Nine Arkansas schools named 'exemplary'

LITTLE ROCK — State education officials on Wednesday released a list of nine public schools classified as “exemplary” under the state Department of Education’s new accountability system.

Exemplary schools are schools that have demonstrated high performance or high progress for all students and a subgroup of students consisting of high poverty students, students with disabilities, and students with limited English proficiency. The schools must also meet annual measurable objectives for all subgroups.

The exemplary schools are Brookland Elementary School; Haas Hall Academy, an open-enrollment charter school in Fayetteville; Smackover Elementary School; Marvin Elementary School in Mulberry; East Junior High School in West Memphis; Newport Junior High School; Des Arc Elementary School; Wilson Elementary School in Little Rock; and Helen Tyson Middle School in Springdale.

“We are extremely proud of these schools for their efforts to ensure that all students are reaching proficiency,” state Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell said in a news release.

Kimbrell announced Tuesday that 137 schools were classified as “achieving,” the second-highest classification. The announcement that nine schools are considered exemplary changes the number of achieving schools to 128.

Kimbrell also said Tuesday that 793 schools were classified as “needs improvement,” 87 as “needs improvement focus” and 38 as “needs improvement priority,” the category for schools with the most urgent improvement needs.