The week of May 5-9 is Teacher Appreciation Week. We are proud of the teaching staff at Lonoke. These ladies and gentleman work hard each day to enrich the lives of our youth and prepare them to become tomorrow’s leaders. Teaching is much more than a job; it is a chosen professional career. There is much time involved in being an effective teacher. Teachers must obtain 60 hours each year of professional development in a variety of professional areas. Technology is changing constantly, and the teachers have to participate in training so that they are able to provide the skills to the students effectively.

A new teacher evaluation system and administrative system has begun this year at Lonoke Schools across the district. It is called the Teacher Evaluation Support System (TESS Model for teachers and LEADS for principals). The TESS model of evaluating teachers came from the work of Charlotte Danielson, a well-known national author of teacher evaluation. The state of Arkansas has adopted this model, and placed it into law beginning with the 2014-15 SY. The Lonoke School District has decided to jump in full force with this system and all faculty members have been trained and have been participating in this in depth process. Principals must participate in the training process for administrators and pass an exam in order to evaluate the teaching staff. All licensed administrators, including the superintendent, have taken and passed the TESS exam. There is no required exam for the teachers, only the training and presentation of artifacts to prove that they are meeting the requirements of the evaluation model. This model requires principals to be in classrooms more than ever so that they can gather evidence and provide feedback to the teachers to help support improved teaching and learning. The school district will be responsible for providing the appropriate technology and resources that is required to perform these evaluations using this new system. The principals also are involved in a new evaluation system called LEADS (Leader Excellence and Development System). The principals must gather and provide evidence to the superintendent and meet often throughout the school year to discuss professional growth plans, progress on the plan and present evidence to demonstrate meeting the goals for continued and sustained student growth and achievement. Administrators must also demonstrate improvement in teaching and learning as well as building level administrative growth and development.

Accountability is at an all-time high for teachers across Arkansas. In today’s teaching profession, teachers are must do much more than just teach. There is more preparation in order to provide the students with career and college readiness skills, more time must be devoted for meetings to plan together as a team of educators to meet the needs of the students, more involvement is necessary from the teachers to be active in the community and work with parents, and training takes up a large part of what teachers, in years past, use to call their summer break. We appreciate those that have chosen this special career and to work for us at Lonoke Public Schools. Teachers touch the lives of students every day. Thank you to our dedicated teaching staff. You are greatly appreciated for what you do!

Upcoming Events at LPSD

May 9- Teacher Appreciation Day- / Baseball and Softball Regionals in Lonoke

May 10- Baseball/ Softball Regionals in Lonoke at noon

May 15- M.S. Awards in GCC

May 16- Graduation for high school at 8:00 p.m. on the field unless it rains, then Gina Cox Center

May 19- Elementary Graduation at 9 a.m. /Regular School Board Meeting at 6:00 p.m. in high school library

May 22- Pre- K Graduation at 7 p.m.

May 23- Media Specialist Day at 2:00 p.m. at board room

May 28- Food Service Appreciation Day at 1:30 p.m. at primary library

June 4- District end of the year Professional Development in cafeteria for all faculty/staff members; "Topping off the school year." / Last day of school.