May 23, 2002


The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, 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

Larry Berkley

Micheal Daugherty

Katherine Mitchell

Sue Strickland









            T. Kenneth James, Superintendent of Schools

            Beverly Griffin, Recorder of Minutes





President Baker Kurrus called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  Six members of the Board were present at roll call; Ms. Strickland arrived at 6:10 p.m.  Sherry Chambers, teacher at Dodd Elementary School, served as ex-officio representative to the Board for the month of May.  The student representative from McClellan Magnet High School did not attend.





Mr. Kurrus made brief opening remarks and welcoming comments.  He asked Mr. Berkley to assist with the citations, recognitions and partnerships.





A.                Superintendent’s Citations


Dr. James introduced the 2002 Stephens Award winners.  Each student received a $5,000 scholarship, and each teacher received $5,000 cash award from the City Education Trust Fund.  The students were Jay Bauman and Rachael Seidenschnur from Central High School and Marissa McDaniel from Hall High School.  The teacher recipients were Sarah Gadberry, Alison Hargis, and Lenora Murray from Central High School, Martha K. Raines from Fair High School, Jennifer Lusk from Parkview Magnet High School, and Adeal Williams from McClellan High School. 


Each year the District purchases a work of art from one student at each high school.  The pieces are then hung in the administration building for public enjoyment.  This year’s student winners were present to display their work and receive a check in the amount of $200.00.  The students were:  Anushree Jumde, Central High School; Christina Pena, Fair High School; Chris Young, Hall High School; Latarsha Burns, McClellan High School; and Trevor Bennett, Parkview Magnet High School. 


James Henson, Safety & Security officer, and Danielle Dickson, student at Fair High School were recognized for their quick thinking and life-saving actions.  J. A. Fair teacher, Martha Nahlen, was eating lunch alone in her classroom in mid-April when she began to choke.  She entered the hallway where she got the attention of Ms. Dickson, who ran for assistance.  Mr. Henson administered the Heimlich maneuver, and dislodged the food from Ms. Nahlen’s throat.  They were recognized for saving Ms. Nahlen’s life by their swift actions.


The Central High School chess team won the state championship this year, with a record 5 wins, 0 losses, and 1 tie.  Members of the team were introduced and given superintendent’s citations for their achievement.   The chess team members are:  Joe Liu, Joel Amaro, Victor Harris, and Shannon Rogers.  Their sponsor is James Hill. 


Superintendent’s citations were also presented to the Central High School men’s tennis team, who won the state championship for the third consecutive year.  Team members are:  Matthew Angulo, Mark Bacon, Scott Bacon, Hunter Benson, Nick Clifford, Andrew Crone, Alex DePriest, Brock Dial, Blake Downing, Daniel Krupitsky, Kevin Luneau, David Mitchell, Ananth Ranganathan, John Shults, and Peter Thomas.


The Central High School women’s soccer team won the state 5A championship, defeating the four-time state champions of Fayetteville in recent tournament play.  Team members are:  Anne-Claire Allen, Caroline Allen, Melissa Bandy, Katy Benson, Lindsey Brown, Lauren Cloud, Camille Cook, Allison Corbin, Sally Cunningham, Elizabeth Daters, Riley Duke, Sheffield Duke, Jessica East, Elizabeth Gray, Cara Janton, Elizabeth Manney, Elise Norton, Stephanie Rogers, Lindsey Short, Rebecca Vehik, and Claire Wetzel.  Their sponsors are:  Betsy Hall-Jones and Ellen Teeter, and the coaches are Keith McPherson and David Duke.  Jennie Cooper heads the men’s and women’s soccer program at Central High School. 


The teacher ex officio representative, Sherry Chambers, from Dodd Elementary School, was presented with a certificate of appreciation for her service during the month of May.  The student representative, from McClellan High School, did not attend. 


B.                Partners in Education:  New Partnerships


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


The new partnerships were:


Fair Park Elementary School, represented by Principal Samuel Branch, in partnership with Center for Effective Parenting, represented by Dr. Nicholas Long


Geyer Springs Elementary School, represented by Principal Donna Hall in partnership with Arkansas Children’s Hospital – Insure the Children, represented by Debbie Rushing


C.            Remarks from Citizens


Shellie Akbar, addressed the Board regarding the elimination of an art specialist position at Booker Arts Magnet School.  She stated that many parents selected Booker for the arts curriculum, and that eliminating this position, or removing the teacher who is in that position, will “water down” the program.  She noted that many parents have signed petitions in support of keeping this position.


D.            Little Rock Classroom Teachers Association


Clementine Kelley was present, but indicated that she had no report.


E.        Joshua Intervenors


No report.





A.            Remarks from Board Members


Dr.  Mitchell commented on the elections held earlier in the week, and expressed her disappointment that Senator John Riggs was not reelected.  She stated that Mr. Riggs has a good record on issues affecting the children of Little Rock, as well as on education efforts across the state.  She noted that his dedication and service to the “education cause” started during his terms on the LRSD Board.


