February 28, 2002


The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 28, 2002, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas.  President Baker Kurrus presided.




Baker Kurrus

Judy Magness

Tony Rose

Micheal Daugherty

Katherine Mitchell

Sue Strickland




Larry Berkley




            T. Kenneth James, Superintendent of Schools

            Beverly Griffin, Recorder of Minutes




President Baker Kurrus called the meeting to order at 6:02 p.m.  Five members of the Board were present at roll call; Dr. Mitchell arrived at 6:25 p.m.  Mr. Berkley was absent.  Suellen DiMassimo, teacher at Carver Magnet Elementary School, served as ex-officio representative to the Board for the month of February; Mary Rutherford, Central High Student, was unable to attend. 




Mr. Kurrus made brief opening remarks and welcoming comments.  He introduced Dr. James for the presentation of the student performing group and citations.




A.                Superintendent’s Citations


Dr. James introduced Margo Swanson, Coordinator of Health Services.  She introduced the Share America Gospel Choir, which consists of students from Bale and Wakefield Elementary Schools who attend the UALR / Share America after school program.  The choir led the audience in the African -American National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”


Ms. Swanson introduced Dr. Lynn Mouden, and members of the UALR Share America team, Chara Stewart and Cheryl Chapman.  Dr. Mouden is a dentist who coordinated dental screenings for 2,200 students at five of our elementary schools.  In addition, some of these students were provided with a dental sealant, which will prevent them from developing cavities.  Ms. Swanson noted that over 1,700 students from five LRSD elementary schools participate in the Share America After School programs through UALR. 


Dr. Mouden thanked the LRSD for allowing him the opportunity to impact the current and future health of our students.  Most of those served do not have access to regular dental care, and this allows the students free access to awareness and education on oral health issues. 


Dr. James announced that Frederick McKindra had been selected as a delegate to the U. S. Senate Youth Program.  He will go to Washington, D.C. in March for a week of intensive study of the U.S. government.  Frederick could not attend the meeting, but will receive a certificate of recognition from the Superintendent.


The final citation was presented to, Suellen DiMassimo, teacher from Carver Magnet Elementary, for serving as ex officio representatives to the Board for the month of February.  The student representative did not attend.


B.                Partners in Education:  New Partnerships


Debbie Milam presented certificates in recognition of new business / school partnerships as noted below.  Mr. Rose made a motion to accept the new partnerships, Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.


The new partnerships were:


Terry Elementary School, represented by Nancy Acre and Marilyn Robinson, in partnership with Immanuel Baptist Church, represented by David Napier, Chris Lawson and Tracy Hogue


Chicot Elementary School, represented by Delwyn Smith and Sara Rose, in partnership with DHS – Department of Volunteerism, represented by Rocio Hlass and Sherry Anderson


C.                Remarks from Citizens


Mollie Irvin, president of the Penbrook – Cloverhill Neighborhood Association asked the Board to support their efforts to get the city to install a traffic light on John Barrow Road at the Henderson Middle School intersection.  They had completed a traffic survey which detailed the fact that this is a high volume traffic area.  Jennifer Hines-Rauls attended the meeting to support the neighborhood resident’s request.  She was involved in an accident at this intersection in 1986, when she was a student at Henderson, and was trying to cross Barrow Road on her way home from school.  The city installed flashing yellow caution lights after her accident, but this has not been effective in preventing speeding or controlling the heavy traffic.


C.            Little Rock Classroom Teachers Association


Frank Martin addressed the Board regarding the elections for approval of TAP implementation at Stephens and Rockefeller Elementary Schools.  Both schools voted to implement this initiative, and he asked that the Superintendent schedule a time to meet with CTA representatives to certify the election results.


D.        Joshua Intervenors


Joy Springer was present and asked the Board to note that Joshua representatives were still involved in monitoring of Desegregation issues, and that they were willing to meet with District representatives for discussion at any time.  She specifically noted that they were concerned with the impact of proposed budget reductions, and that they would like to meet with administrators or the Superintendent to further discuss these concerns. 




A.            Remarks from Board Members


Mr. Rose apologized for not being able to attend the Pennbrook-Mayflower Neighborhood Association meeting.  He expressed concern for Ms. Irvin’s request, and said he would propose that the Board approve a resolution of support for the traffic signal at the intersection in front of Henderson Middle school.


