ARKANSAS PUBLIC SCHOOL RESOURCE CENTER
ADVANTAGE MARCH/APRIL 2009
WHO IS APSRC?
CONTENTS Arkansas Public School Resource Center Victory Building 1401 West Capitol, Suite 435 Little Rock, AR 72201 Telephone: 501-492-4300 Fax: 501-492-4305
www.apsrc.net Scott Smith
Executive Director email@example.com
Finance Services Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Technology Specialist email@example.com
Financial Analyst firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications Director email@example.com
Office Manager firstname.lastname@example.org 2| March/April 2009 | ADVANTAGE
6 Who is APSRC? Discover the story behind the Arkansas Public School Resource Center and learn how it can benefit your school on everything from finance to technology. 4 Directorâ€™s Report A letter from APSRC Executive Director Scott Smith. 11 Finance First APSRC Finance Services Director Bobbie Davis deciphers what you need to know about the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS MARCH
March 12 - Rural Advisory Board Meeting March 20 - Quarterly Report for Open-Enrollment Charters due March 16 - State Board of Education Meeting March 21 - Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School Open House March 24 - Jacksonville Lighthouse Ground Breaking at noon March 31 - ACSIP amendments due March 31 - Last date to submit Federal Notice of Funds Transfer March 31 - APSRC Policy Board Meeting
April 1 - Preventative Maintenance and Status Report due April 1 - Title I Quarterly Report of Cash Distribution due April 10 - ADE and AAEA stimulus meeting at 10 a.m. April 10 - Child Nutrition Claim for March Reimbursement due April 13 - State Board of Education Meeting ADVANTAGE| March/April 2009 | 3
DIRECTOR’S REPORT APSRC offers first-rate education expertise Scott Smith, Executive Director
Welcome to the Arkansas Public School
is available to the public as
Resource Center’s first edition of its bimonthly newsletter, the Advantage. The Advantage strives to give you just that - an advantage in your policies and practices.
a guide to understanding
The Advantage was created
survive and thrive in the
Future editions will only
to serve as a supplement
be available only to our
to the APSRC Web site -
www.apsrc.net - and will
what the Arkansas Public School Resource Center is all about.
members and will contain much
provide our members with
This inaugural edition of
information about issues
the information, news and
the Advantage serves as an
on everything education-
introduction to APSRC and
Director’s Report page 13
4| March/April 2009 | ADVANTAGE
NEWS Members only
Top ten list
The Member Services section of the APSRC Web site is now officially members only. Join today to get your member login and start enjoying all the benefits of being an APSRC member!
Education Week ranked Arkansas tenth in the nation based on education policies and student success. The state earned a 79.6 - a B minus - and was only five points behind top-ranking Maryland.
APSRC hired three new staff members in
States were scored on six categories: chance for success; transitions and alignment;
achievement; standards, assessments and accountability; and teaching profession.
Welcome wagon February. Join us in welcoming Harry Dickens as the new technology specialist; Patsy Hammond as the new financial analyst and Beth McCullough as the new communications director. ADVANTAGE| March/April 2009 | 5
WHO IS APSRC? The Arkansas Public School Resource Center
is a unique, non-profit organization dedicated to providing technical support to and advocating on behalf of Arkansas’s open-enrollment public charter schools and traditional public schools in rural areas. APSRC is the only education organization in the state – and the nation! – that caters specifically to charter school and rural school districts. As such, APSRC is the primary resource and representative voice of Arkansas’s charter schools and rural districts. APSRC strives to increase the number of highquality school options; increase the effectiveness and efficiency of charter and rural schools and create a more positive image and complete perception of charter and rural schools among policymakers and the general public. Membership in APSRC entitles schools, districts, educational cooperatives and other organizations to specialized content, tools, guidance and support 6| March/April 2009 | ADVANTAGE
Support the improvement of public education by providing technical support and advocacy services on behalf of public schools with a special emphasis on charter schools and rural districts.
as well as specific technical assistance in
To become a member, your school must
the areas of law, finance, technology and
commit to the APSRC Values that reflect
teaching and learning.
both what the organization expects of itself – through the services provided to
APSRC also provides members with
members and the advocacy conducted on
professional development training and the
their behalf – and expects of the public
most up-to-date education information on
schools and districts serving the children
everything from best practices to policy
WHAT MAKES APSRC SCHOOLS DIFFERENT?
APSRC expects its member schools to exemplify eight core values:
It all comes down to quality. We expect our
Quality – agree to a statement of quality
members to provide the highest caliber of
principles and strive constantly to increase
education, and we give them the resources
student achievement and narrow the
and support to do just that.
