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Superintendent’s Listen & Learn Entry Plan

Michael A. Poore, Superintendent (effective July 1, 2016)
Little Rock School District

Little Rock Skyline
 

Introduction and Purpose

Picture of Mike PooreLittle Rock is a vibrant and unique city with a long, rich heritage of cultural diversity.  I am excited and humbled to serve as the new superintendent (effective July 1, 2016) of this historic school district. I take this opportunity very seriously and will perform my job with energy, enthusiasm, and commitment.  I will “hit the ground listening and learning” in order to gather as much information from stakeholders within the schools, as well as from parents and community members. I firmly believe that the greatest asset the Little Rock School District (LRSD) has is the passion of its people. This plan is another step forward in returning LRSD to local control.  

    The purpose of this entry plan is to establish a set of activities that will guide my transition into the district and community. The activities described below will utilize an Appreciative Inquiry approach to elicit direction from the community.  In its simplistic form, Appreciative Inquiry seeks to understand key commitments and objectives that must be maintained. Furthermore, it allows the community to share its most important aspirations.

    The following activities will be accomplished as we prepare for the first day our students return in August for the 2016-2017 school year:

Otter Creek Educator Among 12 Finalist Teams for National Learning Challenge

“Leaning Forward” and the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future (NCTAF) recently selected 12 finalist teams in its “Agents for Learning” challenge. Lori Martin, an Otter Creek teacher, was among the 12 teams representing 56 teachers, administrators, and learning leaders from 12 different states. Each team proposed plans describing a comprehensive vision for effective professional learning, identified specific needs, strategies to address those needs, and outlined roles and responsibilities for states, districts, and individual educators to achieve that vision.

LRSD Students Invited to Submit Art for School Award and Marketing Competition

Bus with door open and smiling bus driver
 
Picture of School bus with opened doors, the female bus driver with a yellow hat is smiling at you
In an effort to highlight the school bus experience, First Student has organized an art contest for key district partners, such as Little Rock School District, to help communicate the idea that “Happiness Starts with YellowTM”. Students are encouraged to use their imaginations and draw whatever their creative young minds dream up involving the yellow school bus. Some may choose to depict friendships on the bus, studying on the bus, or even bus drivers. The artwork should convey whatever the student associates with happiness while riding the bus. A First Student school bus must be featured somewhere within the artwork.
 

LRSD Announces Summer Meal Service

To see a close up version of the list of summer meal service sites, click here (PDF).

Screenshot of Summer Food Program Schedule

Temporary Closings at Scott Field and McClellan High School

Warning Illustration usually used in Highway Signs (black and yellow bars)Scott Field, located on the campus of Forest Heights STEM Academy, will be closed for approximately three weeks beginning June 20, 2016. The gates will remain locked during surface repair.

The McClellan High School football stadium and field will be closed this summer in preparation for another winning football season. Major renovations will include upgrades to the fence, field, and press box.

Please be patient with us as we work to improve our facilities to better serve the needs of students. Thank you for your support.

Important Information about Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Picture of smiling woman with a bottle of water in her handDehydration occurs when the amount a person is drinking is less than the amount of fluids lost through sweating, urination, diarrhea or vomiting.  Dehydration is very common when exercising outside, and it can lead to more serious problems like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  It’s important to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Click here to download the flyer (pagina dos en Español).

Signs of dehydration:
•          Thirst
•          Dry or sticky mouth
•          Headache
•          Muscle cramping
•          Irritability
•          Extreme fatigue or weakness
•          Dizziness

Talk with your children to make sure they’re taking the right steps to prevent dehydration while playing. Preventing dehydration will keep your child safe from more serious problems like heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.

Make sure they:
•          Drink water 30 minutes before play begins.
•          Take a break every 15-20 min-utes to drink more.  Don’t wait for a child to
            tell you they are thirsty.
•          Drink plenty of water after the play ends.

12 LRSD Schools Receive 32 OEP Awards for Academic Achievement

Two icons of awards from the University of Arkansas College of Education for Best test scores in LIteracy and MathThe Office of Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas recognized 12 LRSD schools with a combined total of 32 awards for top performance on the PARCC exams during the 2014-15 academic year.

Forest Park Elementary School won the top spot in every elementary achievement and performance category.
• Rank #1: State Top 20 Overall PARCC Achievement
• Rank #1: Central Region Overall PARCC Performance
• Rank #1: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC Math Achievement
• Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 Elementary Schools PARCC Math performance
• Rank #1: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC  Literacy Achievement
• Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 Elementary Schools PARCC Literacy performance

Don Roberts Elementary School was also recognized in every elementary achievement and performance category.
Rank #4: State Top 20 Overall PARCC Achievement
Rank #3: Central Region Overall PARCC Performance
Rank #5: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC Math Achievement
Rank #4: Central Region Top 5 Elementary Schools PARCC Math performance
Rank #2: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC  Literacy Achievement
Rank #2:  Central Region Top 5 Elementary Schools PARCC Literacy performance

Four additional LRSD elementary schools received OEP Awards.