Mr. Rose then discussed individual responsibility and accountability for social problems related to poverty as they impact education issues.  He reported on attending the panel discussion on education which was recently held on the campus of Hendrix College in Conway.  He urged listeners to take personal responsibility for supporting the public schools.


Ms. Magness concurred with comments made by Mr. Rose, and reported that she also had attended the panel discussion at Hendrix.  She said that it seems that the legislators understand that education issues need to be “on the front burner,” and that a series of sessions will be held across the state to gather citizen input and comments on important educational issues.  She asked for interested patrons to attend the meetings so that they can help determine which direction Arkansas will take.


Ms. Magness also reported that she had visited Terry and Fulbright, McDermott and the ACC over the past few weeks.  She noted how exciting it is to witness happy, excited and energetic students in the process of learning.  She applauded the ACC program that allows students an opportunity to catch up and succeed in the learning environment.  For many of the students this may be the only “second chance” they will receive.  Ms. Magness had also attended a program in the Day Treatment Center at Henderson and was pleased with the activities in which these students were participating.


Dr. Daugherty reported that he had also attended the program at Henderson Day Treatment Center.  In addition, he commented on Ms. Hines-Rauls personal achievements since the time she was injured by an automobile on Barrow Road, noting that she had overcome the injuries she received as a child by completing her education and going on to become a licensed social worker.


Dr. Mitchell thanked everyone who attended the Presidential Gala and scholarship banquet that was held in her honor to benefit students at Philander Smith College.  She expressed special gratitude for the support of LRSD personnel. 


Dr. Mitchell also reminded the audience that the NEA Read Across America event would be held tomorrow, March 1, 2002 in all elementary schools.  Anyone who would like to read to a classroom group is invited to just show up and volunteer to do so. 


Mr. Kurrus spoke briefly on the success of the recent Philander Smith College Scholarship banquet honoring Katherine Mitchell.  He noted that fifteen high school seniors were presented with full 4-year scholarships to Philander at the event, and remarked on how thrilling it was to watch these students pick up their “future in a gift bag.”


He also thanked the neighborhood association representatives who attended the meeting to ask for LRSD support in getting a traffic signal installed on Barrow Road, and said he would like to support efforts to assist them. 


Mr. Kurrus again stated his personal support for the education his children are receiving in the LRSD, and encouraged people to come and see for themselves the wonderful opportunities available to them in our schools.  He remarked that his three children are flourishing in the LRSD, and that people who don’t know about us are missing out on a great chance for a great education.


B.                Desegregation Update


Dr. James provided a brief update of enrollment statistics, as Mr. Babbs was unable to attend the meeting.  As of February 22, a total of 23,953 students had registered to attend school in the LRSD for the 2002-03 school year.  This is an increase of 80 students over the same registration period last year.  1,434 of these are kindergarten students, which is also a slight increase over last year. 


Assignment letters for all student kindergarten through twelfth grade will be mailed to parents.  Assignment letters for those registering for the 4-year-old program will be mailed in a few weeks.


            C.            Budget Update


Dr. Stewart reported on the slow process of reviewing and revising the budget proposal for the board’s next review.  Cabinet members are reviewing the recommendations, and the final proposal will be ready for the Board’s March meeting.


He also reported that we had received the final portion of QZAB funds, and that bids were taken on Monday resulting in a very favorable - 2.5% interest rate.


C.                Construction Report: Proposed Bond Projects


Mr. Eaton presented the construction report in Mr. Goodman’s absence.  The report was printed in the Board’s agenda.  In addition, he reported that the construction at Wakefield Elementary School had been “accelerated” due to some structural problems at that site.  Dr. Mitchell requested information on the Parkview baseball field and the construction progress at Mann Magnet Middle School.  Mr. Eaton promised to provide additional information when it becomes available.  The target date for completion of the Mann project is January 2004. 


            E.            Internal Auditors Report


Mr. Becker was present to review the report provided in the Board’s agenda.  He offered to respond to questions or provide additional information requested by the Board.  Dr. Mitchell encouraged individual Board members to visit with Mr. Becker for more in-depth information when they have questions not addressed in the monthly update. 


            E.            Technology Update


Ms. Neal was present and reviewed briefly the report printed in the Board’s agenda.  She reported that telephone training had begun on the new system, and that the switchover would begin at the Metropolitan Career-Technical Center location.  New phone numbers will be listed on the District’s website.


The Board took a brief recess at 7:10 p.m. and reconvened at 7:25 p.m.




