May 22, 2003


The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, 2003, 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





Ms. Magness called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.  Six members of the Board were present at roll call; Dr. Daugherty arrived at 5:40 p.m.  Margaret Regnier, teacher ex officio representative from Mitchell Elementary School, and Kristian Henderson, student representative from Central High School, were also present.





Ms. Magness welcomed the audience and asked Dr. Mitchell to assist with the citations and presentations.


Kathy Farley, the EAST lab instructor at Mabelvale Middle School and several students from MMS presented to the Superintendent and Board members framed photographs taken from the international space station as part of the EAST lab instruction. 





A.                 Superintendent’s Citations


Dr. James named the five student artists who were selected as winners of the annual District art competition: Latarsha Burns from McClellan High School; Jeff Fuell, Parkview Magnet High School; Cynthia Garcia from J. A. Fair High School; Layet Johnson from Central High School; and Adriana Manzanalez from Hall High School.  Each of these students received a check in the amount of $200.00, and their artwork will hang in the administration building for public viewing.


The Duke University Talent Program identified thirty-eight seventh grade students from the Little Rock School District who achieved top scores on the ACT or SAT test.  These students will be recognized at the state ceremony and three will be recognized at the national ceremony for scoring among the top two percent in the nation.  These students are Stacy Coonce, Peter Liu and Anne Ye.  Dr. James asked these students to step forward and receive a certificate in recognition of their achievement: 


Melody Chang, Dylan Frost, Megan Jackson, Scotty Lankford, Peter Liu, Linsey Miller, Cameron Murray, Melissa Nichols, Hanna Roher, Hannah Smith, Russel Viegas, Sam Whitehorn, Anne Ye, and Elaine Zhou from Dunbar Magnet Middle School;


Jamie Coonce, Stacy Coonce and Sasha Ray from Forest Heights Middle School.


Geoffrey Jackson and Sarita Robinson from Henderson Magnet Middle School.  


Kelicia Hollis and Victoria Kreie from Mabelvale Magnet Middle School. 


Cyrus Bahrassa, Jillian Carroll, Samuel Clark, Maura Conder, Elizabeth Cox, Abigail Dobson, Patricia Graves, Dillion Hupp, Grace Nam and Jillian Peterson from Mann Magnet Middle School. 


Sarah Ball, Ellen Barber, Colton Koehler, Miles McCullough, Colin Rockefeller, David Steward and Kathryn Tull from Pulaski Heights Middle School. 


The Dunbar Magnet Middle School Odyssey of the Mind team will represent Arkansas at the OM World Finals at Iowa State University next week.  The team members were presented with citations in recognition of their achievement.  The students are:  Lindsey Aloway, Amanda Cazort, Ike Ferrell, Douglas Forrester, Carrie Hunt, Rebecca Rahn, and Tyler Ray.  Their coaches are Susan Cazort and Donna Hunt. 


Dr. James introduced the members of the Central High School Fed Challenge team.  This team recently won the state championship, beating the two-time defending champions.  The Fed Challenge competition researches the status of the national economy and makes recommendations for action as if they were the actual Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System.  Team members were presented citations in recognition of their achievement:  Kevin Luneau, David Mitchell, Jessica Marshall, Chris Burks, Shep Russell, and Daniel Liu.  Their sponsor is Sam Stueart.


The Gibbs Magnet Elementary School Voyager After School Program was recognized for volunteering over 50 hours of reading and learning at Catherine’s House.  The students selected books and read them to the children who are served at Catherine House, a local outreach program for young and single mothers.   The students are Tej Anand, Dylan Arnall, Cody Baggett, Tristan Bethea, Catherine Grant, Brendan Oman, Nia Robinson, Malika Toney, Aya Williams, and Trevor Wine.   Their sponsor is Sara Case.


