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State's SAT takers beat U.S. average

The 1,790 members of Arkansas' high school Class of 2019 who took the SAT college entrance exam earned an average score of 582 on the enhanced reading and writing portion of the test and 559 on the math portion, each out of a possible 800 points.

Nationally, more than 2.2 million students in the Class of 2019 took the tests, which was a 4% increase over the previous class. The total average score of 1059 -- 531 on the reading and writing section and 528 on the math section -- reflected a 9-point decline as compared with the Class of 2018.

While Arkansas students scored above the national averages, only 6% of the state's 31,314 graduates last spring took the SAT. In contrast, 100% of Arkansas' Class of 2018 took the ACT.

Annual parks pass offered to youths

Arkansas fourth-grade pupils can receive free admission to federal public land sites through next August.

The Every Kid Outdoors annual pass provides fourth-graders, along with their families, friends and classmates, free access to 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries and forests.

The free pass is available for downloading at the Every Kid Outdoors website for those who participate in a short educational activity. The website is https://bit.ly/2nkN5hD.

The voucher is valid for entrance or standard amenity fees at federal recreation sites that charge, but does not cover camping or special tours. It can now be used multiple times until Aug. 31, 2020. The voucher may be exchanged for a plastic keepsake pass at participating federal lands.

In Arkansas, there are multiple federal sites to visit, not all of which charge fees. The sites include Buffalo National River, a Civil War battlefield, a U.S. president's birthplace home and a historic courthouse.

"The National Parks of Arkansas and surrounding states provide countless opportunities for students of any age to learn, exercise, and make memories on their public lands," Buffalo National River Superintendent Mark Foust said in announcing the program.

The Every Kid Outdoors Program was established by Congress this year. It is a collaboration among the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Forest Service.

Program to honor Star City principal

Gina Richard, the Arkansas Association of Middle Level Administrators principal of the year, will be honored next month in Washington, D.C., at the National Association of Elementary School Principals' 2019 National Distinguished Principals program.

Richard, who has headed Star City Middle School for five years, is being recognized for her collaborative leadership style, creation of a positive atmosphere and for significantly raising student achievement scores, according to Star City School District Superintendent Jon Laffoon.

"The dedicated staff and amazing students are at the heart of these honors," Richard said. "I look forward to sharing with other principals from across the United States about Star City Middle School."

Laffoon said that a school principal's job is harder than ever.

"Today's principals are tasked with attending to students' social and emotional needs at greater levels than ever before, even while they are required to drive academic success in their school communities," Laffoon said.

NLR district hires principal for post

Keith McGee has been hired as executive director of secondary curriculum, assessment and accountability in the North Little Rock School District.

McGee, who has been the principal of the Little Rock School District's Horace Mann Arts and Sciences Middle School, replaces Henry Anderson in the North Little Rock job.

Anderson is the new superintendent in the Marvell-Elaine School District.

Student reported dragged in NLR

A North Little Rock school employee remained on leave Friday after a report that she dragged a preschool student down the hallway.

According to a police incident report, a staff member saw Jody Edrington, preschool program coordinator for the district, "grab [a] child by the arm" Wednesday and "drag her down the hall."

The staff member told the girl's mother what she saw and said the child was "throwing a tantrum" before Edrington grabbed her. The report states the girl then told her mother about the incident.

The mother took her daughter to the hospital and found the child was not injured, according to the report.

There is video footage of the incident. The mother told police that Superintendent Bobby Acklin said the video "troubled" him.

Acklin said in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the video footage was turned over to police, and an internal district investigation is underway.

"I hope they move right along," Acklin said. "I won't rush it. I'll be thorough. But we are investigating."

Metro on 09/29/2019

Print Headline: Education notebook

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