The Arkansas Board of Education on Wednesday gave final approval to LISA Academy’s public charter school plans to offer Kindergarten to Grade 12 in Fayetteville.
The recently approved amendment to the state-issued LISA Academy charter calls for the construction of two buildings to house three schools on South McGuire and West Van Ashe streets in North Fayetteville. Kindergarten to Grade 5 is expected to open in the 2023-24 school year to be followed by middle school in 2024-2025 and high school in 2026-27.
The Board of Education ratified the charter school’s plans in a meeting in which – for the first time – it reinstated a teaching license to an individual who had permanently relinquished his license in 2011 amid a state investigation into allegations he violated the state’s code of ethics for educators.
Members of the Education Council noted that LISA’s Fayetteville campus will be located some distance from residential neighborhoods.
Hasan Sazci, assistant superintendent and director of LISA Academy’s Springdale campus, told the board that a traffic survey showed the school is within a 20-minute drive of several residential communities and the system will provide school bus transportation if there is a demand. for that.
Luanne Baroni, another assistant superintendent and director of system communications, told the board that the advantage of the location is that it is accessible to families in Fayetteville and Springdale. LISA Academy has a Kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Springdale and families there want access to a LISA high school, she said.
GOING ON THE COURSE
Arkansas’ charter clearance committee approved the LISA Academy system’s proposal to open three schools in Fayetteville last month.
The State Board of Education followed up by accepting the panel’s recommendation to add three schools to the charter and increase the system’s maximum enrollment cap from 1,168 students to a total of 6,800 students at serve both central and northwestern Arkansas.
The Board of Education has the power to accept the recommendation of the charter committee on a charter plan or to conduct its own review of the proposal before making a final decision.
The LISA Academy system, headquartered in Little Rock, is the state’s largest charter system in terms of the number of campuses.
The system currently operates seven schools in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Springdale, as well as the LISA Hybrid School in Arkansas. He is constructing three additional Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools in Rogers to serve the Rogers and Bentonville areas. The Rogers campus will begin opening to elementary school students in August 2022.
KLS II Leasing is building LISA Academy’s Rogers campus on Horsebarn Road and will also build the Fayetteville campus. KLS will own the buildings and lease them to the LISA Academy system.
KLS, a subsidiary of the Walton Family Foundation, will charge the system 12% of public funding generated by campuses.
The State Board of Education regularly probates, suspends, revokes or takes other action regarding teacher licenses.
The conditional reinstatement of Christopher Parker’s permanently revoked license by the Board of Education on Wednesday was a first for the board and was only recently made possible by the Arkansas Code annotated 6-17-40.
The reinstatement of his license to teach English / Language Arts as well as Drama and Speech is conditional on his acquisition of 36 hours of professional training. Once hired by a district, he will be on probation for three years and will have to work with a teacher mentor during this period.
The statute allows reinstatement after the passage of 5 or 10 years and the meeting of other qualifications.
Parker told the board he surrendered his license in 2011 rather than conducting a state investigation into allegations he violated the state’s teacher ethics code while working in the Lake Hamilton School District.
Parker, who has since obtained a teacher’s license in South Dakota and requested reinstatement of his Arkansas degrees, admitted he failed to adequately supervise his student classes, failed to report inappropriate behavior from students to supervisors and to promote a philosophy of creativity interpreted as indoctrination. .
He told the Board of Education that he had mistakenly focused his attention on the school’s great theatrical production to the detriment of his other teaching responsibilities.