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Little Rock School District

Little Rock School District

Little Rock, Arkansas

LRSD 2016
Row 1 (l to r): Dr. Sheketa McKisick (Coordinator, Title I and District Key Contact to NNPS), Dorothy Bledsoe, Rosa Hernandez, Keitha Brock

Row 2 (l to r): Angelia Johnson (NNPS School Key Contact), Carmen Narvaez, Greta Freeman, Kaye Rainey (Specialist, Parent Involvement and District Key Contact to NNPS), Jana Hunter, Sandra Garduno, Jeremy Green

Row 3 (l to r): Dr. Vanessa Cleaver, Nichetra McGee, Debbie Milam, Carmen Hernandez (NNPS School Key Contact), Kristina Peterson (NNPS School Key Contact), Dennis Glasgow

Row 4 (l to r): Allie Freeman, Beverly Thrasher (hidden, NNPS School Key Contact), Karl Henry Romain, Dr. Ed Williams, Maria Navarez

District-Level Leadership for Partnerships:

NBA Math Hoops

A coach tells the team, “You must work for results, not hope for them!” In the Little Rock School District (LRSD), the Leader for Partnerships, Director of Math, and a Math Lead-Teacher worked together to test a strategy to increase students’ math skills and attitudes. They selected Learn Fresh Education Company’s board game, NBA Math Hoops, to help students practice and master basic math skills by linking virtual basketball shots with arithmetic and statistics that are measured on state math tests. The LRSD leaders hosted four Saturday sessions for students in grade 3 to 8 and their parents, with a final championship game with 16 teams of students and parents.

The board game is played like a basketball game with teams competing. Math skills involve adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers, solving problems in a set time period, using spinners to determine 2-point and 3-point scores, and focusing on statistics to keep track of players’ total points from field goals, free throws, rebounds, assists, and other aspects of a professional basketball game. Parents and students competed in four 2-hour sessions on Saturdays from February to May. Each participating family was provided with a NBA Math Hoops board game that they also could use at home. The district leaders reviewed the pilot test of the NBA Hoops game and recognized that the games could be organized at elementary and middle schools to increase the participation of many parents and students.

NBA Math Hoops is featured in Promising Partnership Practices 2016.

Facilitation of Schools’ Action Teams for Partnerships:

Key Contacts and NNPS Facilitator Collaboration

“Everything seems impossible until it’s done.” That is how about 50 schools in the Little Rock School District (LRSD) felt about completing the NNPS end-of-year UPDATE evaluation of progress, submitting one of their best practices for consideration in the NNPS annual collection of Promising Partnership Practices, and applying for an NNPS Partnership School Award. The District Leaders for Partnerships knew that the schools’ programs of family and community engagement were making important progress, but the educators and parents on the schools’ ATPs were hesitant to evaluate their efforts and share their ideas and accomplishments with schools across the country.

District leaders also knew that the NNPS processes for evaluating programs and applying for recognition were not hard. The schools simply needed information and encouragement to participate. They reached out to NNPS Facilitators at the “home base” at Johns Hopkins University to provide technical assistance via phone to help solve this challenge. The Facilitators talked directly with school ATPs at a cluster meeting. They explained procedures, encouraged participation, and answered questions. After this discussion, the LRSD leaders asked ATPs to present short summaries of some of their schools’ activities that might be good candidates to submit to the next NNPS book. One positive result of this is that six schools had activities in Promising Partnership Practices 2015.

Key Contacts and NNPS Facilitator Collaboration is featured in Promising Partnership Practices 2016.