NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - Some local students will be changing schools in the 2015-16 school year.
Officials with the North Little Rock School District have released the following background information on the coming changes:
As a part of the NLR School District Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) approved by the NLR Board of Education in May 2011, the District will reduce the number of elementary schools from 13 to nine. In reducing the number of elementary schools, the attendance boundaries for all elementary schools in the District must be redrawn. A Demography Committee has been formed in the NLR School District comprised of patrons, principals, parents and business leaders and charged with redrawing the boundaries this spring. The boundary changes will not be effective until the 2015-2016 school year.
The CIP was comprised and approved after numerous community meetings were held in late 2010 and early 2011 throughout our community where parents, patrons, students and school leaders considered data from RSP, a demographer and DLR, the consultant hired by the NLR Board of Education. In developing the CIP plan during the 2010-2011 school year, participants of the community meetings also considered the needs of all NLR students and expectations from the business community as well as the forecasted enrollment projections by RSP based on current enrollment.
Keeping the original CIP within budget requires the NLR School District to continually evaluate current enrollment numbers and also projected enrollment as well as consider the educational needs of all students. Re-evaluation in school attendance and growth based on the Desegregation Settlement Agreement approved in January 2014 limits Legal Transfers from PCSSD for five years and therefore has altered the District’s original enrollment projects during the millage campaign.
The District is now beginning Phase II of the CIP which includes closing Redwood Early Childhood Center which serves approximately 250 preschool students and relocating these preschool students to Pike View Elementary School. As a part of the CIP, North Little Rock pre-k students will continue to be served in classrooms located in many elementary schools across the District. However, the state did not fund the portion of the CIP to remodel Pike View Elementary School for preschool students as State Facility Funds cannot be used for preschool. The District believes a preschool education is a vital component and a necessary foundation to the success of a child's education.
In order to meet the needs of all elementary students, preschool - fifth grade in North Little Rock, the District is considering new elementary boundaries and some preschool modifications to the CIP and would like to share information with you and also hear your comments at four Community Forums scheduled in April:
- April 8: Lakewood Middle School auditorium, 6-8 p.m.
- April 9: First Assembly of God sanctuary, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- April 10: First Baptist Church/Main Street sanctuary, 6-8 p.m.
- April 10: First Baptist Church/Scipio Jones sanctuary, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
The District is considering moving preschool students currently attending Redwood Early Childhood Center to Glenview Elementary and Seventh Street Elementary Schools beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. Pike View Elementary could be available to be re-purposed for District or community use. Elementary schools throughout the district would continue to serve preschool students. Some schools undergoing renovation in Phase II might increase the number of preschool students they will serve in order to fill the schools closer to capacity. The community is welcome to share thoughts and suggestions with the North Little Rock Leadership Team and Board of Education through email or at one of the Community Forums listed above.