Dr. Daugherty echoed Dr. Mitchell’s comments and stated that he was very disappointed that Mr. Riggs lost the election, and even more disappointed that race was brought into the election as an issue by his opponent.  On another note, Dr. Daugherty expressed support for the LR Chief of Police and disappointment in the FOP for their public stand against Chief Johnson. 


Mr. Berkley also commented on Mr. Riggs’ election loss, but expressed confidence that Mr. Riggs is not finished with his support of children and educational issues.


Ms. Magness expressed appreciation to fellow members of the Board for making comments that invalidate race as an issue. 


Ms. Strickland expressed disappointment in the results of this week’s election.  She stated that she was “shocked” that Mr. Riggs did not win.  In addition, she reported that she installed the Parkview PTSA officers for next year.  She was impressed that students take an active role in the PTSA process at Parkview and she encouraged other schools to do the same.


Mr. Kurrus expressed his high regard for Mr. Riggs, and said that he was proud of all Mr. Riggs has done for the children in Little Rock and Arkansas.  He stated confidence that Mr. Riggs will continue to work for education in the future and he expressed hope that the people who were elected will “step up to the plate” to do what is right for public education. 


Mr. Rose remembered his first contact with Mr. Riggs was through the Chicot Elementary School PTA when Mr. Riggs donated his excess campaign funds to various LRSD PTA units.  He noted his respect for Mr. Riggs and also expressed confidence he would continue to work to benefit children and education.  Mr. Rose announced that he had attended the annual SECME awards banquet at UALR.  He thanked the staffs of the LRSD and UALR who work tirelessly to encourage minority students to excel and achieve in math and science. 


B.                Desegregation Update


Mr. Babbs reported that the District’s compliance committee continues to meet weekly to prepare for court hearings that have been scheduled for the week of July 22.  Evidence will be presented as to compliance in the areas of student discipline, achievement, program evaluation, guidance and counseling, AP/Honors courses, and extracurricular activities.  Judge Wilson has set aside 5 days for this hearing in response to our efforts to be declared unitary.


He reported that other student registration processes are on schedule in preparation for the 2002-2003 school year.


C.                Budget Update


Dr. Stewart reported that the business office staff was in the process of preparing summer payroll checks.  In addition, all budget managers have submitted their annual budget requests and this information is being loaded into the system. 


D.                Construction Report: Proposed Bond Projects


Mr. Goodman reported that a lot of the scheduled construction projects would begin over the summer months and that construction has begun at Romine Elementary.  All asbestos projects should be complete by the end of the summer.  The updated progress report was printed in the Board’s agenda.


E.                Internal Auditors Report


The Internal Auditors’ Report was printed as part of the Board’s agenda. 
Mr. Becker was present, but provided no additional information.


F.                 Technology Update


Ms. Neal was present and briefly reviewed the report printed in the Board’s agenda.





A.                Minutes


Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on April 25, 2002, and from a special meeting held on May 9, 2002, were presented for review and approval.  Mr. Rose made a motion to approve the minutes as presented.  Ms. Magness seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.





A.                Second Reading:  Revised Policy IHBEA – English as a Second Language


B.                First Reading:  Revisions to Instructional Policies - -
IKACA – Parental Visits and Conferences
IKC – Class Rankings / Grade-Point Averages, with Regulations
IKEC – Award of Credit, with Regulations
IKF – General Education Graduation Requirements


Policy IHBEA provides for educational provisions for students who are identified as limited English proficient and was modified as part of an overall review of these services.  As a result of these modifications, elementary assignment to the Newcomers Centers is being phased out, and secondary level ESL students are being provided the option of attending a school with a Newcomer Center or their attendance zone school.   The proposal will result in a savings in transportation costs.  The revised policy was approved on first reading at the April meeting of the Board and was presented for second reading approval.


In addition, first reading approval was requested for instructional policies, IKACA, IKC, IKEC, and IKF.  Changes to these policies were proposed in order to bring our policies into compliance with state accreditation standards, and many of the changes incorporate language directly from these standards. 


Ms. Magness made a motion to approve the revised policy IHBEA on second reading and all of the instructional policies submitted for first reading approval. Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


C.                Regulation IHCDA-R – Concurrent Enrollment


The ADE standards review team recommended revisions to District regulation IHCDA-R, regulating concurrent enrollment.  The revision will allow all eligible high school students to participate in the option of dual enrollment.  The Board was not required to take action, but was invited to comment or question the recommended changes.


D.                Report:  Jobs for Arkansas’ Graduates (JAG) 


Carol Green provided a brief report for inclusion in the Board’s agenda regarding the JOBS for Arkansas’ Graduates (JAG) program.  This initiative is being implemented at Central, Fair, Hall and McClellan High Schools beginning in the 2002-03 school year.  Teresa Dow from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Education attended the agenda meeting with Ms. Green to discuss the mission of the program and answer questions from the Board.  The program targets students who are at risk of dropping out of school, and trains these students in employability skills and career development.





