Forward Arkansas picks interim chief
Cory Anderson is the newly appointed interim executive director of Forward Arkansas, a public-private partnership established in 2014 by the Arkansas Department of Education, the Walton Family Foundation and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation to improve equity, achievement and economic prosperity in the state.
Kathy Smith, chairwoman of the Forward Arkansas board of directors, announced the appointment.
Anderson is filling the vacancy created by the early retirement of Executive Director Susan Harriman, who left the organization to address family medical issues.
A nearly 30-year veteran in the nonprofit sector, Anderson is taking on the leadership job as an executive-on-loan from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, where he is the chief innovation officer. He is one of the founders of Forward Arkansas and previously served as the organization's co-managing director from 2015-17.
Anderson is currently a BMe Public Voices Fellow and serves on the boards of Arkansas Baptist College, the Urban League of Arkansas, the Association of Black Foundation Executives and the Neighborhood Funders Group.
Board gives assent on 10 new courses
The Arkansas Board of Education on Thursday approved 10 new semesterlong courses that high school juniors and seniors can take to replace their otherwise required yearlong English courses.
"I don't know of any other state that is doing this," Stacy Smith, the state's assistant commissioner for learning services, said about the semesterlong courses that incorporate college and career interests into literacy lessons.
The courses fall into the areas of literature, communications and technical professions.
One of the new course titles is Public Relations, Sales and Marketing. Another is U.S. History Seminal Documents, and a third is Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Apple recognizes 2 schools in state
Murfreesboro Elementary and High schools were recently recognized by Apple as Apple Distinguished Schools for 2019-22.
Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of innovation, leadership and educational excellence that use technology to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. The honored schools are those that showcase innovative uses of technology in learning and teaching and that have documented results of academic accomplishment.
The two South Pike County School District campuses were honored for their successful deployment of one electronic device per student and for their innovative uses of iPads in student learning.
$353,117 approved for district facility
The Pulaski County Special School District board has approved $353,117 for adding finishes -- including an elevator -- to the second floor of the new Robinson Middle School indoor practice facility.
The second-floor space is being used for the district's Driven School of Opportunity, which is a combination of online and in-person instruction for students from the adjoining Robinson High.
Currently, classrooms are being used elsewhere in the new middle school for the high school program, School Board member Brian Maune said, adding that it is important to have a single open space for the program, which is being used to recruit students from the Little Rock School District.
Curtis Johnson, the district's executive director for operations, said the plans for upstairs restrooms, a revamp of the heating-and-air system, additional lighting and a skywalk were omitted from the initial construction plans because of costs.
"We cut it down to a point where I could get some livable space for our kids," Johnson said.
Metro on 12/15/2019