Lamar School District
Annual Public Meeting
October 10, 2022
Our current school enrollment is 1,218 students in grades K-12, compared with 1,292 last year, 1,307 in 2020, 1,332 in 2019, 1,353 in 2018, and 1,342 in 2017. We also have an additional 58 students in our Pre-School program, for a total of 1,276 students on campus.
We currently have four teachers on Alternative Learning Plans. They are certified teachers teaching out of their content area. Their ALP allows them to become certified in the correct content area with a plan of study. Sometimes, it is as simple as passing another Praxis exam, while at other times, several courses may be needed to go with the Praxis exam.
Wellness Center Information
River Valley Primary Care Services is our on-campus Health Clinic to both students and the public. Right now the Dr. is her one day a week. We have on ARPRN 4 days a week, and two nurses working at the clinic 5 days a week. We offer Physical and Mental encounters as needed on a daily basis.
We received the STARLITE Grant through UAMS for $20K a year for three years. This grant will be utilized for Behavioral, Mental, and Physical Health for all students’ campus wide. These services will be provided through UAMS to provide training to faculty and staff members. We are in our final year of the grant cycle.
The BMI rate for overweight or obese in the high school was 45.1% for the 21-22sy, that number has slowly continued to trend down from last year.
The BMI rate for overweight or obese in the middle school was 34.2% for the 21-22sy, that number has continued to trend down from last year.
The BMI rate for overweight or obese in the elementary school was 24.4% for the 21-22sy, that number has continued to trend down from last year. We will continue our focus on nutritional education and the promotion of physical activity.
These BMI rates are a reflection our student population that was on campus during covid. These rates are not the most accurate depiction of current state. I expect these numbers to be up for this school year but that is only because the sample will look very different than it did at the time these numbers were taken.
Our goal is and has always been to provide a warm, safe, and dry environment for our student so that they might have the greatest opportunity to receive an education. We use data driven, and research based strategies to increase student understanding and retention. Our focus is to have our Students College and/or Career Ready when they graduate, so that they can become productive citizens and achieve their goals in life.
Please visit our website to view changes at Lamar. https://www.lamarwarriors.org/
Gifted and Talented Report to the Public
During the 2022-2023 school year, 132 students are currently being served in the Lamar Gifted and Talented Program. There are 49 students that are being served in the pull-out program from 3rd-6th grade. Gifted students in 7th-12th grades are being served in Advanced Placement classes, concurrent online classes, and differentiation lesson plans in core content areas. All teachers who teach a core content area which includes Mathematics, Science, English, and History, are trained how to differentiate lessons by Guy Fenter Education Service Co-Op. Karen Grady is our GT specialist at Guy Fenter who offers this training.
Mrs. Brown sees each kindergarten through second grade class once a week for the enrichment program. The lessons taught will enrich the elementary curriculum as well as provide time for critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and creativity. We also try to incorporate STEM into the enrichment lesson at least once a month. During these lessons, Mrs. Brown has the opportunity to observe and become acquainted with potential students who will be referred for services in the gifted and talented program. She will be able to collect data on students who show gifted and talented characteristics.
Students that are placed in the G/T program receive additional instruction through the pull-out program. The students who receive services in 3rd and 4th grade are pulled out of class for a total of 150 minutes per week. The 5th and 6th grade are pulled out of class for a total of 105 minutes per week while receiving differentiated lessons from core content teachers. During pull-out, students are exposed to more in-depth problem solving skills, independent research, real-world application of knowledge, and opportunities for creativity. They especially enjoy project based learning and STEM activities.
Elementary Quiz Bowl is available to 4th through 6th grade G/T students. This year, students will have the opportunity to play practice matches in class. Guy Fenter will also hold an in-person quiz bowl tournament during the Spring Semester. Last year, the 4th grade Quiz Bowl team won 2nd place in the Guy Fenter tournament. Both 5th and 6th grade teams made it to the quarterfinals, but did not place. All three teams did a great job and represented Lamar School District well. We are hoping to attend a chess tournament this year. We have not been able to go the last couple of years due to Covid restraints. Mrs. Brown will continue to hold unofficial STEM competitions within the classroom. There are a variety of sections to compete in, including robotics. The students thoroughly enjoy the STEM competitions and learn many real world lessons.
This year we will continue to learn about coding and robotics. The students will be using different types of robots this year that they must learn to code. Kindergarten, first, and second grade students will continue to learn about basic coding using bee bots and online coding programs. The GT program has a whole class set of the bee bots.
