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Arkansas Board places schools on probation

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Arkansas Board of Education has placed two Sharp County schools on probation for failure to meet state standards.

"It means these schools have failed to meet all the standards the board of education requires for them to be fully accredited," said Julie Johnson Thompson, director of communication for the board of education.

Twin Rivers School District is listed as one of the four school districts on probation.

Superintendent David Gilliland said a mistake was made by the state and the district shouldn't be on the list.

Gilliland was notified by the state of a problem with his certification. The paperwork had not arrived in Little Rock. Gilliland then submitted the documents in May, he said.

"It wasn't anything done intentionally," he said. "I just assumed my predecessor had turned everything in."

The district still received probationary status because of the state deadlines, Thompson said. The deadline for materials to be submitted was May 15, she said.

Of the 219 schools cited, both Williford High School and Evening Shade High School made it to the probation list along with 61 other schools in the state. Thompson said the severity of the problem determines whether or not the school is put on probation.

The state will visit the schools in October to determine what needs to be done to correct the problems. If the problems are not corrected the schools could be at risk for losing accreditation.

According to Cave City Superintendent Steven Green, the Evening Shade High School was cited and placed on probation for not teaching all 38 required courses, specifically a science elective, a math elective and an instrumental music elective."

The consolidation of Cave City and Evening Shade in 2004 led to the citation.

"A few years ago an upper level elective like physics could be offered every other year," Green said. "Then you had to offer it, but if no students enrolled you just had to have proof that a teacher could teach it. Now they're saying you will have a student enrolled in that elective."

Evening Shade and Cave City campuses will fully consolidate next year into the new high school currently under construction in Cave City.

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