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LISA Academy gets nod for expansion

The Arkansas Board of Education last week approved a plan by the LISA Academy charter school system in Little Rock to acquire the state charter held by the two-campus Little Rock Preparatory Academy beginning in the 2020-21 school year.

The plan enables the LISA Academy to increase its three Little Rock campuses to four and, in the process, relocate its high school to a larger, more central location.

The plan calls for increasing the system's overall student enrollment cap from 3,000 to 3,432.

Little Rock Preparatory Academy's middle school campus at West Markham and South Hughes streets will become LISA Academy West High School.

The current LISA Academy high school at 23 Corporate Hill Drive will become a seventh- and eighth-grade middle school. The existing middle school at 21 Corporate Hill will house sixth graders only. The LISA Academy-Chenal school for kindergarten through sixth grades at Westhaven Drive and Bowman Road will become LISA Academy West Elementary and will serve kindergarten through fifth grades.

LR superintendent luncheon speaker

Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore will speak at the Political Animals Club on Wednesday.

His appearance comes at a time when the state Board of Education, education secretary, Little Rock Education Association and community leaders have squared off over control of the state's second-largest school district.

The state board voted 5-4 in January 2015 to take control of the district -- dismissing the Little Rock School Board and putting the superintendent under state supervision -- when six of its then-48 schools, at the time, had chronically low math and English/language arts results on state exams.

On Oct. 10, the state education board decided to return limited local control to the district under a locally elected school board after November 2020 elections. At the same meeting, the state education board directed the Little Rock district to end its long-standing recognition of the Little Rock Education Association employee union as the exclusive contract bargaining agent, effective Oct. 31.

The association and community leaders say they want a locally elected board to have full control, not limited control.

Since then, the association -- with help from district parents and community leaders in Little Rock -- staged a one-day employee strike on Thursday in which more than a third of the teachers and more than 56% of the students were absent from work and school.

Poore's speech at the Political Animals Club luncheon is scheduled from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion, 1800 Center St., Little Rock. The mansion's gates will open at 11:15 a.m.

Seating is limited. Registration is required. Information about the event, including the fee for lunch, is available at https://conta.cc/2Of4guQ.

Japan trip affords insight into WWII

A group of students and faculty at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs recently returned from a visit with a longtime partner high school, Tennoji High School in Osaka, Japan.

The Arkansas students joined with their Tennoji counterparts to share a cultural exchange opportunity through the Japanese Peace Project, according to information prepared by the school's public information specialist, Donnie Sewell.

The project -- created by the two schools -- provided students from both schools with the opportunity to learn about the experience of the Japanese people after World War II and the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The math-science school students began their visit with a trip to Hiroshima Peace Memorial, including the adjacent park and the museum. They saw structures that survived the bombing, which was the first use of a nuclear weapon by a nation. They also visited with a survivor of the bombing at the museum.

Neil Oatsvall, a history and Japanese Studies instructor at the residential school for juniors and seniors, said visiting the memorial and listening to the survivor enabled students to gain a broader understanding of World War II and the conflict with Japan.

Metro on 11/17/2019

Print Headline: Education notebook

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