan High School. 


Ms. Magness presented Mr. Kurrus with an engraved gavel in recognition of his year of serving as Board president.  She expressed appreciation to him for his leadership and for taking the lead on keeping the Board informed on current issues, especially those relating to tax increment financing and mid-town redevelopment plans.

B.             Partners in Education – New Partnerships


Ms. Milam reminded the Board members of the up-coming reading day on November 19 and reported that reading assignments would be mailed the first part of November. 


In addition, she presented certificates in recognition of new business / school partnerships as noted below.  Dr. Mitchell made a motion to accept the new partnerships, Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.


The new partnerships were:


J. A. Fair Magnet High School, represented by Cassandra Norman and Katrina Jones, in partnership with the University of Central Arkansas, College of Health and Applied Sciences, represented by Dean Neil Hattlesdad


J. A. Fair Magnet High School, represented by Cassandra Norman, in partnership with the Audubon Arkansas, represented by Mary & Ken Smith


C.      Remarks from Citizens


Rebecca Dickson, parent of students at Hall High School addressed the Board regarding problems she believes exist at Hall High.  She stated that Hall is a great school, with some good teachers and counselors, but that she still is concerned about leadership issues at the school, and she asked Board members to investigate her concerns. 


Janie Allen had signed up to speak, but ceded her time to Gloria Springer.  Ms. Springer stated that she was the Education Chairperson for the NAACP, and that the District would be receiving a call for action related to Judge Wilson’s recent decision to release the District from its long-standing desegregation case.  She stated that they have numerous concerns regarding the impact of punishment, the number of students who are disciplined in the District, placement of students in alternative learning environments, profiling of these students, and failure to follow 504 plans. 

D.      Little Rock Classroom Teachers Association


Frank Martin addressed the Board regarding the formation of the Work Attendance Review Board.  He noted that a provision for this committee has been included in the negotiated contract for twenty years, but that this is the first time that serious work has been done to get the committee established and operational.  He stated optimism that they will be able to correct and improve the teacher absenteeism problems across the District.


E.             Joshua Intervenors


Joy Springer sent a message to the Board that she would be unable to attend the meeting; she sent a letter to Ms. Magness and asked that copies of the letter be distributed to other Board members. 


F.              PTA Council


Ginny Kurrus, current PTA Council president, thanked the Board for their service to the District and for their continuing support and commitment to the PTA.  She noted the recent successes of the District, including the Judge’s ruling, and the on-going challenges of school funding and NCLB legislation.  She encouraged Board members and District administrators to attend PTA meetings as a way to keep in touch with the day-to-day events in the schools and to keep communications open with the parents who work to support our schools   





A.             Report:  Magnet Schools Assistance Program


The Board members agreed by consensus to reorder the agenda to allow the report from the Magnet Schools Assistance Program to be presented earlier than scheduled in the agenda. 


Debbie Price, MSAP coordinator provided a brief overview of the implementation of the grant activities.  A total of $4.6 million was granted to the LRSD to provide curriculum improvements at Cloverdale and Mabelvale Middle Schools, and McClellan and J. A. Fair High Schools.  The funding will allow development and implementation of curriculum and professional development to promote systemic reform and improve student performance standards.  A written summary report was printed in the Board’s agenda.


In addition to Ms. Price’s report, a representative from each school provided a brief overview of the projects and programs being implemented on their individual campuses.  William Broadnax reported for Cloverdale Middle School where the curriculum focus is on economics, multimedia technology and engineering.  Larry Buck, principal at McClellan, reported their emphasis is on business and finance, multimedia and graphic design, and engineering. 


Judge Evans reported for Mabelvale Middle School noting that the magnet curriculum at that school is on information and communication technology, environmental science, and medical investigations.  Cassandra Norman, principal at J. A. Fair reported that their magnet theme is information science and systems engineering, environmental science, and medical studies. 


Ms. Norman also noted that the environmentally specific curriculum at Fair is closely related to the partnership approved earlier in the agenda with Audubon Arkansas.  J. A. Fair faculty, staff and students will be collaborating with Mabelvale Middle School in several areas in an effort to provide a wider range of opportunities for students on both campuses. 


B.             Suspension of the Rules - - RESOLUTION: 


Mr. Berkley made a motion to suspend the rules to consider the reading and adoption of a resolution in opposition to proposed Amendment Three.  Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion to suspend the rules, and it carried unanimously.


Mr. Rose read the resolution opposing Amendment 3, and then moved for approval of the resolution.  Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.   A copy of that resolution is attached to these minutes. 