Each G/T pull-out class will have the opportunity to go on an educational field trip this school year. We will also continue to use some virtual field trip options. Karen Grady, the GT specialist from Guy Fenter, is excellent with providing us free access to virtual field trips.
Last year, the Lamar School District Gifted and Talented Program was awarded the ACT 56 Award. This is an award that recognizes outstanding gifted programs in Arkansas.
Lamar High School has a total enrollment of 360
Lamar High School is fully accredited and all of our teachers are highly qualified. We also have 6 teachers who are National Board Certified.
Targeted areas in the Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (ASCIP) continue to be Math and Literacy and Science.
Testing – Students in grades 9-12 have already begun testing in math and literacy through STAR math/reading diagnostic assessments, which are given through the English and Math Departments. These results are analyzed and provide helpful feedback for the teachers in those subjects to use now with their students. In the spring, the ACT Aspire summative assessments will be administered to all 9th and 10th grade students, and the actual ACT will be offered to all 11th grade students. Results from all of these will be used to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and develop individual instructional plans for addressing unfinished learning and shape decisions to be made for new learning. Additionally, local common formative assessment reading screeners that align with the Science of Reading will be used to identify areas of need, for point in time remediation and enrichment needs in all grades and subject areas.
Technology: We are in compliance to meet the needs of the state mandated broad band and Wi-Fi requirements. Our network is safe and secure meeting the state requirements of the Child Internet Pornography Act. All of our classrooms incorporate wireless and Smart Technology and we have the resources available to revert to a student/chrome book 1to 1 ratio in the event that we have to pivot to Virtual this year.
Our Distance Learning Center continues to serve the needs of our students. We currently are offering courses such as College Algebra, Eng. Comp I and II, Anatomy and Physiology, Computer Programming, High School Physics, ACT Prep, Introduction to Careers in Law Enforcement, Psychology, Intro to Medical Professions, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, AP Literature and Fashion Merchandising ,etc.
NSL Funding will be used to for 9-12 orientation camps, the A.R. Reader Program, materials and supplies for Math and Literacy, Parental Involvement, SMART Technologies and USA Test Prep.
Test Scores – not where would like them to be, but happy we are at or above the state average in Math, English and Science.
Our Goals for the 2022-2023 – Provide all students with support, resources and learning opportunities to address learning gaps, while helping students attain grade - level knowledge, due to the loss of consistent instruction these last two years. In addition, we are implementing more opportunities for students to explore career paths and options. We will be accomplishing this with such programs as the ASVAB from the military, through a new program called ACT Work Keys, through our individual Student Success Plans, as well as other experiences we can facilitate for our students such as partnering with the Johnson Co. Chamber of Commerce and similar entities to connect guest speakers from various professions with our students.
Last year was a complete year except for a few AMI days. We look forward to another great year with little to no interruptions. Our test scores were good, coming from the first almost full year of face to face learning, from last spring. Most students were getting back on track with being in school and little virtual days.
Our teachers are working towards getting all students back into face to face classrooms. We believe face to face is where students learn better and have more opportunities for in depth learning, investigation, formulating thoughts and ideas.
We had several students regain credit during this past summer school. We offered Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language as classes. There were three teachers that monitored and remediated students as needed for these three weeks, with the curriculum offered on line through APEX learning.
We continue to offer tutoring in all subjects on Tuesday and Thursday after school from 3:30 - 4:30. We have at least three teachers for the students to get remediation from. If needed we will add teachers as needed.
We continue to use SONDAY, Barton and Heggerty for students that are in need of reading support and interventions. Tier II students are pulled out and worked with one on one or small congruent groups. These students are identified with several different screening tools. We then have a RTI team meeting to place students according to their deficits. Some teachers will be using these in their small group classrooms as well.We have two full time Para’s that give this support and a part time. Other students that are TierII or lower, will receive support in their classroom from the teacher with Heggerty.
We hope to bring back Writers in School this year to aid students' writing skills. We bring in a group that will work on poetry, and short stories. This has been a fantastic tool for the students to get out of their comfort zone a bit and become authors. We have had several students in the past that had their works published.
Mrs. Arnold, our Counselor, has started a leadership club for students to work on and build leadership skills. Students are selected based on working skills, communication and attendance.
