• Category 2

    Selected in 2019

  • Grades: k - 4
    School Setting: rural
    Town Population: 4,000
    Student Enrollment: 372
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 2%
    White/Caucasian: 89%
    Hispanic: 8%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0%
    Native American: 0%
    Other: 1%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:16
    % Reduced Lunch: 76%
    % ELL Learners: 6%
    Founded: 1928
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Lana Hughes
  • CONTACT:
    11636 Highway 84
    Bismarck, AR 71929
    501-865-3616
    lana.hughes@bsd-lions.net
Bismarck Elementary School
Bismarck, AR
“We pride ourselves in our belief that all of our students are capable of succeeding."
Identify the critical professional development activities you use to improve teaching and student learning.
Bismarck Elementary is dedicated to the PLC process and has placed high importance on training and understanding of this important part of our culture. We focus on grade level collaboration as well as vertical meetings/collaboration with emphasis on math, reading, writing, & science.
We have had extensive professional development on the RTI process and have worked hard to implement a program of excellence.
We work continually on our schoolwide framework that connects our PLC and RTI processes to skillfully produce this multitiered system of support of individual students.

Bismarck teachers stay current in researched-based practices and programs that support our culture and cause. We take pride in keeping focus on those that work for us and our instructional system and continue to build upon those particular ones.
Describe specific programs in place to ensure that families are involved in the success of your school and students.
We have multiple programs in place to included parents in our growth and development. In addition to weekly newsletters sent home by our teachers, we inform our parents of upcoming dates through a text message, our facebook page, district website, and school reach. We provide a list of volunteer opportunities for our parents. These opportunities range from helping with school functions to assisting teachers with classroom events.
We provide instruction to our parents on how to incorporate developmentally appropriate learning activities in the home environment including role play and demonstration by trained volunteers, use of the Department of Education website tools for parents, assistance with nutritional meal planning and preparation and other strategies or curricula developed or acquired by the school district for at home parental instruction.
We have multiple events for our students and families. We host a Family Night each fall that gives parents, teachers, and students the opportunity to interact through fun and educational games. Other important events include book fair helpers, awards day presentation, Red Ribbon Week, open house, choir concerts, various committees, Color Run, Football and Basketball Pep Rallies, Daddy/ Daughter Dance, Mother/Son night and our District-Wide Art show and Fine Arts Night.
Our families are important to us. At Bismarck Elementary we work hard to grow, develop, and provide essential programs for our students and parents in this ever changing society.


What are your school’s top two goals for the next year?
An increase in our Attendance rate. This includes creating a community culture that places high importance on the value of students attending school regularly.
Reading improvement continues to be a focus at Bismarck Elementary.
Describe the most successful activity your school has initiated to strengthen ties to your community.
I cannot narrow this down to one activity but it is the combination of everything we do with our community as a team, which makes us a team. We make effort to involve our parents and community several times per year through various ways. Open House, Family Night, School Community Walk, Music Program, Grandparent's Day, Thanksgiving lunch with parents, Christmas and Valentine's parties, Color Runs, heavily participating in our Community Angel Tree, being dedicated to our awareness of families in need and finding ways to support them. To sum it up, we appreciate our community and take pride and letting them know that we value them wether it be through activities, gestures, or support.
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
We pride ourselves in our believe that all of our students are capable of succeeding. This takes place through teacher/student interactions, a safe & positive environment, clear expectations addressing discipline, taking care of social emotional needs, a detailed system of addressing barriers to learning with the inclusion of high expectations. We strive for parent support and involvement with all the above. We continually work to sustain and improve our collaborative relationships between leaders, teachers, staff, & parents.
Our PLC process has helped to sustain and improve our school culture through increased collaboration of grade levels and subject area departments with a focus on student achievement.
Describe how data is used to improve student achievement and inform decision making.
Student data is used daily at Bismarck Elementary. Formative data is used regularly through various means. Through our Standards Based grading teachers have learned to place focus on exact expectation of standards with less wondering of what is exactly expected. DOK leveled data is evaluated and marked for next steps. Individualized student needs are at the forefront of our decision taking into consideration strengths and weaknesses.
The process of critically examining curriculum and instructional practices relative to students' actual performance on standardized tests and other assessments yields data that help teachers make more accurately informed instructional decisions.
Describe your philosophy of school change or improvement.
Building relationships & developing leadership within is important. Understanding that our school is central to our community and it's needs will build a focus that support students with a bright future in tomorrow's world. By considering the future and remembering the past our school and community will be able to create the education that our students need. "It Takes A Village" has never been so true as it is in our current day and time.
Leading change means a focus on individual strengths and developing leaders. Serving our students to meet their future is crucial. Schools and individuals that adapt and learn from change now, will be the ones that are most likely to be successful in the future.
Explain how ESEA federal funds are used to support your improvement efforts.
Our federal funding is utilized to support the researched-based programs & initiatives we are utilizing, the processes that are required of our programs and initiatives that are in turn crucial to the needs and success of our students. Additional school personnel, supplementing instructional equipment, materials and supplies needed to enhance classroom instruction are included in these efforts. Our additional paraprofessionals focus daily on our Intervention program developed carefully through our training of the RTI process. Data is utilized to maintain the focus and the individualized plan for each student.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
I am a firm believer it is the 'people' not the 'program' so I will go with initiative here. Placing the people on the right bus seat has been invaluable to us. For example, our math department is made up of people that chose it, they love it, they strive to improve it continually. It is the same for other assignments in our school, it is important that we enjoy and take pride on our area.
This leads to our PLC initiative which brings all these focused educators together in the area they are dedicated to and have invested in to work their magic and this results in a schoolwide success that ultimately intertwines every area of our school plan. It is a beautiful system of collaboration and love that reaches every student and his or her achievement need.
What is the single most important factor in the success of your school that others could replicate?
Effective teachers. Bismarck Elementary is blessed with teachers that are dedicated, well-trained, and superior in their field, Their qualities include understanding how to keep students engaged with excelling instructional strategies and sound classroom management skills in which creates a classroom of high achievement. Their exceptional curriculum and instructional planning and time management is key to the success of their organize teaching.
Their understanding that students thrive in a caring, fair, & respectful classroom that is driven by the love of teaching and students is key. Their excellence in questioning strategies and differentiating learning is invaluable. All of this is a process and comes from our desire for our students to achieve to their fullest potential. We learn from each other, from experts, and from our students. Our learning is continuous, desired, ongoing, and will never stop.
Stats
  • Category 2

    Selected in 2019

  • Grades: k - 4
    School Setting: rural
    Town Population: 4,000
    Student Enrollment: 372
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 2%
    White/Caucasian: 89%
    Hispanic: 8%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0%
    Native American: 0%
    Other: 1%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:16
    % Reduced Lunch: 76%
    % ELL Learners: 6%
    Founded: 1928
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Lana Hughes
  • CONTACT:
    11636 Highway 84
    Bismarck, AR 71929
    501-865-3616
    lana.hughes@bsd-lions.net