Gibbs Magnet Elementary School was recognized for literacy achievement and performance.
Rank #4: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #4: Central Region Top 5 Elementary Schools PARCC Literacy performance 

Jefferson Elementary School was recognized for literacy achievement.
Rank #9: State Top 10 Elementary Schools PARCC  Literacy Achievement

Three LRSD elementary schools were recognized for “beating the odds” with top performances among “high poverty” elementary schools in the state and region.

Forest Heights STEM Academy was recognized in four categories.
Rank #3: State Top 10 “High Poverty” Overall PARCC Achievement
Rank #2: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” Overall PARCC Math
Rank #2: State Top 10 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy

Geyer Springs Gifted & Talented Academy was recognized in two categories.
Rank #8: State Top 10 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #2: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy Achievement

Terry Elementary was ranked #3 among  “High Poverty” elementary schools in Central Arkansas based on PARCC Math.

Otter Creek Elementary was ranked #4 among “High Poverty” elementary schools in Central Arkansas on PARCC Literacy.

Both Pulaski Heights Middle School and Mann Magnet Middle School received OEP Awards.

Pulaski Heights Middle School was ranked #4 in the central region for middle school literacy performance.

Mann Magnet Middle School was recognized in three “beating the odds” categories.
Rank #7: State Top 10 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Math Achievement

Two LRSD high schools received OEP Awards.

Parkview Magnet High School was recognized in three achievement categories.
Rank #5: State Top 10 Overall PARCC Achievement
Rank #7: State Top 10 PARCC Literacy Achievement
Rank #1: Central Region Top 5 PARCC Literacy Performance

J.A. Fair High School was recognized for high achievement among high poverty schools in for math and literacy.
Rank #4: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Math
Rank #4: Central Region Top 5 “High Poverty” PARCC Literacy

Important Announcement Regarding Transfer With No Transportation (TNT)

Please be reminded our TNT (Transfer with No Transportation) application process will begin Monday, June 13, through Friday, June 17 at the LRSD Student Registration Office, located at 501 Sherman Street from 8:00-5:00.  Families will be notified July 1, 2016.

TNTs will be decided on a first-come, first- served basis, as well as seat availability. 

 

McClellan Football Field Temporarily Closed for Renovations

Temporary closing of football field graphicJune 7, 2016—In preparation for another winning football season, the Little Rock School District will conduct major renovations this summer on the football field at McClellan High School. This will include upgrades to the fence, field, and press box. When this extensive project begins, the field will be closed for public use until further notice. Please be patient with us as we work to improve our facilities to better serve the needs of students. Thank you for your support.

Agenda and Meeting Date Set for LR Area Public Education Stakeholder Group

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM THE ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:

The June 6 agenda for the Little Rock Area Public Education Stakeholder Group meeting is now posted on the ADE Website on the State Board Agenda Page http://www.arkansased.gov/state-board/meeting-agenda.

Information from Arkansas Department of Education Regarding LRSD Community Advisory Board

 

LRSD Community Advisory Board Members

The State Board of Education approved in July the list of candidates recommended by Commissioner Johnny Key to serve as LRSD Community Advisory Board (CAB) members.  The CAB consists of representatives from each of the seven (7) LRSD school zones.  Members and their zones are listed below:

Chauncey Holloman – Zone 1

Maria Chavarria-Garcia – Zone 2

Melanie Fox – Zone 3

Jeff Wood – Zone 4

Larry Clark – Zone 5

Information from Arkansas Department of Education Regarding Public Education Stakeholder Group

Please read the information in the following attachments from the Arkansas Department of Education regarding estabishing a Little Rock area Public Education Stakeholder Group.  This information is in English and Spanish.

Little Rock Area Public Education Stakeholder Group

Little Rock Area Public Education Stakeholder Group - Spanish

LRSD Civic Advisory Committee Shares Stakeholder Survey Results

In conjunction with their regular monthly meeting, members of the LRSD Civic Advisory Committee will share results of a recent survey of LRSD students, parents, staff and community members Thursday, May 19, 2016, 5 p.m., at Horace Mann Magnet Middle School, 1000 E. Roosevelt Rd.