She has also started a Birthday club. Students were randomly selected to work on a monthly birthday board and hand out pencils to birthday students and teachers.
We are working hard to communicate with parents and guardians the importance of attendance. We believe and statistics show us, if students are not present, they will continue to fall behind and the knowledge gap will grow. In order to help bridge this gap, we will offer a remediation this coming summer for math, literacy, and science. This will be a camp atmosphere with learning on different levels and methods of teaching for a week at a time.
Through these activities and shared experiences we are molding, building, and instilling better education and citizenship skills for our students to become more involved in a positive way in our community.
Our building FACE (family and community involvement) team, which includes faculty, staff and community members, meet after Title I meetings on a monthly basis.
Elementary Report to the Public 2022-23
Motto: “Be Ready, Be Respectful, Be Responsible”
We have 46 teachers and 20 paraprofessionals, a nurse, a counselor and 623 students, counting pre-school. We have an average class size of 17 students and an average teacher experience was 11 years. We had 74% of our students that were considered low-income.
As anyone knows that is around education, we now have a “teacher shortage”. Our nation has not made it a priority to recognize educators as “essential workers”. It seems strange and yet “eerily similar” to the terminology used to describe Jews in Nazi Germany as they needed only “essential workers”.
What is more “essential” than, not only educating, but casting a vision for your children’s future? Our teachers do everything that is asked of them and more. They teach, they counsel, they nurture, they set boundaries, they encourage students, nurse them, they do so many things, but most importantly, they love them. In every interview we do as a team, we want to find out, if the applicant sincerely loves children.
In my report to the public last year, I mentioned that we lost 8 teachers and that we cannot continue this path any longer. I asked a teacher who had changed professions last year how she was doing and she referred to “not having stress” in her life. I asked how I could help reduce the stress on our teachers. She said, “As long as there are parents and social media, you can’t.” When people can hide behind social media and say hurtful things, it makes it difficult for teachers to do their job effectively. From my perspective, it isn’t social, it is “antisocial media” as the term social means, “needing companionship” or “informal gathering”. It refers to people meeting together, in person. We have “bought the lie” that Facebook and Twitter and many other billion dollar industries have made off of us!
My dad always said to me, “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.” I am sorry, dad. Because, we have been saying so many things that we should be keeping to ourselves.
Family and Community Relations
Since our school must provide opportunities for regular meetings for parents to formulate suggestions and to participate in decisions about the education of their children. We have consolidated two parent groups, Parent Advisory Committee and Parent Involvement to become Family and Community Relations Committee. We have several parents on this committee to help Lamar Elementary feel the pulse of our community. We also have an ESSER committee to look at funds that are provided for help with Covid.
Perfect Attendance Emphasis
With many of our students missing instruction due days missed to Covid, trying to learn virtually or both, we are working hard to get our students back to where they were or above. The year before Covid, we averaged close to 90% perfect attendance! When I went back to look at this, I couldn’t hardly believe it! I know that is a difficult mountain to climb, but we know that students learn best at school and perfect attendance has to be important, again. If students are not here, it is difficult for them to learn and harder for the teachers to “catch them up”. Our goal is to be back at 90% perfect attendance once again.
The Warrior Way Behavior: Emphasis for the Month
Warriors of the month will be nominated by each classroom teacher from a list of “Star Students of the Week”. A short assembly by each grade level class will recognize each student for their accomplishment.
Loss of Learning
Summer school: We were able to have 60 students with several of those that would have failed, had they not attended.
Tutoring: We averaged over 50 students where they were able to get instruction in areas that they were behind in.
RTI(Response To Intervention): We are able to see over a 100 students that receive academic interventions in literacy. There are over 50 that receive math interventions.
Programs added back
Volunteers: We have been able to add parent volunteers back into the school.
Grandparent Day: We were able to see so many grandparents that had not been able to come visit us over the past couple of years.
Music programs for each grade: Mrs. Young will be doing Music programs starting in November with 3rd grade doing a Veterans Day Celebration.
Improvements to Facilities
RTI Building: The RTI building received a “make over” of paint, plumbing, cleaning, new partitions and a new front door.
Playground upgrades: There are new plans for more playground equipment and updated others.
New water fountains: New water fountains added in the 5th grade classrooms.
In conclusion, I believe we have brighter days ahead! I know that we have been hit hard but, as Proverbs 24:16 says “…he falls down seven times and rises again…”. We are already back on our feet!