Lion's Pride

February Newsletter

Message from the Superintendent

With attendance rates returning to normal, Jessieville Lions can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel called flu season. The illness that spread across our campus throughout the first half of February presented some difficult decisions for Jessieville administrators. I would like to personally thank our custodial staff and teachers for the meticulous and continual efforts they have put into disinfecting classrooms, desktops, restrooms, hallways, doorknobs, light switches, and other hard surfaces in order to protect our students and staff. Furthermore, I would like to recognize our school nurses, Brandi Sutton and Cardella Spruell, who have cared for sick students day in and day out for the past few months. Finally, thank you to families and community members for supporting the district's decisions throughout this difficult time.

Jessieville School District has officially been approved as an additional site location for National Park College. Because of this, any course offered at National Park College can now be provided on our school campus, depending on the level of student interest and instructor availability.

Lastly, please click the link below to view next year's recently-approved school calendar. For everyone's planning purposes, it is always important to our district to provide this information to the public as early as possible.

Best Regards,

Melissa G. Speers, Ed.S.

Jessieville School District


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Fourth Grade Meets Goal for Space Camp Fundraising

4th grade teachers Kellye O'Neal, Emily James, and Ethan James are happy to announce that enough funds have been raised to pay for all expenses, including meals during travel, for fourth graders attending space camp this year during spring break! The camp will take place in Huntsville, Alabama at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Fourth grade teachers and students would like to thank the following sponsors for their contributions:

Village Home Center

Good Spirits

Ike Eisenhauer Insurance

Mr. and Mrs Matthews

Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, St Monica Guild

Summit Diagnostics

Century 21 HSV Realty


Head to Toe

Clampit's Country Kitchen

Valentine's Day and Counselor Appreciation

Love was in the air throughout the first part of February, especially during the week preceding Valentine's Day! There was candy. There were cards. Secret crushes were revealed. From elementary's class parties to FBLA's Strawberry Crush soda gifts, Jessieville students were definitely feeling it.
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Speaking of love, it's safe to say that some of Jessieville's most loved people are school counselors Eddie Picking, Terah Pricop, and Cameron Hall. These three were recognized at this month's school board meeting for Counselor Appreciation Week (February 3rd-7th). Thank you to these counselors for showing love and dedication to their school on a daily basis.

Celebrating the Love of Reading

In addition to celebrating World Read Aloud Day on February 1st, Jessieville Elementary will host its annual Scholastic Book Fair next month. Principal Amanda Sarver sent home a newsletter announcing the event, which will occur March 2nd-6th in the elementary library. The Book Fair will offer a wide selection of children's fiction and nonfiction that parents can enjoy at home with their kids. Students will have the opportunity to shop at the following times:

Monday: All students may shop with parents/grandparents during lunch.

Tuesday: Kindergarten lunch at 10:40 and 2nd grade lunch at 12:00

Wednesday: 1st grade lunch at 10:40 and 3rd grade lunch at 12:00

Thursday: 4th and 5th grade lunch at 12:00

Friday: Shopping for all grades from 7:30-12:00

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Please consider using the Book Fair eWallet feature, which enables parents to set up a digital payment option, using the link below! This link will also allow those unable to attend the Book Fair in person to shop online instead.

Promoting literacy through the Scholastic Book Fair is just one of many ways that Jessieville School District aims to maximize student growth in the areas of reading and writing. Elementary, middle, and high school teachers have worked diligently this year during their weekly meetings to align coursework with the district's overarching goal of reading, writing, and discussing every day.

These weekly faculty meetings also provide teachers the time to plan small group interventions that target each student's learning needs. Interventions for reading (and other content areas) are planned using multiple forms of data, including MAP tests, STAR tests, and ACT Aspire Interim Assessments. Reaching struggling readers while also enriching instruction for those who excel is a delicate balance that Jessieville teachers discuss and work toward each week. Recent test scores reflect these efforts.

Aside from improving student achievement on standardized tests, extra reading practice (particularly, practice taking place with parents in the home) can actually help students develop their social skills. For example, it can increase intellectual empathy--the child's ability to perceive objectively how other people see and experience things.