A.                Minutes


Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on January 24, and from a special meeting held on February 12, 2002 were presented for review and approval.  Dr. Daugherty made a motion to approve the minutes as presented.  Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.




A.                Program Evaluation:  Alternative Language (ESL) Program


Prior to the Board meeting, Dr. Lesley provided copies of the Second Annual Program Evaluation for Alternative Language Program (ALP).  The key findings and recommendations were printed in the Board’s agenda.  Dr. Lesley recognized District staff members Eddie McCoy, Karen Broadnax, Ed


Williams, and Ken Savage, who participated in the completion of the report and recommendations.  Mark Vasquez, with the Office of Civil Rights, served as a consultant to the project. 


It was noted that a significant number, 71%, of the District’s LEP students speak Spanish at home.  This number has increased over last year’s percentage of 60%.  Of this number, 109 of the elementary-aged students attend Chicot, and most of the High School students attend Hall.   


Mr. Vasquez spoke briefly and congratulated the District on the results and progress made since the last report.  He noted that the OCR was pleased with the progress that has been made in the LRSD, and stated that the evaluation report is better than those submitted by other districts across the region. 


In addition, he noted that many of our ESL students are out-performing some of the English proficient students on standardized assessments and in their classroom work.  He stated that our work is “positive and worthwhile.”


Mr. Rose made a motion to accept the report presented by Dr. Lesley and the ESL staff; Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


B.                Policy Revision:  2nd Reading, Policy IKF – General Graduation Requirements


Dr. Lesley presented a proposal to modify Policy IKF, General Graduation Requirements, to include a course listing for one semester of “physical training” for ninth grade students.  This was required as a result of Arkansas Act 1748, which was passed by the state legislature in the 2001 general session.  This Act requires one-half unit of physical training at all grade levels, kindergarten through ninth grade.  Waiver options are included for those students who participate in other forms of physical activity during the school day, such as marching band, drill team, dance classes, and other athletic programs. 


The Board reviewed the revision and passed it on first reading at the special meeting on February 12, 2002.  Dr. Daugherty made a motion to approve the revised policy IKF, on second reading.  Ms. Magness seconded the motion, and it carried 6-0.


C.                Regulations:  IMP-R – Implementation of Act 1748


The regulations for administration of policies governing physical education classes were presented for the Board's review. As part of these regulations, individual schools will file a plan for implementation of Act 1748, physical education training and instruction. No action was required.


D.                Grant Proposal:  Smaller Learning Communities


The U. S. Department of Education requested proposals for grant funding under the Smaller Learning Communities Program.  The Board was asked to approve submission of an application to include Hall and McClellan High Schools under the terms of the SLC program.  These schools have been working to reorganize with assistance of the SREB - High Schools That Work initiative.  The proposal requests up to $1 million to provide professional development and technical assistance to implement smaller learning communities within the schools.


Ms. Magness moved to approve the submission.  Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. 


E.                Grant Proposal:  LREP, Local Reading Improvement Grant


Dr. Lesley requested approval to submit proposals under the Arkansas Reading Excellence Project, Local Reading Improvement Grant program for five LRSD elementary schools: Meadowcliff, Wilson, Geyer Springs, Franklin and Watson.  With emphasis on reading improvements in grades K - 3, the goals include having every child read at or above grade level by the end of the third grade, improvement in instructional practices, intensive support for kindergarten students, and implementation of a family literacy program.  Ms. Magness made a motion to approve the submission for funding.  Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.




A.                Personnel Changes


Personnel items were presented as a part of the Board’s agenda and the administration recommended Board approval. Dr. Mitchell made a motion to approve the personnel changes as presented.  Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.




A.            Donations of Property


The Board was asked to approve acceptance of recent donations to the District. Mr. Rose made a motion to accept the donations, Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.  Mr. Rose read the list of items as noted in the following chart:








Brady Elementary School


$500.00 environmental grant to purchase plants, flowers and items to beautify school grounds.


