The Board of Directors of the Little Rock School District held its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 18, 2003, in the Boardroom of the Administration Building, 810 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. President Tony Rose presided.
Morris L. Holmes, Interim Superintendent
Beverly Griffin, Recorder of Minutes
I. CALL TO ORDER / ROLL CALL
Mr. Rose called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Six members of the Board were present at roll call; Ms. Strickland arrived at 5:40 p.m. In addition, student representative Keenan Williams from Hall High School was also present. The teacher representative did not attend.
II. PROCEDURAL MATTERS / WELCOMING COMMENTS
Mr. Rose welcomed the audience and asked Dr. Holmes to proceed with presentation of recognitions and citations.
III. REPORTS/RECOGNITIONS/PUBLIC COMMENTS
Dr. Holmes introduced Bernie Cox, head coach of the Central High Tigers football team, and Nancy Rousseau, Central’s principal. Representatives of the team were present to receive recognition for the Tiger’s statewide 5-A Championship win on December 6. All of the team members will receive a citation in honor of their achievement as a winning team, both on and off the field. Coach Cox was congratulated for 29 years of service as a coach and teacher at Central High School. Dr. Holmes noted that the team was recognized on the floor of the House and Senate at the Arkansas State Capitol earlier in the day.
Tasha Moore, a student at Hall High School, was recognized for submission of the winning artwork that will serve as the official logo for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program in Arkansas. Each of the Board members received a lapel pin of the logo designed by Tasha.
Trina Bright, Terrie Evans and Deborah Gross were recognized for achieving National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Completion of this certification requires hours of preparation and completion of intense coursework. These teachers were congratulated for their dedication to the teaching profession and for undertaking the challenge of national certification.
Dr. Holmes introduced Fred Boosey, theatre instructor at Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School. Mr. Boosey recently received the Governor’s Arts in Education Award from the Arkansas Arts Council for his work on the annual “Tales of the Crypt” project, and for a student performance in tribute to the September 11 tragedy entitled “The Long Goodbye.” Mr. Boosey has been teaching at Parkview for 25 years, and was cited for his dedication to the students of Parkview.
Superintendent’s citations were presented to Karon Lawson and Debra Murray in honor of their receiving Art Educators of the Year awards from Arkansas Art Educators. Ms. Lawson is the art specialist at Franklin Elementary School, and Ms. Murray is an art specialist at Parkview Magnet High School.
Shorice Long, teacher at Woodruff Elementary School, was nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics. The applications are due by May 2004, and the finalists will be announced later in the year. Ms. Long was wished the best of luck in her endeavors.
Lisa Black of the Public Education Foundation of Little Rock addressed the Board and the community regarding the Honor Card program of the Foundation. The $10.00 cards can be sent in recognition of individuals who have made significant contributions to the Little Rock educational community and students of the Little Rock School District. The funds generated by the honor card program will go into the scholarship and awards program of the Foundation. Ms. Black suggested the cards as a means of giving thanks to the teachers and people who work daily with our children.
Sandy Becker, the District’s Internal Auditor, also serves as the District’s Sharefest coordinator. Representatives of area churches who participated in Sharefest were invited to attend the Board meeting to be recognized for their service to the District and to the community. Present were: Scott Worthington, Fellowship Bible Church, who worked with Southwest Middle and Bale Elementary Schools; Don Wilson, Hunter United Methodist Church, who worked with Romine Elementary School; and Kevin Kelly, Second Baptist Church – Barrow Road, who worked with Henderson Middle School. Dave Hughey, Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, was unable to attend the meeting due to a holiday program at the church. Members of this church worked with Mabelvale Magnet Middle and Otter Creek Elementary Schools. Ward Hannah from the City of Little Rock, and David Lands from West Tree Service, were given thanks for their contributions and resources provided to make Sharefest a success.
Several employees were awarded citations in recognition of their retirement from the LRSD. Kenneth Beard, 15 years of service; Marsha Mahan, 13 years of service; Hazel May, 21 years with the LRSD; Shirley Rolax, 30 years with the LRSD; and Linda Shiflett, 16 years of service.
Keenan Williams from Hall High School was awarded a citation of appreciation for his service to the school by serving as ex officio representative to the Board for the month of December.