According to the above article, there is a strategic way in which parents can present stories to their children in order to build intellectual empathy. Author Bill Murphy Jr. uses neuroscience and recent reading research to persuade parents to try things such as pausing while reading to encourage their kids to imagine themselves as the characters in the book.

Undoubtedly, reading regularly (both at school and at home) has a range of benefits. JSD looks forward to working collaboratively with parents toward the goal of instilling a love of reading in all Jessieville students.

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Jessieville basketball coaches and their teams are proud to be hosting this year's regional tournament, which will take place February 26th through the 29th in the Sports Arena. When asked for information about the event, coaches Magen Scrivner and Jared White provided these details:

Jessieville School district will be hosting the 3A Region 2, which will consist of districts 3A 4 and 3A 5. The top 4 teams of each district will compete in the regional tournament, meaning that a total of eight girl teams and eight boy teams will play. To advance to the state tournament at Charleston, a team must win the first round of regionals. Girl teams include Central Arkansas Christian, Mayflower, Episcopal, Baptist Prep, Fountain Lake, Lamar, Perryville, and host Jessieville. Competing boy teams include Central Arkansas Christian, Mayflower, Episcopal, Baptist Prep, Fountain Lake, Lamar, Atkins, and Jessieville.

Girls' coach Magen Scrivner stated, "We are so excited to host the tournament this year because Jessieville holds a lot of pride in the basketball tradition. It will be a great atmosphere for our community and supporters!" Echoing Scrivner's enthusiasm, boys' coach Jared White remarked, "I’m extremely excited about having the opportunity to play in front of our home fans and students to try and punch a ticket to the state tournament. One win gets you there and anything can happen once you are there."

Jamie Saveall, the district's Athletic Director, is eagerly anticipating the event as well. On the topic of hosting, he commented, "It provides Jessieville School District the opportunity to show off our facilities, student-athletes, staff, and community. The tournament also provides an increase in revenue for restaurants and local businesses that help support our programs here at Jessieville. I guess you could say it is a win-win for everyone involved."

Jessieville Lions are anxious to welcome all players, coaches, and fans to the Sports Arena later this month!

Bowling Team

After competing at the Conference Tournament at Professor Bowl in Little Rock on February 5th, three Jessieville students qualified to participate in the State Bowling Tournament. Sophomores Dillen Morgan and Audrey Waggoner, along with senior Aaron Ford, made their district proud as they competed against other schools at the state tournament in Cabot at the Allfam Bowling Center on February 12th. Congratulations to Mrs. Alisha Graves, Bowling Team Coach, and her three students for working hard toward this accomplishment!

Polar Plunge

The time is drawing near for this year's Polar Plunge, an event that raises funds for Special Olympics Arkansas. It will be on Saturday, February 22nd, at Hot Springs Health and Fitness, with registration starting at 10:00 AM and the plunge happening at 11:00.

It costs a minimum of $50 per person to plunge, with prizes for different levels of fundraising. The object is for each person to raise the money by getting friends, family, and coworkers to donate. For those wanting to support the cause without jumping into frigid water, there is a "Chickened Out" t-shirt available for $25. Supporters can also donate online using the link below.

Lyndon Albright is heading up the JSD team again this year, and is doing a great job! Good luck to all of the participants!

Students and Staff of the Month

February teacher of the month is Mr. TJ Burk, and staff member of the month is Mrs. Chris Benson! Congrats to these two, as well as the students pictured below, for going above and beyond in their roles at Jessieville.
For more information about Jessieville's progress this year, please visit the article recently published in The Sentinel Record by clicking the link below!

Newsletter Submissions

The Lion's Pride Newsletter is brought to you by Ashley Layfield, Jessieville School District Public Relations Coordinator. If you would like your news included in next month's edition, please send details with photos/videos to with "newsletter" in the subject line.

Possible ideas for submissions include guest speakers, unique projects or lesson plans, college signings and scholarships, upcoming professional development, sports events and accomplishments, outstanding student citizenship, etc.

When submitting news, keep in mind the 5 W's:

Who, What, Why, When, and Where.

The deadline to submit information is the 20th of each month.

Thanks for reading!