NLRSD names Larissa Harrison the new principal at Seventh Street Elementary, endorses new academic theme

FILE — This 2015 file photo shows public school buses. (AP Photo/File)
FILE — This 2015 file photo shows public school buses. (AP Photo/File)

The North Little Rock School Board has approved the appointment of a principal for Seventh Street Elementary School.

Larissa Harrison, a veteran educator in the North Little Rock School District, started Friday in her new position. She has most recently been assistant principal at the school.

Before becoming an assistant principal, Harrison was a multi-classroom leader at the school. In that job, she was involved in curriculum implementation and instructional coaching support for teachers on the campus. She also analyzed student data on standardized tests to determine the needs of the students, according to the district.

Harrison has taught third and fourth grades at Seventh Street Elementary School, Meadow Park Elementary School and the former Pike View Elementary School, as well as art while at Meadow Park Elementary School.

"Mrs. Harrison is dedicated to Seventh Street Elementary School, its students, families, and the community, which has been demonstrated from her commitment during a series of changes at the school over the past several years" said Gregory J. Pilewski, the district's superintendent, in the announcement to the community Friday. "Her steadfast leadership, qualities, attributes, and keen focus on teaching and learning make for a great fit for this campus."

Seventh Street Elementary has had a revolving door of principals for several years and chronically low student test scores. The district has been trying to improve the school's academic performance by introducing a new theme and recruiting students outside of the school's regular attendance zone.

Along those lines, the district said Friday it is committed to carrying out a veterinary and agricultural science-themed school, which it developed through advice from a community advisory board that is made up of industry partners, parents, school staff and community leaders.

The district said in its update of Seventh Street Elementary that the theme will do a better job of engaging "students in the teaching and learning process through real-world applications.

"Selecting the Veterinary and Agricultural Science theme will expose students to project-based learning and problem-solving strategies in all subject areas."

The school, which has pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students, will be reconfigured into a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade campus. The addition of sixth grade has been delayed for the 2024-2025 school year, the district said. Plans are underway to add it in the 2025-2026 school year.

Seventh grade and eighth graders will be added in the following years, one year after the other.

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