• Category 1

    Selected in 2014

  • Grades: pre k - 6
    School Setting: rural
    Town Population: 1,750
    Student Enrollment: 289
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 4%
    White/Caucasian: 95%
    Hispanic: 0%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0%
    Native American: 1%
    Other: 0%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:23
    % Reduced Lunch: 70%
    % ELL Learners: 0%
    Founded: 1920
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Cheryl Holland
  • CONTACT:
    2100 Hickory St
    Des Arc, AR 72040
    870-256-4128
    hollandc@desarc.wmsc.k12.ar.us
Des Arc Elementary
Des Arc, AR
“The procedure provides a continual process of teaching the skills, intervening when necessary, practicing the skills, and reviewing the skills often. We no longer teach a skill, hope for mastery, and then forget it and move on."
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
Our school culture has always been relaxed. There is a safe environment and mutual respect between students and staff. There have been many positive aspects to our school culture and climate. However, it was as if each content area was functioning as a separate entity. There did not seem to be any continuity or connectedness among the various stakeholders within the school. Each department had its own expectations. The main change that has taken place within the last three years is that is now collaboration and support within the school. The faculty and staff now view student achievement as a joint effort. The different grade levels and departments are all working toward a common goal which is student achievement and mastery of the standards. There is now a common commitment to academic success for all students. All staff and faculty work together to ensure that every student moves on to the next phase of their education prepared and will graduate from high school with the knowledge necessary for future workforce training or college academic coursework the endeavor becomes a collective effort.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
The initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement is the restructuring of our daily schedules to reflect an increase in the time spent on Literacy and Math skills. Teachers have been trained in various effective instructional strategies and techniques. With additional time allotted for Literacy and Math, they have been able to implement strategies and make practical classroom applications to improve student achievement. Classroom practices include time-efficient procedures, effective instruction, guided practice, corrective feedback, and frequent cumulative review of skills taught. There has been a school wide effort to integrate Literacy into all subject areas across the curriculum. These efforts have been especially beneficial in establishing a unified endeavor to improve student learning.
What is the single most important factor in the success of your school that others could replicate?
The single most important factor that has contributed to the success of our school is the effort we have put forth to meet the individual needs of each of our students. We use our formative assessments to determine which students are not mastering the skills and to ascertain the specific weakness. We then provide supplemental assistance through small-group and one-on-one re-teaching of skills. After the skills have been mastered, we provide time throughout the day and during the after-school program to practice skills. Students are then given a review of skills each day in the form of Bell Ringers. Bell Ringer activities allow students to review previously taught skills at the beginning of each class period while the teacher calls roll or takes lunch count. Teachers then go over the activity. This takes approximately seven to ten minutes. The procedure provides a continual process of teaching the skills, intervening when necessary, practicing the skills, and reviewing the skills often. We no longer teach a skill, hope for mastery, and then forget it and move on. We try to meet the needs of all students as the needs arise and are made evident to us.
What are your school’s top two goals for the next year?
The top two goals of teh Des Arc Elementary School for next year include: 1. Expand the academic success of our students to include not only intellectual growth but also strong physical and social emotional well-being and 2. Continue to provide opportunities to learn twenty-first century skills in a technology-rich classroom that engages all students in relevant and rigorous learning. These two goals are in addition to our specific academic goals that are ongoing. These two goals are given to represent the school's effort to recognize that education is multi-faceted and must not only prepare children academically but must also address every aspect of the student. The administration and faculty also realize that giving technology its place in the educational process is very important to the overall improvement of the school.
Describe the most successful activity your school has initiated to strengthen ties to your community.
Our most successful activity that has enabled us to strengthen ties to with the community is our "Family Fun Night." This is a night when the entire community comes together. Each teacher and staff member prepares a fun game activity. Our parent committee, PALS (Partners Active in Learning Situations) assist us in putting together a live and silent auction with items donated by classrooms, parents, and community members. Over $26,00 was earned in approximately four hours at last years "Family Fun Night." That amount increases each year. This night brings administration, teachers, parents, students, and the community together for a fun-filled event. A number of items have been purchased for the the elementary school with the funds raised. The money has helped fund a security system for the school, purchased playground equipment, an awning and sidewalk for car riders has been added, and iPads were purchased for each classroom. Funds from this years "Family Fun NIght" will be used to purchase two AWIN Radios that will link the high school and elementary with emergency personal and further ensure the safety of our students.
Stats
  • Category 1

    Selected in 2014

  • Grades: pre k - 6
    School Setting: rural
    Town Population: 1,750
    Student Enrollment: 289
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 4%
    White/Caucasian: 95%
    Hispanic: 0%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 0%
    Native American: 1%
    Other: 0%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:23
    % Reduced Lunch: 70%
    % ELL Learners: 0%
    Founded: 1920
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Cheryl Holland
  • CONTACT:
    2100 Hickory St
    Des Arc, AR 72040
    870-256-4128
    hollandc@desarc.wmsc.k12.ar.us