Lion's Pride

January 2019

Message from the Superintendent

I want to welcome students and staff back to school after the winter holiday break. Students and staff have completed the first full week back from the break and have adjusted to regular routines again. Every day of school is important and with the limited number of days available before Aspire testing in the Spring, teachers will continue designing lessons and providing instruction to maximize student learning. Please assist our teachers by having your child(ren) at school all day every day, monitoring that they are completing all work assigned, and communicating with teachers and administrators if you have questions or need assistance.

Each family should have received a letter regarding the Jessieville School District PRIDE Plan which outlines plans for student instruction in the event of emergency school closure. Please make sure to review the letter and the plan so you and your student are familiar with expectations should school be canceled. A link to the plan can be found here Each student will be expected to complete the work that is assigned by their teacher(s) when a PRIDE day is declared. If you have any questions about this plan, please contact your child's teacher or the building principal.

Please make sure to view the Upcoming Events section of this newsletter for dates and activities. More information can be found on the district website and calendar.


Jessieville School Board Members Honored

Jessieville School District is pleased to join the state of Arkansas in recognizing January 2019 as Arkansas School Board Recognition Month. On October 2, 2018, Governor Asa Hutchinson issued a proclamation establishing January 2019 as Arkansas School Board Recognition Month, and school districts across the state are honoring their school board members for their work.

Jessieville School Board members, David Morrow, Don Pierce, Jack Wells, Terry Anderson, and Kevin Meacham, were recognized for the work that they do for the students, employees, parents, and community of the district on January 14 at the monthly board meeting. Jessieville Elementary School students wrote letters of appreciation to board members, and some students were present to read their letters to the board. Emails from staff members praising the work of the board were read aloud by Superintendent Melissa Speers, and each board member was presented with a certificate of appreciation and photo collage of Jessieville students holding signs of appreciation.

You can read Governor Asa Hutchinson's full proclamation at the following link

Third Grade Basketball Team Members Receive Awards

Jessieville Elementary School's awards ceremony for the second nine weeks was held on January 11, 2019. Many students received awards for their academic performance during the second nine weeks. Terah Pricop, middle school counselor and assistant 3rd grade boys basketball coach observed that every member of the team earned an award. Great job boys!
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Jessieville Students Participate in Hour of Code

The first week of December, the Jessieville School District participated in the Hour of Code which is a worldwide initiative to introduce students to the basics of computer science, to broaden participation in the field of computer science, and to demystify computer coding. Over the course of the week, students were introduced to computer sciences and the basics of coding with the purpose of exposing students to opportunities to experience a newer form of computer programming.

A total of 698 Jessieville students participated in the Hour of Code this year compared to 528 last year. The number of middle school students who participated increased by 46%. Last year 52 high-schoolers participated, and this year 149 participated. The number of high school students who participated increased by 187%. The Elementary maintained their 100% participation this year for all 371 students from kindergarten through 5th-grade.

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College T-shirt Day

November 5, 2018, was the initial observance of College T-shirt Day for the Jessieville School District staff. At the suggestion of a Jessieville teacher, district staff began wearing t-shirts from the college they attended, their favorite college, or any other institution of higher learning on the first Monday of each month. Staff are encouraged to talk to students about the institutions represented by their t-shirts, the opportunities these institutions provide for students, and the importance of students furthering their learning/training after high school. The photos below are of some of the staff who participated.

Jessieville Spelling Bee Winners

On December 17, Ashley Huneycutt announced the top three finishers in the Jessieville Elementary and Middle School spelling bees. These winners will participate in the Garland County Spelling Bee on Thursday, January 24, 2019, at 9:00 am in the Gospel Light Baptist Church Auditorium.

The following students are the top winners for each school that will be participating at the county-level.

Elementary School

Thomas Sinclair - 1st Place (4th Grade)

Blakely Vines - 2nd Place (5th Grade)

Lizzy Anderson - 3rd Place (2nd Grade)

Middle School

Emma Storment - 6th Grade Winner

Breya Raney - 7th Grade Winner

John Taylor - 8th Grade Winner

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Varsity Cheer Squad Named Game Day State Runner-up

Prior to the Arkansas State Championship Cheer competition, the Jessieville Varsity Cheer Squad competed in the B2 Spa City Classic Cheer Competition. The squad did a great job at their first competition and placed 3rd in Prelim Cheer and 2nd place in the Finals Format.

On December 15, the squad competed in the Arkansas State Championship Cheer Competition and received 1- 3A Game Day State Runner-Up. We are proud of our cheerleaders!
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High School Spanish Club Christmas Door Decorating Contest

Mrs. Elizabeth Mehlin's high school Spanish Club sponsored a Holiday Door Decorating Contest during the month of December. Many teachers and classes participated in making the hallways a festive display of holiday spirit.

Congratulations to the 1st place Holiday Door Contest winner: Mrs. O'Neal's fourth-grade class! They will have a taco fiesta sponsored by JHS Spanish Club! Sharing the taco fiesta with them will be the recipients of the Honorable Mention: Mrs. Watkins' STAR Classroom.

Special Olympics Bowling

Three Jessieville students participated in the State Special Olympics Bowling Competition on December 5th, 2018. Cody Curtis (11th grade) competed and won the Bronze medal for his division, Olivia Pilgrim (6th grade) competed and won the Silver medal for her division, and Alivya Kendrick (3rd grade) competed and won the Gold medal for her division. The students did well and were excited to represent Jessieville at the Special Olympics Bowling Competition.