Dr. James called the members of the Central High School Lady Tigers varsity women’s soccer team to the front.  These students won the women’s 5-A state soccer championship last weekend, playing their final game against Rogers High School.  The team members are:  Anne Claire Allen, Caroline Allen, Jamie Bandy, Lindsey Barron, Kate Burnett, Lauren Cloud, Camille Cook, Allison Corbin, Sally Cunningham, Riley Duke, Sheffield Duke, Stephanie England, Lizzy Gray, Elizabeth Harrell, Marissa Hayes, Cara Janton, Elizabeth Jones, Jessica Jones, Whitney Maloney, Kendall Polansky, Stephanie Rogers, Megan Russell, Lindsey Short, Rosalind Smith, Becca Vehik, Robin West, and Claire Wetzel.  Their coach is Keith McPherson, and David Duke is the assistant coach and manager.  The team’s physical therapist is Bill Bandy. 


The Central High School men’s and women’s tennis teams also won this year’s state 5-A championships.  The women’s team members are:  Ashley Batchelor, Dovie Dockery, Ashley Driver, Barrett Jones, Lauren Karney, Jessica Marshall, Holly McGetrick, Nancy Mitchell, Collins Speed, and Presley Thomas. 


The men’s team members are:  Matthew Anglo, Scott Bacon, Nick Clifford, Andrew Crone, Alex DePriest, Brock Dial, Andrew Humphrey, Daniel Krupitsky, Kevin Luneau, Sam McSpadden, David Mitchell, Jay Murphy, Blake Ross, John Shults, and Peter Thomas.  The team coach is Joy Thompson, and the team manager is Megan Heard. 


The final superintendent’s citations were presented to the ex-officio representatives for the month of May; Margaret Regnier, teacher at Mitchell Elementary School, and Kristian Henderson, student at Central High School.


Ms. Magness presented Dr. James with a plaque in recognition of his accomplishments and in appreciation for his service as superintendent for the past two years.  It was announced that this would be Dr. James’ final LRSD board meeting.  He was applauded for overseeing the District during the achievement of unitary status in all but one area, for engaging the community as active partners by the establishment of the Public Education Foundation of Little Rock, for leading with consistency to improve student achievement, for taking bold and innovative steps in the areas of curriculum and instructional reform, and for implementing the SREB initiative in all five high schools and four middle schools.


B.        Remarks from Citizens


Claudius Johnson stated concerns with schools in Southwest Little Rock.  He described instances where students in elementary school are not learning to read, and expressed his belief that there is a wide variation in the quality of education in the elementary schools in Little Rock.  He noted that the enrollment at Cloverdale Middle School and McClellan High School is nearing 90% Black and he is concerned that the attendance zones are drawn to disadvantage students who live in that part of Little Rock. 


Henri Jean Carey, Vice President of the National Dunbar Alumni Association, asked for additional space at Dunbar Magnet Middle School for display of a traveling exhibit and the permanent collection of Dunbar memorabilia.  She stated concerns about the construction and renovation projects at Dunbar and wanted the Board to be aware that they didn’t want to get “lost.”


Anita Boone, parent of students at J. A. Fair and Mabelvale Magnet Middle School, stated concerns about services available to students whose parents are terminally ill.  She has been ill, and has had a difficult year trying to obtain educational services for her 504 and special education students.  She asked the Board to make provisions to help students whose parents are ill. 


Alma Viscarra works for a bicultural newspaper.  She stated that Hispanic students have been prevented from enrolling at Rockefeller Elementary School in the 3- and 4-year-old programs.   She asked for consideration to allow 3 and 4 year olds to attend schools with their older siblings and to provide more classes for 3 and 4 year old children.  


C.        Little Rock Classroom Teachers Association


No report.


            D.        Joshua Intervenors


No report.





A.        Remarks from Board Members


Dr. Mitchell reported that she had attended the Adult Education graduation ceremony on Saturday.  She commended Paulette Martin and the Adult Education staff for the hard work they do and congratulated the adult graduates for their perseverance in completing the GED program.  Dr. Mitchell had also attended the kindergarten graduation at Rightsell Academy.  She expressed sadness that Dr. James is leaving and stated that we will miss him, but encouraged him to continue to do good work for children. 


Mr. Kurrus thanked the parents who volunteer in our schools and expressed appreciation for our patrons - - the families who entrust us with their children.  He remarked on personal, positive experiences with Fulbright Elementary School, Forest Heights Middle School and Central High School.  He noted that even though the District has had several superintendents over the past few years, the stability at the school level in building administration and teaching staff is remarkable. 


