November 16, 2004


The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16, 2004, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas.  President Larry Berkley presided.   The meeting had been rescheduled from November 18 due to events in downtown Little Rock surrounding the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center. 




Tony Rose

Larry Berkley

Micheal Daugherty

Bryan Day

            Baker Kurrus
Sue Strickland




Katherine Mitchell





            Roy G. Brooks, Superintendent of Schools

            Beverly Griffin, Recorder of Minutes




Mr. Berkley called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.  Four members of the Board were present at roll call; Mr. Kurrus arrived at 5:20 p.m., Dr. Daugherty arrived at 5:25 p.m., and Dr. Mitchell was absent.  In addition, ex officio representatives for the month of November were also present:  Dr. Don Cherepski, teacher at McClellan High School, and, Antoine Ghoston, McClellan High School student. 




Mr. Berkley welcomed the audience and introduced Dr. Brooks for presentation of citations.




A.                Superintendent’s Citations


Dr. Brooks introduced Reverend Hezekiah Stewart from the Watershed Project.  The Little Rock School District was recognized at the Watershed’s Annual banquet for supporting their efforts to better the lives of people in the community.  The Watershed has operated in the old Gillam School building since 1983, providing food, clothing, shelter, day care services, disaster relief and utility bill assistance.  Rev. Stewart received a superintendent’s citation for his unselfish contributions to the children and families of Little Rock.


Annette Scogin received a certificate of appreciation from the Superintendent for her efforts in coordinating the District’s team in the annual Susan B. Koman Race for the Cure.  Annette presented the District’s trophy for having the largest team in the race, and reported that we raised $16,000 for breast cancer research, with 745 participating employees.  Ms. Scogin thanked
Dr. Brooks for leading the LRSD team to the starting line and noted that he was the first superintendent to ever participate in the race.   


The final citations were presented to ex-officio representatives to the Board for the month of November, teacher Dr. Don Cherepski, and student Antoine Gholston, both from McClellan High School. 


B.                Remarks from Citizens


Melanie Fox addressed the board, expressing appreciation to Dr. Brooks for opening lines of communication for parents, students, and teachers in the LRSD.  Ms. Fox has two children at Forest Park Elementary School and stated that this is the first time she has ever felt that there are “good things on the horizon” in the LRSD. 


Ms. Fox related examples of problems that parents had encountered when trying to have work done in the school or on the school campus.  She thanked the Board for having the insight to authorize the organizational audit and stated “$50,000 is a small price to pay if the audit will make our district more effective and efficient.” 


Ruth Eyers, Shannon Hardesty and Betsy Hall, special education teachers, addressed the board individually regarding concerns for the provision of appropriate services to special needs students.  Some of the concerns expressed by these teachers included:


-          students not receiving services required by their IEP;

-          teachers being placed in jeopardy when students become disruptive or abusive;

-          a shortage of substitutes qualified for special education classes;

-          a lack of training for paraprofessionals in how to appropriately meet the needs of these students;

-          a lack of funds for professional development for special education teachers;

-          limited resource and special education classroom space; 

-          severely or profoundly disabled students not receiving sufficient services;

-          a lack of communication within the division of exceptional children, no “sense of urgency”;

-          e-mail and phone messages delayed or no response in a reasonable or timely manner; and

-          shortages of classroom materials and supplies. 


C.                Little Rock Classroom Teachers Association


Katherine Wright Knight greeted the Board and expressed appreciation for the support she received from District friends and family after the recent death of her husband, James.


Ms. Knight thanked the special education teachers for taking the time to come forward to publicly state their concerns and issues.  She noted that Ms. Eyers is a National Board Certified instructor, and the first special education teacher in the state to receive that certification. 


In addition, Ms. Knight reported that fifty-seven teachers were in the process of becoming national board certified, due in part to the district’s financial support for teachers from the schools designated in “school improvement.” 





A.                Remarks from Board Members


Mr. Day thanked the special education teachers for bringing their concerns to the Board.  In addition, he thanked Ms. Fox for stating support for the superintendent and the organizational audit process.   Mr. Day also expressed appreciation to Dr. Brooks and the Board for supporting the City Year Initiative.  He attended the City Year Inaugural program on the front lawn of Central High School earlier in the day, where President Bill Clinton addressed the group and administered the oath of service to forty City Year students.  City Year participants will serve in five LRSD elementary schools as mentors, tutors and coordinators of after school programs. 


Mr. Kurrus thanked the special education teachers for providing their concerns in writing.  He asked them to remain positive and to remain focused on making change for the better. 


Dr. Daugherty arrived late, but stated that he had heard some of the concerns of the special education teachers on the cable access channel.  He thanked them for stepping forward and for advocating on behalf of their students. 


Mr. Berkley thanked the teachers and staff members who attended the rally at Barton Coliseum.  He had read to kindergarten students at Terry Elementary School earlier that day, and he expressed appreciation to the new principal, Ms. Ramsey, for the good work she is doing at Terry. 