A.                Second Reading:  Health Policies – JE, JLC, JLCA, JLCB, JLCC, JLCD and JLCE


A review and revision of the policy manual on health-related issues was presented for the Board’s second reading approval.  First reading approval was granted at the April meeting of the Board.  Mr. Berkley moved to approve the policies as presented for second reading.  Ms. Magness seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


B.                Revisions to Student Handbook, 2002-03


Dr. Watson presented proposed revisions to the Student handbook for Elementary, Middle, and Senior High School students.  Johnnie Johnson was present to review and discuss the policies relating to extracurricular, co-curricular and athletic activities.  Dr. Watson noted that the handbooks would be available on the District’s website for the next school year.  Dr. Mitchell made a motion to approve the revisions and changes to the handbook; Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


The Board took a brief recess and returned at 7:20 p.m.


C.                Personnel Changes


Personnel items were presented as a part of the Board’s agenda.  In addition, the nomination of Ms. Eunice Thrasher for the position of principal at Rightsell Elementary School was presented for the Board’s approval.  Ms. Thrasher was present and thanked the Board for giving her the opportunity to serve as the instructional leader at Rightsell.  Dr. Mitchell moved to approve the appointment of Eunice Thrasher as the principal of Rightsell Elementary School.  Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


On the remainder of the personnel items, Dr. Daugherty made a motion to approve the changes as presented in the agenda.  Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried 7- 0.





A.                Donations of Property


The Board was asked to approve acceptance of recent donations to the District. Mr. Kurrus read the listed donations.  Ms. Magness made a motion to accept the donations, Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.  Donations are listed in the following chart:








Fulbright Elementary School


$500.00 cash to be applied toward the purchase of new playground equipment


Dry cleaning coupons in the amount of $200.00 for the Silent Auction


Schickel’s Cleaners



DONATIONS:  (continued)





Geyer Springs Elementary School


$2,500.00 challenge grant toward the purchase of a new school sign


$100.00 cash toward the purchase of a new school sign


City of Little Rock with Geyer Springs Neighborhood Association


Theresa Lane


Jefferson Elementary School


Refreshments and lunch, valued at approximately $100.00 for Special Olympics Team


Play fort, valued at approximately $1,000.00 for the pre-K playground


Accelerated Reader test disk valued at $139.00


Harvest Foods Store #6168




Bob & Debbie Worthington



Jefferson SECME  Club


Pulaski Heights Elementary School


A combo punch and bind machine, valued at $427.00 to the kindergarten staff


Mr. & Mrs. William Griffin


Williams Magnet School


Paintings, valued at $400.00 to the art department


$11,000 cash to be used to purchase a new school sign, instructional materials, resource materials and special programs for teachers, student awards, certificates and incentives


Richard DeSpain and Betty Wright



Williams Magnet School PTA




Computer desk with hutch valued at approximately $300.00


Arkansas HIPPY Office




Assorted office furniture, valued at $4,670.00, for use where needed


Air Transport International


LRSD Professional Development Dept.


Books, valued at approximately $3,500.00 to the Mahlon Martin Professional Development Library


Cynthia Howell / Arkansas Democrat - Gazette



B.            Financial Report


Mr. Milhollen was present to review the financial reports printed in the Board's agenda.  He noted that the county collector’s office has done a good job of collecting delinquent taxes, therefore revenue from that source is being received in a more timely manner than in previous years.  He noted that the report included in the agenda is for 10 months of the fiscal year and that end-of-year budget preparation activities are in progress.  June 30 ends the current year, and the final 2001-02 budget report will be presented as soon as it is complete.  Ms. Magness made a motion to approve the reports as submitted.  Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.




A.     Second Reading:  Policy KBBA – Custodial and Non-custodial Parent Rights and Responsibilities


Policy KBBA, Custodial and Non-custodial Parent Rights and Responsibilities, was drafted to provide guidance to school personnel with regard to access to students and to school records by parents.  It was given first reading approval at the April Board meeting.  Dr. Mitchell made a motion to approve the policy on second reading.  Ms. Strickland seconded the motion, and it carried 7-0.



X.                 DISTRICT OPERATIONS


No report or action presented.



XI.               CLOSING REMARKS


A.     Superintendent’s Report:


Dr. James reminded Board members of the upcoming graduation dates.  He also noted that the June meeting of the Board had been rescheduled from Thursday, June 27 to Tuesday, June 25. 


He noted that he had spoken to the HIPPY students at their graduation ceremony and at the commencement program for the ACC. 


XII.             ADJOURNMENT


There being no further business before the Board, Ms. Magness moved to adjourn at 7:35 p.m.  Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.





APPROVED:  06-25-02                                Original documents signed by: 

            H. Baker Kurrus, President

            Tony Rose, Secretary