Dr. Daugherty stated that we are fortunate to have quality teachers in our District, noting that the current ex-officio Board member, Ms. Regnier, had taught his son in elementary school.


B.                Desegregation Update


Mr. Babbs was present, but did not have a report or comments. 


C.                Budget Update


Dr. Stewart reviewed the current financial status of the District, noting that we remain fairly close to the predicted ending balance for this school year.  He noted the recent announcement of additional state budget cuts in excess of $800,000, which will affect our overall bottom line and operations for next year.  We have received figures from the assessor’s office, which will allow us to more accurately predict revenue.  As has been noted previously, Dr. Stewart stated that we expect to experience “zero growth” as a result of fewer property assessments and other factors which will result in a negative impact to our budget. 


D.                Construction Report: Proposed Bond Projects


Mr. Goodman presented his report and thanked Dr. James for the opportunity to work with him.  In addition to the monthly summary, Mr. Goodman turned to Doug Eaton for a status report on individual construction and renovations projects.  Mr. Eaton provided a summary report on the Wakefield School reconstruction project, and briefly brought the Board up to date on other on-going projects.  It was noted that several major projects will be undertaken over the summer months and it is hopeful that the community will take note of the status of current projects. 


E.                 Internal Auditors Report


Mr. Becker was present, and his report was part of the Board’s agenda.





A.                 Minutes


Minutes from the regular meeting of the Board of Directors held on April 24, and from a special meeting held on April 28, 2003, were presented for review and approval.    Mr. Berkley made a motion to approve the minutes as presented; Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.



B.                Personnel Changes


Routine personnel changes were printed in the Board’s agenda.  In addition, a slip-sheet requesting approval of an employee resignation was included for consideration and approval.  Mr. Rose moved to approve the changes as presented; Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.





A.                  Extension of EDS Contract


Lucy Neal and John Ruffins presented their request for approval to extend the contract with the District’s technology consulting firm, EDS.  EDS has assisted the LRSD staff in developing the technology plan and implementing a wide range of services including installation and operation of the wide area network, the telephone system, cabling, media retrieval systems, and assistance with the e-rate applications.  The current contract expires on
June 30, 2003, and a one-year extension was requested for the purpose of maintaining and supporting the current levels of service.  During the final year under the contract, District personnel will receive training to gradually take over the duties that have been performed by EDS staff. 


Mr. Berkley moved to approve the one-year extension of the EDS contract.  Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


B.                 Update on Progress to Complete Remaining Program Evaluations


Dr. James provided a written status report on plans for completion of required program evaluations.  Dr. Steve Ross will continue to work with Dr. Ed Williams and PRE staff to evaluate the District’s literacy programs to satisfy requirements of the federal courts.  Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.


C.                Grant Proposal – Enhancing Education Through Technology


Linda Austin and Lucy Neal presented a request to submit a Technology Grant application through the Arkansas Department of Education.  The Enhancing Education Through Technology Grants are made available through the U.S. Department of Education No Child Left Behind legislation. 


The one-year grant would provide up to $506,552.00 to provide tri-district professional development activities, purchased professional development and technical services, UALR tuition and laptop computers for 23 Cyber teachers and a computer lab for Woodruff and Dodd Elementary schools. 


Dr. Mitchell moved to approve the submission of the grant application.  Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


D.                Art, Music and Drama Textbook Adoption, Grades 6 - 12


The Art, Music and Drama Textbook Committee submitted their recommendations for the 2003-2006 textbook adoption cycle.  Mr. Fletcher was present to review the selections, and requested the board’s approval.  Mr. Kurrus made a motion to approve the selected textbooks.  Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.




A.                 Student Handbook Revisions


Linda Watson presented the recommended revisions to the 2003-2004 student handbooks, which were submitted by the District-wide Handbook Committee.  The Handbooks will be printed and provided to each student when they return to school in August.  Dr. Mitchell moved to approve the recommended revisions, Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.




A.                 Annual Audit Report and Extension of Audit Services Contract


Mr. Milhollen provided a brief summary of the District’s Annual Financial Audit for the 2001-02 fiscal year.  The audit, prepared by Thomas & Thomas, Certified Public Accountants, was presented for the Board’s review at the
May 8 agenda meeting.  At that time, Mr. Don Smith, managing partner at Thomas & Thomas, reviewed the full report and responded to questions from the Board.  Mr. Berkley made a motion to accept the annual report as presented.  Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion and it
carried unanimously.