C.             Remarks from Board Members


Board members, individually and collectively, appealed to the audience and members of the community to vote on Election Day and to keep in mind that the proponents of Amendment Three are also the individuals who lobbied against our millage increase a few years back.  These people are supporters of private schools and are misrepresenting their intentions by appealing to the people who benefit most from the services provided by taxes paid on food and beverages.  Board members encouraged public school supporters to become active in the campaign to defeat amendment 3. 


It was noted that the Arkansas School Boards Association has also passed a similar resolution and are lobbying for defeat of this amendment. 


D.             Desegregation Update


Mr. Babbs reported on-going activities of the compliance committee and work on the transition plan which will be presented for the Board’s review in November.  He reported that all building principals were provided inservice on the No Child Left Behind requirements. 


E.             Budget Update


No report.


F.              Construction Report: Proposed Bond Projects


Mr. Goodman was present and called attention to the summary report printed in the agenda.  He also noted that in response to a question at last month’s meeting about prioritizing projects, he had an attachment to his report which responded to that question. 


He reported that bids had been accepted on the construction project at Mann, and that the preliminary numbers look very good.  Reconstruction of the Wakefield building will also begin soon, and Mr. Goodman reported that he feels very comfortable that we will be able to rebuild a very modern facility with the existing bond account funds, coupled with the insurance settlement.


G.             Internal Auditors Report


Mr. Becker was presented and reported that his monthly update was printed in the Board agenda. 


H.             Technology Update


Ms. Neal’s report was printed in the agenda.  She reported that the telephone changeover would be complete by the end of the month and that new LRSD e-mail addresses would be activated within a few weeks.  In addition, she reported that work would begin during the next few months to revise the District’s technology plan to be submitted to the State.





A.             Minutes


Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on September 26, and from a special meeting held on October 10, 2002 were presented for review and approval.  Dr. Mitchell made a motion to approve the minutes as presented; Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


B.             Personnel Changes


Routine personnel items were printed in the agenda and were submitted for the Board’s review and approval.   Dr. Mitchell made a motion to approve the personnel items as presented; Mr. Berkley seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.






A.             Benchmark Report, Grades 4, 6 and 8


Dr. Lesley provided a slide presentation of the highlights of the 2001-02 Benchmark exam results.  In addition, a handout was provided for the Board’s review.  Specific data was presented, indicating the strengths and areas where significant improvements were shown.  Dr. Lesley noted that our goal will continue to be to move all of the students performing in the “below basic” category into the “proficient” or “advanced” category.


B.             Report:  No Child Left Behind


Dr. Lesley presented the District’s plan for supporting the “low-performing” schools as identified by the Arkansas Department of Education.  Ten elementary schools were on the target list of schools identified for improvement:  Bale, Baseline, Chicot, Dodd, Fair Park, Mabelvale, Mitchell, Stephens, Wakefield and Watson.  In addition, three middle schools were listed: Henderson, Mabelvale and Southwest. 


Dr. Lesley indicated that there is an appeal process and that the LRSD had until November 15 to formulate our appeal.  A process for determining priorities has been established and the schools with greatest need will be targeted for specific assistance to insure that students are given an advantage to performing better on the ACTAAP tests.


C.             Second Reading:  CHCA - - Handbooks, Manuals and Directives, with Regulations


Policy CHCA, Handbooks, Manuals and Directives, was presented for the Board’s review and first reading approval in September.  It was presented for 2nd reading and final approval at this time.  The policy will provide guidance in the development of all publications so that they are aligned with laws, Board policy, and regulations.  Mr. Berkley made a motion to approve the policy on second reading.  Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


D.             First Reading:  IKF - - General Graduation Requirements


Revisions to Policy IKF, General Graduation Requirements was presented for the Board’s first reading.  Changes were made to insure the policy was in compliance with current Arkansas guidelines and requirements for graduation.  It also establishes senior year enrollment requirements and guidelines for designation as an “honors” graduate.  Mr. Rose moved for the policy to be approved on first reading.  Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


E.             Revision of Administrative Regulations for IKF - - General Graduation Requirements


The regulations for administration of policy IKF, General Graduation Requirements, was presented for review and comment.  No official Board action was required. 



F.              Administrative Regulations for IKE - - Promotion, Acceleration, Retention and Administrative Placement of Students, Pre-K through 12


Revisions to Regulation IKE were presented for the Board’s review and comment. 
Dr. Lesley responded to questions from the Board.  No official action was taken.


