Superintendent's Blog

New Supt. Blog: Dr. Thurman's First Day of School Message

Posted 8/14/2016

Good Sunday afternoon, this is Dr. Thurman, and I want to let you know how excited we are to welcome students back to school tomorrow morning.  

The beginning of school is also the return of school traffic.  It often takes a few days for school car rider lines to flow efficiently, so we would really appreciate your extreme patience when dropping off or picking up your child this week.  For students who ride the bus, please be at your bus stop at least 10 minutes before your scheduled pick up time Monday.  Parents, please remember that during the first week, afternoon buses can run up to 45 minutes late as students learn the procedures and routes. 

Transportation can be confusing for students on the first day of school, especially younger children.  Many parents like to drop off their child on the first day, but your child may not know how they will be getting home.  Please make sure you communicate to your student and school on whether they will be a car rider or bus rider on Monday afternoon.  

A transportation call center will be open to address any bus concerns beginning Monday afternoon through Thursday of this week.  The center will open at 3 p.m. each day and can be accessed by calling 501-743-3531. 

The Cabot School District now has a new online way for parents to apply for free and reduced priced meals. The information is on our district website and paper applications can be picked up in your student's school office. If you were receiving free or reduced price meals last year, it will be necessary to reapply for the new school year.  If you need assistance call at 843-3363 and ask for Food Service.

If you have a smart phone, please remember to download the Cabot Public Schools app.  This will keep you up to date on announcements, events, and you can even check your student’s grades.  

The Home Access Center will be available to parent this year to provide you with up to date information regarding grades, upcoming assignments and attendance.  Your login and password are the same as they were last school year.  If you are new to the district or you have forgotten your information, please contact your child’s school after Tuesday of this week and we’ll be glad to help.  

The safety and well-being of your children and our students is our number one priority.  Please understand that we will ask for identification if you need to check your child out during the day.  Students will not be allowed to be checked out by anyone who is not on the emergency contact sheet for your child. Please contact your child’s school if this information needs to be updated.  

Finally, we want you and your child to have a great experience at school. We can’t address issues and concerns if we are not made aware of them.  If there is a classroom concern, contact the teacher immediately.  If there is a school concern, contact a building administrator immediately.  If you are not pleased with how the teacher or school addressed the concern, let me know immediately. Always remember that we are here to partner with you. It’s imperative that we work together.  

My contact information can be found on our district website under the administration tab.  

Our children grow up very fast.  The years pass quickly and the moments are too special to take for granted.  Let’s have a good year and thanks for being a part of the Cabot School District! Go Panthers!


Summer Construction and Improvement Projects

Posted 6/10/2015

School is out but work continues at the Cabot School District. We have several summer construction and improvement projects underway. 

Westside Elementary School:
*New tile in the office
*Major renovation on two restrooms
*Adding additional parking area

Central Elementary School:
*New carpet in two classrooms

Northside Elementary School:
*Art Room is getting new tile
*Second phase of HVAC project is underway
*New lights and ceiling tile in every classroom

    

Southside Elementary School:
*New Carpet in one room

Junior High South:
*Halls are getting new baseboards
*Gym floors will be refinished

Junior High North:
*Gym floors will be refinished

High School:
*Phase 1 is complete of the parking lot renovation and redesign

    

*Phase 2 and 3 has started, old asphalt is being removed and the entire parking lot will be resurfaced in time for the beginning of school
*All the gravel areas will be asphalted

    

*Old gym and the annex gym floor will be refinished

Agriculture Education Department – S Building Renovation
*Construction continues on the 24,753 square foot remodel
*The existing facility is being remodeled to include:

  

Animal Science Facility
Metals & Woodworking Shop
Fully Automated Greenhouse
Aquaculture & Hydroponics Lab
Agriculture Business Lab
Television Broadcasting Studio/Video/Audio/Editing

   

Cabot Middle School South:
*All classrooms in the 6th grade hall will have old carpet taken out and replaced with new tile floors
*Kiva will have its carpet taken out
*6th grade playground will be moved to a new location to  create 36 additional parking spaces
*HVAC work will add more air to the kitchen

Ward Central Elementary:
*Dirt is being added to the playground to allow for more drainage

Panther Stadium:
*Visitor Concession Stand: Demolition is complete and the new 1,255 square foot building will house eight new bathrooms (4 women/4 men), 4 serving windows and additional storage for track  and field equipment
*Installation of a new sound system 

    

*Throughout the district all tile floors will be stripped of old wax and new wax applied. All carpets will be shampooed.

