North Little Rock elementary schools to rezone, community forums organized

NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Your child may go to one school for now, but with the amount of elementary schools in North Little Rock going from thirteen to nine, there's bound to be some changes.{} Tuesday night parents got to see those changes first hand.

Several dozen North Little Rock parents gathered at Lakewood Middle School to discuss new elementary school boundaries.{} The boundaries won't take effect until the 2015-2016 school year, but they're expected to affect Deanna Atkinson and her two elementary-school-aged kids.

"The biggest issue is with the kindergartner," said Atkinson.{} "He will be starting kindergarten next year at one school and then if this passes he'll have to start at another school the next year."

For the first time in decades, North Little Rock elementary schools will also be neighborhood based.{} Neighborhood schools were a thing of the past when desegregation came into play in the 1980s - that raises other concerns.

"Some of the concerns that I've heard are that we're going to have an all-black school or we're going to have an all-white school," said Michael Stone, executive director of equity services for North Little Rock.

But Stone said the point of the North Little Rock Schools' Capital Improvement Plan, the plan building several new schools to consolidate old ones, is to give equal access to all students in the district - with new technology and services in each classroom.

For Cathy Lay, parent and former teacher, she said she's excited for the move.

"I think it's good for the kids to be in a neighborhood school so they're close to their school," said Lay.{} "It will make it easier for parents to maybe stop by for lunch or a class party or for a meeting.{} I think ultimately this will be a good thing but it will be a time of transition."

The changes aren't completely set in stone and the district has set up three other public forums to discuss the potential moves.{} Parents have the ability to provide feedback and voice concerns.


NLRSD Community Forums

{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{} April 9 - First Assembly of God Church, Fellowship Hall - 11 AM - 1 PM

{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{} April 10 - First Baptist Church on Scipio Jones Drive - 11 AM - 1 PM

{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{} April 10 - First Baptist Church on Main Street - 6 PM - 8 PM