El Dorado News

Monday
December 11, 2017
El Dorado News Times
News-Times

News-Times

El Dorado School District presents Annual School Report

By Janice McIntyre
This article was published September 12, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

As of Monday, the El Dorado School District reported total enrollment of 4,406 students, down 10 students from Sept. 11, 2016.

During the Annual Report to the Public, presented during the September meeting of the board, Rhonda Simmons, assistant superintendent for the district, and Bonnie Haynie, professional development, federal programs and special projects director, presented the academic agenda for the district.

For this school year, 359 students are enrolled in kindergarten, 308 in first grade, 337 second graders, 337 in third grade, 355 in fourth grade, 364 in fifth grade, 296 in sixth grade, 350 in seventh grade, 333 in eighth grade, 315 in ninth grade, 329 in 10th grade, 313 in 11th grade and 336 in 12th grade.

“We retain lots of our students, but as of today, we are down 10 students,” Simmons said, adding that the district has enrolled two students due to the recent damage to property caused by Hurricane Harvey. Many homes were destroyed or heavily damaged in south Texas along the Gulf Coast and parents with relatives in El Dorado enrolled their children in local schools because they are unsure of how long it will take to rebuild their houses.

Haynie explained that the district’s annual school improvement plan includes district-wide improvement initiatives including comprehensive literacy, science and mathematical proficiency through the implementation of

Arkansas State Standards and student-centered technology.

School district personnel are working to close the achievement gap through authentic student engagement, formative assessments and quality feedback for students and staff, Simmons reported.

A “Capturing Kids’ Hearts” initiative is being implemented at Yocum and Retta Brown Elementary, Haynie said. The program is designed to develop healthy relationships between members of a school’s educational community and to teach effective skills that help participants develop self-managing classrooms and decrease discipline issues through innovative techniques such as a social contract.

Also included in the district’s Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Planning budget are professional development, Waiting to Excel summer camp programs at Washington Middle and Barton Junior High schools. Summer school was offered at the elementary, mid-level and secondary schools and a Teacher-Leader program was implemented at El Dorado High School.

The district was cited last year because some of their teachers were teaching outside their areas – they are accredited to teach school – but not in areas where they are accredited.

El Dorado School District Superintendent Jim Tucker said most schools in Arkansas are accredited-cited for the same reason.

During the 2016-17 school year, 152 advanced placement scholars in the district scored a 3 or better on AP exams, Haynie reported. She explained that AP tests are four hours long and students sat for 19 different tests in AP biology, calculus AB, Calculus BC, chemistry, comparative government and politics, computer science A, English language and composition, English literacy and composition, human geography (a course about how humans affect the environment), physics 1, physics 2, physics C:electricity, physics C:mechanics, psychology, statistics, studio art: drawing, U.S. government and politics, U.S. history and world history.

Haynie explained that the El Dorado School District is the only school in this area to offer pre-AP classes to fifth grade students and said the district has “awesome teachers” and students had “amazing grades.”

She also said that all 11th grade students in the district took the ACT (American College Test) last year and the state of Arkansas paid $94 for each test. In English, students scored 19.3 on average, compared to a state average of 19.8; 19.5 in mathematics, compared to a state average of 19.6 and 20.1 in reading, compared to a state average of 20.7.

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