G.             Program Evaluation Agenda, 2002-03


Dr. Lesley presented the proposed agenda for the evaluation of District programs for the 2002-2003 school year.  She noted that the Revised Desegregation and Education Plan requires us to assess academic programs each year in order to determine effectiveness in improving student achievement.  The recommended program evaluation agenda was presented for the Board’s review and approval. 
Mr. Rose moved to approve the evaluation schedule and agenda.  Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it
carried unanimously.


H.             Early Literacy Program Evaluations


The Early Literacy Program evaluation was presented to the Board in the summer of 2001.  Pat Price led the evaluation team which presented the 204-page report, The Effectiveness of the PreK-2 Literacy Program in the Little Rock School District (1999-2000 and 2000-2001).  Under the terms of the recently approved Compliance Plan, it is required that all program evaluations be presented to and approved by the Board.  Mr. Berkley made a motion to approve the report as presented, Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.


I.               Approval of the Charter School Program Evaluation


Dr. Linda Watson and Krishna Young, the Charter School Director, presented the evaluation report of the District’s Charter School Program to the Board in June 2001.  Funding for this program was eliminated after two years of operation due to budget constraints.  However, the evaluation report must be approved by the Board due to Compliance Plan requirements.  Mr. Rose moved to accept the report as presented in June 2001.  Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


J.             LEA Capacity Building and Improvement Activities Grant


Dr. Gary Smith presented a SLIVER grant application for the Board’s review and approval.  The ADE funds would provide $105,000 to continue Project Achieve at Carver and Mitchell Elementary Schools.  In addition, staff development would be provided to enhance the delivery of literacy and math instruction, and training for speech and language pathologists.  Mr. Rose made a motion to approve submission of the application.  Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.





No items for review / approval.





A.             Cash Flow Loan Resolution


Dr. Stewart presented a resolution for Board review and approval.  The resolution authorizes District representatives to enter into a short-term cash flow loan from Bank of America for up to $15,000,000.  Mr. Berkley moved to approve the resolution, Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.  A copy of that resolution will be attached to these minutes. 


B.             Donations of Property


The Board was asked to approve acceptance of recent donations to the District. Shana Reese, the student representative, read the listed donations.  Dr. Mitchell made a motion to accept the donations as listed; Mr. Rose seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.  Donations are listed in the following chart:








Brady Elementary School


$500.00 to help defray cost of the annual Grandparents Day celebration


Wal-Mart Foundation


Central High School


A weight machine to the athletic department at Central - - valued at approximately $200.00


Frederick L. Hodge


Dodd Elementary School


School supplies for 37 students and emergency items for teachers valued at approximately $400.00


Office of Federal Probation and Pretrial Services


Forest Park Elementary School


IBM PC, valued at approximately $1,489.00


IBM Corporation


Donations (continued)






Fulbright Elementary School


$5,000 cash for miscellaneous computer equipment, printers and printer supplies, digital camera, student incentives and school supplies


Fulbright Elementary PTA


Geyer Springs Elementary


$250.00 cash to purchase materials for playground /4 year old program


$250.00 cash to be used for student and teacher incentives


Law Offices of Gary Green




Waymack Productions


Jefferson Elementary


Playground and PE materials, valued at approximately $50.00


David and Pam Dostart


Mitchell Academy


$150.00 cash


Kenneth Hill and the Mitchell Elementary class of 1952


Woodruff Elementary


$250.00 cash to be used to improve school grounds


Office supplies, valued at approximately $500.00


$100.00 cash to be used for student incentives


Sam’s Club of Little Rock



Eugene Jenkins / Cleaning with Pride Janitorial Services


Wal-Mart #126 / matching grant for volunteer hours of parent Tamela Warren




Two office chairs, valued at approximately $25.00 each


Arkansas HIPPY Office



C.             Financial Report


Mr. Milhollen briefly reviewed the budget reports provided in the agenda.  Dr. Mitchell moved to approve the reports as presented.  Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.





The Magnet Schools Assistance Program report was provided earlier in these minutes.





No items for review / approval.





A.    Superintendent’s Report


Dr. James reminded the Board that the next few months would be very busy with the holidays and that a large number of items will need to be brought to them for approval.  The meetings in November will be held on the 7th and the 21st.


He also reported on his visit to McClellan with Dr. Lacey.  He was pleased and encouraged by his visit, experienced good interaction with the teachers in business classes, and was impressed with the activities of these classes where they run a school cookie store, from inventory and stocking to running the cash register.  He stated that he would be visiting other school campuses over the next few months. 




There being no further business before the Board, Dr. Daugherty moved to adjourn at 8:40 p.m.  Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.



APPROVED:  _ 11-21-02    __              Original documents signed by: 

         Judy Magness, President

         Larry Berkley, Secretary