B. Partners in Education
Debbie Milam announced the new partnerships and introduced representatives from schools and businesses, as listed on the following page. Dr. Mitchell made a motion to accept the new partnerships, Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Booker Arts Magnet School,
represented by Vivian Johnson, in
Wonder State Odd Fellows Lodge #1, represented by Britt Simmons
Dodd Elementary School,
represented by Faith McLaughlin, in
Greater Friendship, Inc., represented by Pat Williams, Rev. B. E. & Dr. M. Dee Bennett
Gibbs Magnet School,
represented by Felicia Hobbs & Vicki
Gonterman, in partnership with
Heifer International, represented by Ann Owen
Mann Magnet Middle School,
represented by Jim Fullerton, in
Heifer International, represented by Ann Owen
Jefferson Elementary School, represented by Carol Sitlington & Lucy Rhodes, in partnership with Twin City Bank, Kavanaugh Branch, represented by Pris Skarda
Otter Creek Elementary School, in partnership with Bank of the Ozarks, represented by Lisa Smith
C. Remarks from Citizens
Grainger Ledbetter, Executive Director of the L. R. Classroom Teachers Association, was present at the meeting. He greeted the Board, but made no additional comments or presentation.
IV. REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Kurrus reported that he had enjoyed many of the District’s athletic events this year. He noted pride in our students’ sportsmanship and conduct, as well as in their athletic abilities. He congratulated all the teams, the players, the coaches, and the spirit groups. He had attended the Hall High School Jackets for Athletes program and invited the community to take a look at the renovation and construction completed at Hall High School.
In addition, Mr. Kurrus noted the sad news of the death of Frank Martin. Mr. Martin served many years as the Executive Director of the Classroom Teachers’ Association. Mr. Kurrus expressed great admiration for Mr. Martin and described him as tenacious, straight-forward, and a strong advocate for public education.
Mr. Day wished everyone a safe and happy winter holiday.
Dr. Daugherty seconded Mr. Kurrus’ remarks on the passing of Mr. Martin, and also wished the audience a happy holiday.
Mr. Berkley expressed appreciation for the sportsmanship of our student athletes and noted that he had enjoyed the Central High School football playoffs.
Ms. Strickland noted that her church, Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, had participated in Sharefest. Members of this church will be participating in a mentoring program at Otter Creek Elementary School, involving at least fifty members of the church.
Dr. Mitchell expressed respect for Frank Martin and the work that he did during his tenure with the Classroom Teachers’ Association. She also thanked all of the members of the churches who participated in Sharefest, noting that the involvement of the faith-based community in our schools is “a win-win” for everyone. She wished everyone a safe, restful, and peaceful holiday season.
Mr. Rose thanked Dr. Holmes and Mr. Babbs for their hard work on the student assignment plan proposal and for bringing forward a plan that the Board could adopt for the next school year.
Mr. Babbs reported on recent activities of the Student Registration Office. NCLB/School Choice options are being mailed to the parents of students involved in possible transfers. Additional statistics on the numbers of transfer requests received and the percentages of transfers approved will be provided to the Board as those numbers become available.
Mr. Babbs announced the dates of registration for the 2004-05 school year; January 26 through February 6. He expressed appreciation to the Board for approving the plan for the 2004-05 school year so that registration could proceed in a timely manner.
Dr. Stewart provided a brief update, reporting that the final tax settlement report had been received. He stated confidence that the estimates for tax revenue receipts will be met or exceeded, and that projections for budget development will proceed as the negotiations process moves forward.
Mr. Goodman reported that construction completion at Mann Magnet Middle School and Mabelvale Middle School would allow the move-in and transition to the new classroom additions over the winter holiday. Students will be able to occupy their new classrooms when they return to school on January 5. A dedication ceremony is planned at Mann, and will take place the first part of April. Additional information will be forthcoming as the plans take shape.
Mr. Becker was present and reported that his monthly summary report was printed in the agenda. He remains available to respond to any questions the Board might have regarding specific details contained in that summary.
Ms. Neal was present and reviewed the summary report provided in the Board’s agenda. She noted that Read180 software had been installed in five of the secondary schools to support reading achievement for below average readers. This software includes professional development activities for the teachers who are implementing the program.
Minutes from the regular meeting of the
Board of Directors held on
November 20, 2003, were presented for review and approval. Dr. Mitchell made a motion to approve the minutes as presented; Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
B. Personnel Changes
Routine personnel changes were printed in the Board’s agenda. Dr. Holmes recommended approval. Ms. Strickland made the motion to approve personnel items as presented. Dr. Mitchell seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.
First Reading – Policy Revisions:
IKF – General Education Graduation Requirements
Policy IKF General Education Graduation Requirements was presented for the Board’s review and first reading approval. Arkansas Act 1748 of 2001 was revised by Act 1729 of 2003, changing the grade range from K-9 to K-8 for the requirement of 20 minutes of physical activity three times each week. The policy revision will put the LRSD in compliance with the State law.
