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Action Groups: West Little Rock

All students, no matter their culture, economic status or Zip Code, deserve excellent, accessible public elementary and secondary (middle and high) education. Join us by registering (at no fee) at ArkansasLearns.org, then click "Join" at the top of ArkansasLearns.org/WestLittleRock.

History

Between July 25 and October 1, 2105, 235 parents, grandparents and citizens wrote 366 emails to Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus and Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key, copied to Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, encouraging consideration of the former Leisure Arts headquarters (5701 Ranch Drive) for potential purchase and conversion to West Little Rock middle and high schools.

On Thursday, October 1, 2015, Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus announced that he had signed a conditional contract to acquire two buildings (245,000 sf) on 23 acres for $11,500,000. The district has 180 days to exercise due diligence to determine the feasibility of using the facility as a school or schools.

On December 21, 2015, the then-superintendent announced that sixth grade will open in the 70,000 sf office building for the 2016-17 school year, while the 170,000 sf warehouse will be converted to a grades 6-8 middle school, saving taxpayers as much as $25 Million when compared to the projected $52.7 Million cost, excluding $4.2 Million for land purchase, for building a brand new middle school.

The new Pinnacle View Middle School has no attendance zone. Fifth graders zoned for Terry, Fulbright and Roberts Elementary Schools are assigned to the new school as sixth graders. On the day it opened, it was the the most desegregated and culturally diverse school in the district.

In 2018, Pinnacle View will be the largest middle school in the district (projected 1,200 students). So unless a high school is planned and opened in short order, the student exodus from the district will simply shift from between fifth and sixth grades to between eighth and ninth grades.

Previously, in just 20 months, this group's predecessor, the Quest Middle School of West Little Rock Action Group, went from dreaming among seven parents (November 6, 2012) to opening the doors (August 18, 2014) of the first public secondary school in West Little Rock - Quest Middle School, an open-enrollment public charter school. By 2018, Quest Academy West Little Rock will serve up to 490 students grades 6 through 12.

The initiation of the charter also prompted during the Little Rock School District to finally purchase land, adjacent to the Leisure Arts property, in April of 2013 for what was proposed to be the largest middle school in the district. However, despite a million dollar facilities study, there were no plans nor mention from the previous school board for/of a West Little Rock high school.

The members of this action group have proven that when it comes to the provision of excellent public education for our community and district, parents/guardians know best. Instead of begging, they're getting busy to provide public education where none previously existed, and by extension, are working to improve the performance and responsiveness of the entire district.

Excellent, accessible public education doesn't have to take decades or even years. The over 300 members of this group have proven that where there is will and leadership, it can happen in months.

To ensure success, we must continue to demonstrate our parental, citizen and community support. To that end, please join us by:

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Like, follow on Facebook.com/ArkansasLearns, Twitter @ArkansasLearns, Instagram @arkansaslearns, YouTube.com/ArkansasLearns.

To replicate West Little Rock's successful, parent-led model in your community, contact Gary NewtonTogether, we can ensure excellent public education for all students in Arkansas.



Group Feed
Lauren Landers joined the group Action Groups: West Little Rock.
Posted Friday, October 9, 2015
sarah merayo joined the group Action Groups: West Little Rock.
Posted Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Arkansas Learns posted a new entry in the West Little Rock Blog blog in the group Action Groups: West Little Rock.
Posted Friday, July 24, 2015
Arkansas Learns posted a new entry in the West Little Rock Blog blog in the group Action Groups: West Little Rock.
Posted Friday, July 24, 2015
Arkansas Learns posted a new entry in the West Little Rock Blog blog in the group Action Groups: West Little Rock.
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Posted by: Arkansas Learns, Tuesday, November 6, 2012
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