B.                Resolution:  Sale of Fulbright Elementary School Property


St. James United Methodist Church made an offer to purchase a portion of the property near Fulbright Elementary School.  The Board was asked to approve a resolution authorizing the administration to sell the property as excess and once that was approved, approve the sale. 


Mr. Berkley moved to approve the resolution declaring surplus property on the site of Fulbright Elementary School.  Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.  A copy of the resolution is attached to these minutes. 


An offer and acceptance for the Fulbright Elementary School surplus property was presented for the Board’s review and approval.  St. James United Methodist Church offered to pay $250,000 for the property, which will be placed in the building fund of the District.  Dr. Mitchell made a motion to approve the offer and acceptance.  Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried 7-0.


C.                Donations of Property


The Board was asked to approve acceptance of recent donations to the District.   Kristian Henderson, student representative from Central High School, read the listed donations.    Mr. Rose made a motion to accept the donated items;
Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.  The donations are listed in the following chart:








Cloverdale Magnet Middle School


$2,000.00 cash to be used for achievement awards and a school marquee


Baseline Wal-Mart Store


Jefferson Elementary School


Various food items, for use in pancake breakfast fundraiser for playground improvements




Finkbeiner Food Service ($75.00)


Kroger, 1900 N. Polk ($60.00)


Kroger, 14000 Hwy 10 ($25.00)


Harvest Foods ($50.00)


McClellan Magnet High School


$1,000 cash for boys baseball program; $250.00 cash for football program; $1,000 bonus grant to be used to benefit the student body


Wal-Mart Foundation


Williams Magnet Elementary School


$15,484.00 cash to be used for various projects and events


Williams Magnet School PTA



B.        Financial Report


Dr. Stewart reviewed the financial reports printed in the Board’s agenda.  In addition, he briefly discussed the projected additional expense for teacher retirement benefits in excess of $1.2 million and the possibility that the state will announce additional revenue reductions in the near future.  Although the final figures are still unknown, it is expected that we will have less revenue for operations in the 2003-04 school year.  Mr. Berkley made a motion to approve the reports as presented.    Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried 7-0.





A.           PTAS Evaluation


The agenda was reordered to allow the Professional Teacher Appraisal System presentation to be conducted earlier in this agenda.  Sadie Mitchell, Lloyd Sain, and members of the PTAS committee were present and reviewed the evaluation system and documentation.    The Board previously approved the Track I system in April 2002, and probationary teachers have been evaluated using this instrument and process during the 2002-03 school year.  Training sessions have been conducted during this school year, and principals and assistant principals have all had an opportunity to receive sufficient instruction on the use of the new system.    Ms. Mitchell, Dr. Sain and the committee recommended the Board’s approval for implementation of the new appraisal system.


Dr. Mitchell made a motion to approve the implementation of the PTAS.  Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.


B.          Evaluation of Athletic Coaches


Beverly Williams and Johnny Johnson presented an evaluation document for the District’s athletic coaches, and asked for the Board’s review and approval.  A committee of coaches and other District administrators developed the document as required by Article 21, Section H of the PN agreement.  Mr. Rose moved to approve the document as presented.  Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.



X.                 CLOSING REMARKS


A.     Superintendent’s Report


Dr. James reminded the Board that high school graduations were scheduled for next week, Tuesday through Thursday.  He commented briefly on the ACC graduation program which had been held earlier this week, and commended the graduates for their hard work in completion of their high school course requirements.




Employee hearings had been scheduled but were cancelled prior to the meeting.




On a motion by Mr. Rose, seconded by Dr. Daugherty, the Board convened an executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel issues.  They were to continue the review of applications for the position of Superintendent of Schools. 


The Board returned from executive session at 8:50 p.m. and reporting no action had been taken. 





There being no further business. Dr. Mitchell moved to adjourn at 8:50 p.m. 
Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.





APPROVED:  _    06-26-03       __                         Originals Signed by:  

                        Judy Magness, President

Larry Berkley, Secretary