B.                 Student Assignment Report


Mr. Babbs was present and gave a brief report on registration activities.  He was asked to provide information on school-based recruitment efforts and to develop more customer friendly registration processes.  Board members asked about the possible implementation of on-line student registration and for more information to be made available on the LRSD website.


C.                Budget Update


No report.


D.                Construction Report: Proposed Bond Projects


Mr. Goodman was present.  The monthly report was printed in the agenda; no additional information was provided or requested.


E.                Internal Auditors Report


Mr. Becker was present and reviewed the brief summary report printed in the Board’s agenda.   In addition, he reviewed the activities of the November 6 Sharefest.   Two thousand volunteers worked in eleven LRSD schools providing landscaping, gardening projects, painting, carpentry and playground improvements.   


F.                 Technology Update


Lucy Neal presented a review of the technology report printed in the Board’s agenda.  In addition, she reported that e-rate funding had been received from the federal government, which would pay for media retrieval systems and staff training.


In addition, Ms. Neal reported that state funding had been released which would provide web access to students’ grades and attendance reports as requested by Mr. Berkley.  Parkview Magnet High School agreed to serve as the pilot site for Ed-line, which is compatible with the district’s on-line grading system.  Training sessions will be scheduled for parents as the system is brought on line.




A.                Minutes


Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on October 28, 2004, and from a special meeting held on November 11, 2004, were presented for review and approval.   Dr. Daugherty moved to approve the minutes as submitted; Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


VI.               HUMAN RESOURCES


A.                Personnel Changes


Routine personnel changes were printed in the Board’s agenda.  Dr. Daugherty moved to approve the report as presented.  Mr. Kurrus 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.  Antoine Ghoston, student ex officio, read the items listed in the Board’s agenda.  Mr. Rose made a motion to accept the donated items;
Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.






Alternative Learning Center


400 pairs of pants, valued at $5.00 per pair for a total of $2,000


Levi Strauss


Bale Elementary School


$1,000 cash to be deposited into activity fund for student incentives


John H. Bale, Jr.

Donations – continued:






Central High School


$650 cash to the baseball team


$4,500 grant on behalf of the Keller Family Endowment to support school programs


$1,700 cash to baseball booster club


$115 cash to the Troubadour Club


Robert & Lisa Beach


Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Keller




Mr. Jeff Poe


Miriam Hundley


J. A. Fair High School


Donation of a refrigerator, valued at $260 for girls’ locker room


Labor & materials, valued at $144 for servicing refrigerator


Donation of a computer desk, valued at $50 for Sammie Jamell


Labor & Materials, valued at $210 for servicing dryer in the field house


Donation of a refrigerator, valued at $300 for Ms. Ayers room


Thomas & Sherry Nichols, Nichols Appliance Company




Forest Park Elementary School


Donation of various items:  painting valued at $1,456; file cabinet valued at $153; weed eater, valued at $110, safe, valued at $600; mailbox system valued at $742; pre-K storage valued at $432.


Jeff & Melanie Fox


Franklin Elementary School


Four new UN #55 gallon open top barrels valued at $200 for the campus


Lawrence Williams & Gesco Company, Inc.


Fulbright Elementary School


Cash donations:  $190 for book cart for 5th grade; $506 for May 2004 field trip; $374 for speech articles and $341 for 5th grade Thesaurus


$50 for Reading Buddies Program


$30 for Reading Buddies Program


$70 for Reading Buddies Program


$15 for Reading Buddies Program


$700 cash for Delta Society Pet Partners Course & Evaluations


Materials valued at $130 for Pre-K loft


Cornelius Model 530X ice machine, valued at $2,800 for staff, students and school nurse


Educational materials valued at $750 for new outdoor classroom


Books & guides, valued at $95 for new outdoor classroom


Fulbright Elementary PTA





Jennae Stewart


Fox Consulting


Jamie Mitchell


Stephanie Hymel


Esther Pipkin, Arkansas Childrens’ Hospital


Home Depot


Kevin & Angela Chase




Jim Harvey, CEO, Central Arkansas Water Company


Rob Beadel, ADEQ, Environmental Preservation Division






Mann Magnet Middle School


$2,000 cash to purchase a podium with accommodations for musical attachments, for placement in the James L. Matthis auditorium. 


Family of the late James L. Matthis


Otter Creek Elementary School


$200 cash to purchase shirts for teachers and staff


$500 cash to be used for student recognition in Accelerated Reader Program




Truman Ball & Associates, Realtors



Women’s Club of Otter Creek


Little Rock School District


$1,000 cash for the Dunbar Garden Project


Lisenne & Winthrop Rockefeller


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.





The Superintendent announced that a meeting with members of the Southwest Little Rock Hispanic community was scheduled to begin immediately following this board meeting.


IX.               ADJOURNMENT


There being no further business before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m. on a motion by Mr. Rose, seconded by Dr. Daugherty. 





APPROVED:  12-16-04                                            Originals Signed by:  

                        Larry Berkley, President

Katherine P.  Mitchell, Secretary