As you can tell, we have a lot of projects in progress at the Cabot School District. When students and staff return, they’ll be able to benefit from all these new additions and improvements. In the meantime, we hope you have a safe and happy summer and we can’t wait to see everyone back on Monday, August 17th. 


Economic Development & the A-F Grading System

Posted 4/24/2015

*The following letter was sent to members of the Cabot Chamber of Commerce regarding the recently released A-F school grading system.

April 24, 2015

Dear Chamber of Commerce Members,

As business leaders and community members, I know you love and care about our students and school district just as much as I do. I also understand you want to know what’s happening not only in Cabot but across the state, especially when it has to do with our children. 

You may have seen in the news recently, the Arkansas Department of Education released its school performance report cards. For the first time, Arkansas public schools received A-F letter grades. Sound simple? Believe me, it’s anything but simple. In fact, it’s confusing, misleading and very frustrating.

As superintendent of the Cabot School District, I want to assure you that our priority has and always will be to provide an excellent educational opportunity for our students. We have some of the best high-performing schools in the state, top-notch educators leading our children, yet a school rating system that doesn’t make sense at all can take those achievements away unless you truly understand there is much more to this story. 

The A-F letter grade for schools is calculated using an extremely complex formula.  The formula includes: Benchmark/EOC proficiency rates, gaps between non-TAGG and TAGG groups, annual improvement, and graduation rates (if applicable). TAGG stands for Target Achievement Gap Group, which means a student is a member of one of the following subgroups:  Economically Disadvantaged, Students with Disabilities, and English Language Learners. 

According to the 2014 State Report Card, 366 of the state’s 1052 schools were assigned a grade of “C.”  Seven of our schools received a “C” letter grade (4 received A’s, 3 received B’s). Here’s where you’ll start scratching your heads.

It is extremely difficult to understand how a school can receive more funds than any other school in the state from the Arkansas Rewards and Recognition Program and also be rated a “C” school. That’s exactly what happened at Cabot Junior High North! It was recently awarded $111,833.61 for its performance on the 2014 Benchmark and End of Course exams. In total, five of Cabot’s seven “C” schools earned $327,112.68 and were recognized as performing in the Top 10% or Top 20% of schools on the Benchmark and End of Course assessments! 

And that is not all, just about every one of these “C” schools far exceed the state average in math and literacy. For example, Cabot Middle School South’s 5th graders scored 20% higher than the state average in math. Twenty-percent higher! Cabot Middle School North’s 6th graders scored 19% above the state average in math as well; in literacy, they scored 16% higher than the state average.

Still, these schools received a “C” grade. A “C” grade suggests average, and these schools’ records in no way indicate they are performing at an average level. 

School Receiving Letter Grade "C"

School % On Level Literacy

State % On Level Literacy

School % On Level Math

State % On Level Math

Awards, Rewards, Recognition, & Other

Central Elementary

3rd - 81
4th - 86.6

77
84

3rd - 87.3
4th - 77.6

85
82

Title I

Northside

3rd - 71.1
4th - 90.8

77
84

3rd - 86.6
4th - 84.6

85
82

Title I
Top 20 %
$16,377.50

Westside

3rd - 76.4
4th - 83.1

77
84

3rd - 82.0
4th - 78.5

85
82

Title I

Middle North

5th - 87.9
6th - 84.9

82
69

5th - 84.5
6th - 91.2

68
72

AR Diamond School Schools to Watch
Top 10%
$77,073.06

Middle South

5th - 92.9
6th - 82.3

82
69

5th - 88.6
6th - 88

68
72

AR Diamond School Schools to Watch
Top 10%
$69,535.49

Junior North

7th - 81.8
8th - 85.3

77
77

7th - 78.8
8th - 78.6
Alg - 85.3

69
63
75

Top 10%
$111,833.61

Junior South

7th - 83.6
8th - 82

77
77

7th - 70.9
8th - 75.6
Alg - 85.1

69
63
75

Top 20%
$52,293.02

 