Proposed 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Submission

The Little Rock School District (LRSD) intends to submit 21st Century Community Learning Center applications for Dunbar Magnet Middle School and Mabelvale Middle School. The 21st Century grant seeks to establish out-of-school programming, such as after school and summer programs, for the school and surrounding community. The deadline is May 19, 2016. Volunteers and community partners are welcome. For more information contact either of the following LRSD staff members:

Central High 9th Grader to Compete at  GENIUS Olympiad 

Pollution. Overcrowding. Global Warming. Environmental deterioration is knocking at the door of millions of people world-wide. While many ignore the knock, Little Rock Central High Ninth Grader Meghana Bollimpalli is among the high school students from around the world answering the call for change at the GENIUS Olympiad. As a result of her work, she has been named a finalist among thousands of applicants and will compete at the GENIUS Olympiad beginning June 13, 2016.
 

LRSD Continues to Provide Power Snacks

Supper meals, better known in Little Rock Schools as  “Power Snacks" are still being offered at the school sites listed below immediately after school.  The At Risk After School Meal Program is offered to anyone who is 18 years of age or younger.  This program is sponsored by the USDA, and administered by the Department of Human Service’s At Risk After School Programs.  Each program is open to the public and meal service is offered immediately after school in each cafeteria.  For group participation, please call the LRSD’s Child Nutrition Department at (501) 447-2450.  Participants who are not enrolled in Little Rock School District must enter the facility through the principal’s office.  Menus for the At Risk Program are posted on the Child Nutrition website of LRSD.

Otter Creek Educator Named LRSD Teacher of the Year

           Picture of Special Education Teacher Emma Mateo from Otter Creek Elementary celebrating as she is named the 2016 Marian G. Lacey Educator of the Year
                                               Emma Mateo, 2016 LRSD Teacher of the Year

Special Education Teacher Emma Mateo, Otter Creek Elementary, was named  2016 Marian G. Lacey Educator of the Year for the Little Rock School District during the annual Crystal Awards Gala Monday night at the Statehouse Convention Center, attended by nearly 700 guests.  Picture of April Rike, and Wanda Keith, Yvonne Bolden posing with Baker Kurrus and Marvin BurtonLevel winners for 2016 include:  April Rike, Williams Magnet Elementary School; Yvonne Bolden, Horace Mann Magnet Middle School; and Wanda Keith, McClellan High School.  These outstanding educators along with another 63 school-level winners were honored Monday night.   

These teachers, deemed the best of the best,  were selected by their peers to represent their schools at the campus level.  Level winners, representing elementary, middle and high school teachers, completed a rigorous application process and were ultimately chosen by a panel of judges.  The overall LRSD Teacher of the Year is named from among this group, earning the prestigious Marian G. Lacey Educator of the Year Award.

(In photos to the left, April Rike, Elementary Teacher of the Year and Wanda Keith, High School Teacher of the Year - above, and Yvonne Bolden, Middle School Teacher of the Year - below)

As the overall LRSD Teacher of the Year, Mateo will now have the opportunity to compete at the state level.  In the past two years, the LRSD Teacher of the Year has been selected as a regional Teacher of the Year finalist.

ADE Commissioner Johnny Key Issues New Statement Regarding LRSD

April 22, 2016 - Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key issued a new statement today regarding the Little Rock School District.  To read the statement, click here.

Joint Message from Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key and Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus

April 20, 2016 -The Arkansas Department of Education and Little Rock School District remain committed to providing student-focused learning opportunities and achieving academic excellence.

Today, the dedicated employees of the Little Rock School District opened schools, provided transportation, served lunch, and taught students. Plans to open a new middle school in west Little Rock and build a new high school in southwest Little Rock continue to move forward. The new administration will continue building upon the foundation to ensure that students have rich and rewarding educational experiences and are prepared for college and career.

The district is dependent on hardworking staff, committed parents, and steadfast community support. Support from these groups is needed to aid in a successful transition. By working together, we can develop and implement a thoughtful, forward-looking process that prepares the district for sustainability, growth and student success.

 

Michael Poore Will Succeed Baker Kurrus as LRSD Superintendent in July

Picture of Michael Poore

Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key announced today that Michael Poore has been named the Little Rock School District superintendent
effective July 1. 

Poore is currently the superintendent of the Bentonville School District, a position he has held since June 2011.  He will succeed current Superintendent Baker Kurrus, whose contract expires at the end of June.

“A year ago Baker Kurrus was willing to take on an enormous task, and what he has accomplished since taking the reins last May has set a solid foundation for the future,” Key said. “He has restored trust, empowered educators, and improved communication and accountability. Under Baker’s leadership there has been a renewed focus on teaching and learning. He has led the district in preparing for the future in the areas of facilities and finances. He was the right person to lead LRSD during a critical time of uncertainty. Michael Poore is a strong instructional leader who will build on the foundation that Baker has established. As an administrator, Mike has developed initiatives through which educators, administrators and communities have worked collaboratively to impact student achievement. He is the right person to lead LRSD in the next steps toward achieving academic excellence throughout the district.”

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