Lonoke Public School students, in grades 3-8, will be taking the Arkansas Benchmark Exam the week of April 9-13.

Please do not schedule appointments during this week if at all possible. Eating a good breakfast, getting plenty of rest and attending school each day on time are three strategies to assist your child in doing his/her best on the exam.

Currently, our school district has a ranking of 122 out of 234 school districts in Arkansas. This ranking is found on www.schooldigger.com. Rankings are based on test data collected from the Arkansas Department of Education, U.S. Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics. Our vision is to become a district that is among the highest achieving districts in Arkansas.

We are making improvements throughout the entire district, but we have many challenges ahead of us. Please help us by speaking to your child about the importance of completing his/her education, being involved positively in the school system, attending school events, and encouraging others to do the same. Lonoke personnel are committed to making the necessary improvements and ensuring that all students have a highly qualified instructor that is concerned about each student’s educational success.

All licensed faculty members must obtain 60 hours of professional development each year that is approved by the Arkansas Department of Education. We are currently providing our faculty with more job-embedded professional development training to enhance their knowledge and skills in teaching and learning. Another educational support mechanism that has been added is the educational focus walk. Focus walks are conducted by administrative and classroom instructional personnel. They are performed routinely to provide support and feedback to the instructional staff. Data is collected and analyzed so that teaching and learning can support student achievement.

The District utilizes The Learning Institute (TLI) assessment and resources. This frequent assessment provides teachers and administrators student data in a timely manner to be analyzed for student areas of strength and growth.

Lesson plans can be created and adjusted based on this data. Teachers are collaborating more effectively and more often in order for individual student needs to be efficiently met. Teachers and administrators have constant access to this resource system. This assessment system will help to increase student test scores throughout the entire school system and gives each student practice and preparation for how the real exam will be administered. Data is analyzed by the administration and classroom teachers to determine the individual needs of each student.

Lonoke School District participates in building-level faculty meetings and district meetings. These meetings are held to provide time for collaboration among instructional staff members and to communicate student data and performance. Professional information and training resources are also shared among staff members. Tutoring programs are being conducted at many levels across the school district. The Homework Hotline is held at the Carver Campus.

Middle School is holding a Benchmark readiness after school for two weeks. High school students may receive tutoring during advisory period. Teachers from every school also stay after hours and come in early to help provide support to students that need more individual attention or that struggle with a certain task or concept.

As you can see, our school district realizes the importance of student achievement. We are facing the challenges that we have here in Lonoke County. We must prepare our students for the future so that they can compete with other students. They deserve the same opportunities. It is up to us to prepare them to be academically successful. We cannot do it alone. We need the help from parents, business leaders and community members.

Much hard work, determination and accountability lies ahead. Each person employed at our school district plays an important role in the education of all our students. We hope you will join in our efforts of moving this school system forward so that we can accomplish our vision statement and become among the top achieving school districts in Arkansas.

Thank you for your help in our State Benchmark preparation for the upcoming week of testing for our students. Other tests are also given during the month of April for other grades such as the IOWA for primary and 9th grade students and End of Course tests for high school students. These are all very important tests for the students.