Parent Ambassadors Learn HPS ‘Positives’

Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools

HOPE – The Hope Public Schools are bringing “positives” to the larger community across all grade levels, HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart told the HPS Parent Ambassadors stakeholder gathering Tuesday night.

Dr. Hart introduced a review of campus and district initiatives and activities presented by administrators, staff and teachers by noting four recent “positives” for the district, including:

–The Hope High School Marching Band placing 12th of 50 at state marching 5A competition.

–The HHS Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps passing its Headquarters Inspection with its highest rating ever.

–Three campuses recognized by the University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy as top academic growth schools.

–The tradition of pride and sportsmanship brought to the field each Friday by Hope Bobcat Football.

“We are doing things right,” Hart said. “Let’s make the positive things be the things someone remembers.”

Initiative and campus reviews provided other insights, including:

Hope Collegiate Academy – Students are learning to “take care of business” on the collegiate level; improving study habits; making smoother transitions from high school coursework to collegiate studies.

Beryl Henry Elementary School – Enrichment programs include band, choir and Gifted/Talented classes; services include migrant and family, English Language Learner program; Parent-Teacher Organization offers parental outreach; regular activities offered to include parents; OEP award among top academic growth in state.

HPS Bands – Started with 40 students and anticipate 300 next year across all grades; vastly improved musicianship skills; hosted regional marching assessment contest for first time; state contest 12th of 50 in 5A; new winter drum line/flag line programs; growing leadership programs; overall growth in community support.

Hope Academy of Public Service – Currently 215 students, steady enrollment; growing reputation for public service component, extending into high school grades for state requirements; partnerships, including The Call, providing services to parents of foster families, adoption of Grady Street as continuing service project, Downtown Merchants’ Association, and Hope Haven/Heather Manor nursing homes.

Hope High School – Growth of ninth grade registration for ACT, Accuplacer for concurrent credit; community closet; mentoring partners; parental engagement computer portal; family movie night; civic club support of ACT Aspire incentives; 97 percent attendance first nine weeks for Ninth Grade Academy; reduced ninth-grade discipline referrals; introduction of student-led conferences in ninth grade; development of mini-grant writing; planned redesign of ninth grade assembly space.

HHS Athletics – Cross country team first year conference placement; fall sports include golf, tennis; successful soccer program; basketball program remains strong; growth in attitude and performance in football program; weekly football devotional breakfast; football book club; Coach Phillip Turner to coach in FCA All-Star Game; revitalized baseball and track programs.

District Nutrition Services – Aramark contract has brought more options and increased cafeteria usage; Executive Chef oversees menu development; salad bars being introduced; equipment updates in place; Summer Nutrition Program surpassed 5,600 meals, introduced a “book bus” for early literacy component, and provided community partners for educational activities throughout the summer.

School Improvement Initiatives – Significant growth in state report card/ESSA results; three-year improvement plan based upon state standards showing results; Response To Intervention initiative producing stronger teachers, combined with professional development emphasis in critical areas; “on time” student levels improving; early literacy initiatives showing student progress.

Creative Action Team School – While not reported in official results apart from general high school data, CATS students exceeded the state average in ESSA components for ACT Aspire.

Yerger Middle School – Community support of student needs includes contributions and donations to food pantry and services estimated at $12,000; increasing incentives for perfect attendance; community-based EAST program projects partner with City of Hope and others; social media presence growing; robotics program growing; movie in the park plan for parental engagement developed.

Clinton Primary School – Emphasis on grade-level reading skills growing through Reading Fair, Battle of the Books competition, and Dolly Parton Imagination Library initiative.

Transportation – Parent-friendly social media applications “Here Comes the Bus” and “TransFiner” allow parents to monitor bus activity and student riding time; continued emphasis upon bus safety through state initiatives such as “Flashing Red, Kids Ahead;” maintaining safety across 2,100 miles of bus routes for 27 school buses daily.

Hope Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart addresses parents and district personnel prior to a general review of “positives” across the district for the HPS Parent Ambassadors meeting Nov. 12 at the Hope High School cafeteria. – Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools

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