Mr. Glasgow responded to questions, and also presented the regulations governing this policy for the Board’s review. ID-R, Student Schedules, and IMP-R, Physical Education and Training, were briefly reviewed and will regulate the policy revisions related to physical education requirements. Mr. Berkley moved to approve policy IKF on first reading. Dr. Daugherty seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Revision of Regulation IKC-R / Re-taking a Course and Translating Grades
of Transfer Students
Mr. Glasgow presented a revision to Regulation IKC-R which governs implementation of Policy IKC, Class Rankings and Grade-Point Averages. Previously, Regulation IKC-R stated that students who make a “C” or “D” may retake a course to strengthen understanding and skills needed for advanced study and that “the second grade will replace the first grade in the calculation of the GPA and rank in class.” The revision will change that language to “the higher grade will be used in the calculation of the GPA and rank-in-class.”
In addition, the revision will clarify how transfer grades are to be recorded if they are not reported to us in the same format used by the LRSD. Some school districts report grades in percentages rather than in letter grades; consequently, those percentages must be translated in order to calculate the GPA and rank-in-class. The regulation will clarify that the percentage grades will be translated using the LRSD grading scale. No Board action is required for revision of regulations.
C. Program Evaluation for Mathematics and Science
The Program Evaluation for Mathematics and Science was presented for the Board’s review and approval. Under the terms of section 2.7.1 of the Revised Desegregation and Education Plan, the District is required to submit this program evaluation for District Court approval.
In addition to Mr. Glasgow, the evaluation team consisted of Dr. Don Wold, Vanessa Cleaver, and Dr. Ed Williams. Dr. Steve Ross, external program evaluation consultant, reviewed the evaluation and provided feedback. The executive summary of the final evaluation report was printed in the Board’s agenda. The full report was provided under separate cover, and Dr. Don Wold made a presentation of the findings at the agenda meeting on December 11.
Dr. Mitchell made a motion to approve the evaluation report; Ms. Strickland seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
VII. BUSINESS SERVICES
A. Employee Request to Conduct Business With the District
Don Stewart and Darral Paradis presented a request submitted by Ms. Jennie Cooper, teacher at LR Central High School. Under the terms of Arkansas Statute 6-24-119, Act 1599 of 2001, employees must receive permission from the Board prior to being allowed to do business with the District. Ms. Cooper is part owner of Soccer Plus, a sporting goods supplier, and requested the Board’s approval to sell Soccer equipment and uniforms to LRSD teams.
Ms. Cooper completed the state-required disclosure statement and asked for the Board’s permission to sell to the Central High School Soccer teams, and bid on soccer supplies for the other LRSD teams.
Mr. Berkley made a motion to approve the request, and Mr. Kurrus seconded the motion. A great deal of discussion followed; the Board expressed concerns about the limits for requirement of bidding for items and suggested there should be some monitoring or auditing of these purchases. It was suggested that the Board implement a policy that would require a bid process whenever the transaction involved doing business or making a purchase from an employee. The intent would be to avoid any appearance of impropriety. There was not a vote on the original motion.
Mr. Kurrus made a motion to table action; Mr. Day seconded the motion and it carried 6 – 1, with Dr. Mitchell casting the no vote.
B. 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. Student ex-officio Keenan Williams read the items listed in the Board’s agenda.
Mr. Day made a motion to accept the donated items, Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Central High School
TV, DVD player, videos and DVDs, valued at approximately $400.00 to Central’s 504 program
Corky’s barbeque, valued at $575.00 catered to the Central Tiger football team
$250.00 cash to Central’s baseball boosters
Hewlett Packard Laserjet IV printer valued at $300.00
Paul and Corky Schroeder
Kevin and Cathy Crass
Dr. Randal Hundley
Forest Park Elementary
Antique French bench, valued at $1,915.00
Dr. Reid and Susan Henry of Cobblestone and Vine
Parkview Magnet High School
Shirts, valued at approximately $350.00, and 50 hours volunteer service to Parkview Golf Team
Steve and Debbie Woosley
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 approve the reports as submitted, and Mr. Berkley seconded the motion. It carried 7-0.
VIII. CLOSING REMARKS
Dr. Holmes reminded the audience that the winter holiday was beginning the next day, and that all District offices would be closed until January 5, 2004. He wished the Board, employees, and the students and their families a safe and happy holiday.
There being no further business, Dr. Mitchell
moved to adjourn at 7:25 p.m.
Mr. Berkley seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
APPROVED: 01-22-04 Originals Signed by:
Tony Rose, President
R. Micheal Daugherty, Secretary