achievement gap ADVANTAGE| March/April 2009 | 7
complementary organizations and other member schools and districts to ensure that all students are successful Integrity – Ensure public trust and credibility by operating with respect, consideration, transparency and honesty Choice – Acknowledge and promote the fact that students and their families have or should have a choice in their education provider and offer services that address the various needs of students and families Sustainability – Foster and maintain a focus that seeds to add recognizable and quantifiable value to students and their families Accountability – Measure and report impact and progress using clear metrics and hold staff responsible for meeting benchmarks Innovation – Promote and support promising new ideas and approaches Diversity – Identify, recruit and retain high-quality educators representing the backgrounds of the students they serve and promote a variety of school options for students and their families 8| March/April 2009 | ADVANTAGE
Why become member of APSRC? RESOURCES ... because why go searching for the answers when they’re right here - Online Member Services section - Access to technical support team
NETWORKING ... because knowing your peers is knowing you’re part of something - Annual APSRC Conference RECOGNITION ... because quality schools should be applauded and given the tools to become ever better - Schools united under the APSRC Values ADVOCACY ... because a strong voice in Little Rock is a strong future for your school - Expert advocacy team steps away from the Capitol
MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS APSRC membership acknowledges that your school is committed to quality and provides a tangible means to display your school’s quality to important stakeholders. Because of their steadfast commitment to continuous improvement, APSRC schools are truly in a league of their own. How do we ensure schools stay on the right track and give our members the recognition they deserve? By providing them with the tools for success! APSRC advocates on behalf of its members and also provides specific technical assistance and support. In general, APSRC plans to focus its member services on three main areas: advocacy, communications and technical assistance. ADVANTAGE| March/April 2009 | 9
APSRC advocates on behalf of its members
APSRC strives to increase educators’
in support of policies that increase the
access to policy information and best
number of high-quality charter schools;
practices as well as increase the public’s
promote a more efficient and effective
understanding of and support for open-
funding formula for all schools; promote
enrollment charter schools and rural school
districts. Membership in APSRC includes
strengthen the ability of schools to monitor
a daily-updated Web site with information
and manage their academic effectiveness;
and resources as well as a bimonthly
strengthen schools’ control over their own
magazine – the APSRC Advantage. APSRC
financial, educational and operational
is also planning an annual conference that
decision making; improve access by all
members could attend at a significant
parents and students – especially those
locked in low-performing schools – to high-quality public school choices and
education resources and improve accuracy,
APSRC provides technical assistance to its
accessibility and quality of information
members in the areas of new charter school
about charter and rural schools available to
opinion leaders and the general public.
finance; technology and law. The Members
Only section of the APSRC Web site APSRC attends all House and Senate
contains a plethora of information on these
Education Committee meetings as well
topics, and APSRC also employs a full-
as regularly schedules meetings with
time staff that is skilled in these areas ready
legislators to advocate on behalf of charter
to assist you and your school. APSRC
and rural schools in Arkansas.
can help you with everything from legal questions to COGNOS to understanding stimulus spending requirements.
10| March/April 2009 | ADVANTAGE
FINANCE FIRST APSRC staff researchs ARRA education stimulus money Dr. Bobbie Davis, Finance Services Director
At APSRC, financial services include
package, $105 billion goes to
analyzing a schoolâ€™s use of federal and NSLA funds, ACSIP budgets, financial reporting, federal and state audit issues, as well as purchasing and bidding procedures.
To learn the rules and regulations
money and how your school
Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
can spend it, visit the APSRC
provided by Dr. Bobbie
and on assisting districts/
Web site for our research.
Davis and Patsy Hammond,
charters on how to efficiently
and over the next few weeks,
and effectively implement
Dr. Davis can be reached
financial services staff of
the use of these funds.
APSRC will be focusing on the American Recovery and
Hammond can be reached at Of the $787 billion ARRA
email@example.com. ADVANTAGE| March/April 2009 | 11
March 10, 2009 - The APSRC Rural School March 24, 2009 - Jacksonville Lighthouse Advisory Board meets with Representative Charter breaks ground on its new location at Monty Betts and House Education Committee North First and Willow Streets in Jacksonville. Chair Bill Abernathy.
Give Me Five! – The Kennesaw Charter School in Kennesaw, Michigan
houses more than 500 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and has developed an innovative way of getting and keeping their students’ attention. Anytime a classroom, hallway, lunchroom or the gym becomes a bit too noisy, someone will raise their hand and put up five fingers. Quickly, the room becomes silent. What’s the trick? It’s a school-wide discipline and character building plan based on five basic rules: 1. Eyes are watching 2. Ears are listening 3. Lips are closed 4. Hands are still 5. Feet are quiet Principal Mridula Hormes said the “Give Me Five!” program has helped improve the quality of what was already a dynamic, high-performing school of more than 500 students. “I wanted to have a discipline piece in place,” she said. “Once you have discipline, you can accomplish anything.” 12| March/April 2009 | ADVANTAGE
Director’s Report from page 4
related from technology to finance to
Our team has been at the Capitol
teaching and learning.
everyday actively participating in the legislative process to advocate
For the past six months, APSRC has
on your behalf. Look for the May/
been putting together a top-notch
June 2009 issue of the Advantage for
team to provide our members the
a complete recap of the 87th General
best services possible. In addition
Assembly including how the new
to the wealth of information online,
education laws affect your school or
with a range of one-on-one training through professional development
If you’re currently a member of
and technical assistance.
APSRC, I welcome you again and thank you for providing us the
APSRC can help your school or
opportunity to serve your school. I
encourage you to take advantage of
training; bookkeeping; financial or
everything we have to offer.
academic accountability; technology integration;
If you’re not currently a member,
ethics and FOI laws and Internet
please enjoy this issue of the
communications as well as with a wide
Advantage and discover how we can
spectrum of additional legal, financial
provide you with the some of the
best education services this state has
teaching and learning issues. APSRC employs the best Arkansas has to offer and serves as a resounding voice for charter schools and rural school districts in our state.
to offer. Scott Smith is a licensed attorney and the Executive Director of the Arkansas Public School Resource Center. He can be reached at ssmith@ apsrc.net or 501-492-4300. ADVANTAGE| March/April 2009 | 13
Arkansas Public School Resource Center March/April 2009 Advantage