Top Schools in Learning Blade Use

Since 2016, Jessieville Middle School teachers have utilized Learning Blade lessons to expose students to STEM careers. Below is an excerpt from the January 2019 Learning Blade Update report explaining the Learning Blade Initiative.

"As Arkansas leads the nation with Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Computer Science Efforts, there was also a recognition that career awareness would enhance these efforts. Learning Blade was adopted to increase student interest in computer science (CS) and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers and to assist in academic achievement in middle schools across the state of Arkansas. Learning Blade® is a supplemental online curriculum for middle and early high schools that is uniquely focused on increasing awareness and interest in STEM and CS careers. The pilot program began in 2016 in partnership with the Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) and supported by the Arkansas Department of Education to implement Learning Blade in schools in AR."

This same report contained a list of the top 20 most active schools in Arkansas in Learning Blade usage. Jessieville Middle School was number ten on the list with 2851 lessons completed during the 2018-2019 school year.

A copy of the complete Learning Blade report can be found at the following link.

Jessieville Schools Recognized for Beating the Odds

The Jessieville Middle and High Schools have been recognized by the Office for Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas as a school that is Beating the Odds. The schools are being recognized because students demonstrated high growth on the ACT Aspire even though the schools serve a high percentage of students who participate in Free and Reduced Lunch.

The OEP creates an annual report entitled the Outstanding Educational Performance Awards, and this year they are recognizing schools with high student growth. The OEP feel that growth is the best indicator of the positive impact that schools are having on students.

In the OEP's Beating the Odds report, the following schools received these awards:

Jessieville Middle

· "Beating the Odds" ELA Growth: Middle Level (Central Region)

Jessieville High

· "Beating the Odds" Math Growth: High School Level (Central Region)

Awards are based on the 2018 content growth score calculated by the Arkansas Department of Education. These growth scores reflect how much students at the school improved from 2017 compared to how much they were expected to grow considering prior achievement.

Elementary GT Snowflakes

The Jessieville Elementary GT students created snowflakes from paper towel rings. Photos of the some of the snowflakes they created are represented in the photos below.

Life Skills Class Job

Judy Duke's Life Skills class has two new jobs in addition to sorting breakfast items in the morning. They are now responsible for getting milk and juice ready for the elementary school's breakfast and for preparing the lunch trays for the following day. These new responsibilities help the students learn job skills and are preparation for future employment.

JHS Teacher Winner of 2019 AGATE Curriculum Award

On January 9, 2019, Alex Bates, Jessieville School District's GT teacher, was notified by Dustin Seaton, Awards Chair for Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE), that the AGATE Awards Committee voted her application for "God, Gold, & Glory: How Vikings, Conquistadors, & the Colombian Exchange Changed the World" as one of two 2019 AGATE Curriculum Award winners.

The purpose of this award is to highlight the importance of a differentiated curriculum and to recognize outstanding curriculum units. Up to 2 awards, representing a total amount of $1,000 will be awarded at the annual AGATE Conference to teachers employed by an Arkansas school.

Submissions were judged based on originality, creativity, and according to the rubric provided in the application. Developers of the chosen units will be expected to share their remarkable work with conference attendees during a panel discussion presentation during a breakout session at the same AGATE conference in which award checks are presented.

As an award recipient, the Jessieville Public School District will be formally recognized with a certificate and check for $500 at the Awards Luncheon during the AGATE annual conference, which will be held at the Marriott Hotel & Convention Center in Little Rock on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.

Jessieville School District is proud of the work that Ms. Bates does with the students in her classes and with the GT program in the district. She is an asset to the district and our students.

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JHS Student Named to NPC President's List

Jessieville High School Senior, Allison Storment has been named to the National Park College President's List for the Fall 2018 semester. To be named to the President's list, students must maintain a minimum 3.6 GPA for the semester and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.6.

Allison is an honor student and is on track to be an Honor Graduate. She currently takes College Trigonometry, AP World History, and AP Literature. She was a water girl for the senior football team and currently serves as manager for the senior basketball teams, and was selected as the January Student of the Month for Jessieville High School.

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Upcoming Events

January 15 - junior and senior basketball at Ftn. Lake, 4:00 pm

January 18 - junior and senior basketball versus Booneville at home, 4:00 pm

January 19 - Peewee basketball at Glen Rose, 9:00 am

January 19 - Winter formal for high school students, 7:30 - 11:00 pm

January 21 - No School

January 21 - Peewee basketball - Bauxite at Jessieville, 5:30 pm

January 22 - junior and senior basketball versus Perryville at home - students admitted free with Jessieville t-shirt, 5:00 pm

January 24 - Garland County Spelling Bee - 9:00 am at Gospel Light Church

January 24 - junior and senior basketball versus Lamar at home, 4:00 pm

January 25 & 26 - Arkansas Beta Club Convention

January 26 - Peewee basketball at Fountain Lake, 9:00 am

January 28 - 7th grade and junior high basketball versus Perryville at home, 5:00 pm

January 28 - EAST Night Out, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

January 29 - JSD Blood Drive - 12:00 - 5:00 pm, Sports Arena Hospitality Room

January 29 - 7th-grade girls, junior boys, and senior basketball at Two Rivers, 4:00 pm

January 31 - Career Exploration Fair for 11th graders, 9:00 - 11:00 am

January 31 - 7th grade and junior high basketball at Cutter Morning Star, 4:30 pm

February 1 - junior and senior basketball at Paris, 4:00 pm

February 2 - Peewee tournaments

February 5 - senior basketball versus Atkins at home, 5:00 pm

Jessieville School District on Social Media

You can now follow the Jessieville School District on Twitter (@JessievilleD) and Instagram as well as Facebook and the JSD mobile app.