Education Institution Receives $2.1 Million in Grants

The Arkansas Department of Education is one of ten state agencies selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive millions of dollars in awards through federal competitive grants for state evaluation programs.

Arkansas will receive $2,145,418, according to Friday’s grant announcement.

Matt Sewell, director of special programs for Arkansas state agencies, said federal funds will be used to support the MIDAS project, of which Arkansas is the lead state of the three-state consortium.

MIDAS stands for “Using Multiple Measures of Academic Performance from Multiple Sources to Improve Student Decision Making at the Cusp of Alternative Assessment Participation.”

The MIDAS project will help teachers develop the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully teach students with disabilities, including English language learners with disabilities, who participate in state alternative assessments or who have previously participated in assessments. said Sewell.

Alternate assessments are for students with disabilities for whom a general condition assessment is inadequate, even if adequate accommodation is provided. This is intended to provide a more accurate measure of what students with disabilities know and can do.

Arkansas, along with North Carolina and West Virginia, will work with the National Center for Educational Outcomes, which is leading an alternative assessment project, Sewell said.

LR Board Approves Sale of Dodd School

The vacant David O. Dodd Elementary School is on the verge of being sold by the Little Rock School District to the private Pinnacle Classic Academy.

The district school board last week approved the sale of the 6423 Stagecoach Road property for $965,000 in a 5-2 vote. The asking price was $985,000.

Kelsey Bailey, district chief of finance and operations, said the sale is pending the completion of various inspections.

School districts were originally required by law to make unused Dodd grounds available for public charter schools. The district received a waiver from the state to allow it to sell the property to another entity when there was no immediate interest from the charter school operator, Bailey said.

The district closed Dodd after the 2020-21 school year and Dodd students were reassigned to the new JA Fair Kindergarten through 8th grade.

According to the school’s history on the Little Rock School District website, Dodd opened in 1924 as part of the neighboring Pulaski County Special School District.

The current building was constructed in 1959 and expanded in 1974. Little Rock School District acquired the school in 1987 as part of a federal court order.

The campus is named after Civil War figure David Owen Dodd. According to the history of the school district, Dodd Elementary School is built on land that was once part of Washington Dodd’s (David’s uncle) farm.

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