Wal-Mart Store #126


Dunbar Magnet Middle School


$700.00 cash to the Close-Up Experience Program


$800.00 cash to the Close-Up Experience Program





Jr. League of Little Rock


J. A. Fair High School


HP 56 computer, valued at $1,200, won in a contest by student, LaStephen White


PC Connection Services / equity Broadcasting Corporation


Forest Park Elementary School


School name banner for cafeteria, playground improvements, computer headphones, computer equipment, blinds for media center, ETC program artist-in-residence, salaries for arts and Spanish teachers, Total value of donated items = $26, 816.83


Forest Park PTA


Geyer Springs Elementary School


$850.00 cash toward school marquee


Park Plaza Mall-4-Schools Contest


McClellan Community High School


$500.00 cash for the boys' baseball program


$250.00 cash for the boys' baseball program


$250.00 cash for the boys' baseball program


W. A. Jones



Dillon Enterprises



Alvin Smith / State Farm Insurance Company


Rockefeller Elementary School


A kiln, tile and bisque, and a glazing table, valued at $3,200.00


Catherine Rodgers


Wilson Elementary School


$1,000 check for literacy program: to be distributed $200 per grade level


Cash donations:


$778.94 - Morrilton Fence Company

$190.89 - AWC Paint Company

$1,355.85 - Clark Power Corp.

$480.89 - ASCO Hardware Co.

$146.63 - Merchants Metals


Wal-Mart Store #126



Coordinated by Gerald Russenberger / Fellowship Bible Church


DONATIONS:  (continued)





Woodruff Elementary School


$1,700 cash to be applied to fifth grade class trip, character education book covers and office supplies, valued at over $500.00 and,

$500 cash to be used to purchase incentives and materials for students



Launey Jason / State Farm Insurance Company


LRSD Desegregation Scholarship Fund


$50.00 cash in memory of Ruth Ann T. Phelps and B. G. Williams


Dr. & Mrs. J. J. Lacey, Jr.


Little Rock School District


$250.00 cash to be used to purchase school uniforms


Mr. & Mrs. Jim D. Johnson


Dr. Daugherty left the meeting at 7:55 p.m.



B.            Financial Report / Annual Audit Report


Mr. Milhollen was present to review the financial report printed in the Board's agenda.  Dr. Mitchell made a motion to approve the reports as submitted.  Ms. Magness seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


In addition, Mr. Don Smith, from Thomas & Thomas Auditors, presented the annual audit report of the LRSD.  Mr. Smith reported briefly on the findings of the report, and complimented Mr. Milhollen and the financial services department for their work in compiling a "clean" audit. 


Dr. Mitchell made a motion to accept the report presented by Thomas & Thomas.  Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.




No items for consideration.




A.  Construction Easement: Chicot Elementary


Mr. Eaton reported that the City of Little Rock requested an easement of approximately 4,392 square feet to the city's Waste Water Utilities Service for the relocation of a sewer line at Chicot Elementary.  Dr. Mitchell moved to approve the requested easement.  Ms. Magness seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.




A.     Superintendent’s Report:


Dr. James reported briefly on the first LRSD Foundation Board meeting.  The consultant to the Foundation Board, Pete Karabatsos, attended the first session and assisted the group in formulating the Articles of Incorporation,
by-laws, and mission statement.  The members will meet monthly and will plan a full-scale drive in the fall to begin raising the funds to operate the Foundation. 


In addition, the Superintendent reported that Stephens and Rockefeller Elementary School staffs had voted in favor of implementing TAP in their buildings.  He commended the staffs for their willingness to work on this in an effort to improve instructional services to their students.  He reported that the Walton Foundation will meet to determine the level of funding, and noted that these are the only two schools in Central Arkansas chosen to participate.


He noted as a reminder that the March meeting of the Board has been rescheduled to March 21, to prevent meeting during spring break, and the Board's quarterly joint meeting with the city board has been scheduled for March 18.




At 8:10 p.m., Dr. Mitchell made a motion to convene an executive session for the purpose of conducting closed personnel hearings.  Ms. Magness seconded the motion and it carried 5-0.


First Employee Hearing: Following discussion, the Superintendent's recommendation to terminate this employee was upheld unanimously on a motion from Dr. Mitchell, seconded by Mr. Rose. 


Second Employee Hearing: Mr. Rose made a motion that this employee met his obligations under the terms of the PN agreement by notifying the building principal of his illness.  Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion and it carried 4-1, with Ms. Magness casting the "no" vote.   Mr. Kurrus noted there was no need to take additional action because this employee had not been terminated. 




There being no further business before the Board, Ms. Strickland moved to adjourn at 10:30 p.m.  Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.





APPROVED:  03-21-02                                Original documents signed by: 

            H. Baker Kurrus, President

            Tony Rose, Secretary