Here’s another example that will leave you even more baffled. Three of our elementary schools that received A’s (Stagecoach, Eastside and Mountain Springs), according to the 2014 School Performance Report Card, they were categorized as “Needs Improvement.” What? Needs Improvement? These schools received A’s but the state says they still need improvement? And get this, even though they were listed as “Needs Improvement,” students’ scores ranged from 88.5% to 94.6% proficient in math and literacy and that included scores from students with learning disabilities.

Could you imagine getting an “A” but being told you still need to improve? That does not make sense at all! It is difficult to understand the discrepancies between all these school rating systems. Nothing seems to be consistent except my frustration and I hope you can see where it all stems.

Now, despite this confusing and misleading new grading system, I want you to know that our staff is very proud of our schools and we want you to be as well. We may not be perfect, in fact, we can do even better, but we are certainly not average at all!

We fully understand that the Cabot School District has a huge impact on the economic development and growth of our community. I want to assure you we are doing an outstanding job! Our faculty, staff and students are working hard and it’s disheartening that the state has developed another arbitrary, contradictory, deceiving set of criteria with which to rate them.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me any time. My number is 501-843-3363 or you can email me at tony.thurman@cps.k12.ar.us 

Additional information can be found at the following links: 

1.) Report Card page: http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/public-school-accountability/school-performance/report-card

2.) Parents page: http://www.arkansased.gov/im-looking-for/parents

3.) YouTube (Video): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO_a5SM0kwrHZPrzXBa_ZKQ


A-F Grading Scale for Cabot Schools

Posted 4/15/2015

Are you confused by the A – F Public School Rating System?  We are, and here is why…..

It is difficult to understand how a school can receive more funds than any other school in the state from the Arkansas Rewards and Recognition Program while being rated as a “C” school.  Cabot Junior High North did exactly that!  Recently awarded $111,833.61 for its performance on the 2014 Benchmark and End of Course exams, CJHN along with six other Cabot schools, has been rated as a “C” school by the Arkansas Department of Education.  In total, five of Cabot’s seven “C” schools earned $327,112.68  and were recognized as performing in the Top 10% or Top 20% of schools on Benchmark and End Of Course assessments! These schools’ records in no way indicate they are performing at an average level as the assigning of a “C” grade would suggest.

The A-F letter grade for schools is calculated using a complex formula.  The formula includes:  Benchmark/EOC proficiency rates, gaps between non-TAGG and TAGG groups, annual improvement, and graduation rates (if applicable). TAGG stands for Target Achievement Gap Group, which means a student is a member of one of the following subgroups:  Economically Disadvantaged, Students with Disabilities, and English Language Learners.

The Rewards and Recognition system is also based on Benchmark/End of Course performance and annual student growth.  It is difficult to understand the discrepancy between these two systems.

According to the 2014 State Report Card, 366 of the state’s 1052 schools were assigned a grade of “C.”  There are so many wonderful aspects of our schools, it is frustrating that the state developed another arbitrary set of criteria with which to rate them. We are very proud of our schools and know that we are focusing on what is important.  After all……..It’s about kids.

Cabot Schools Receiving a Letter Grade “C”

School Receiving Letter Grade "C"

School % On Level Literacy

State % On Level Literacy

School % On Level Math

State % On Level Math

Awards, Rewards, Recognition, & Other

Central Elementary

3rd - 81
4th - 86.6

77
84

3rd - 87.3
4th - 77.6

85
82

Title I

Northside

3rd - 71.1
4th - 90.8

77
84

3rd - 86.6
4th - 84.6

85
82

Title I
Top 20 %
$16,377.50

Westside

3rd - 76.4
4th - 83.1

77
84

3rd - 82.0
4th - 78.5

85
82

Title I

Middle North

5th - 87.9
6th - 84.9

82
69

5th - 84.5
6th - 91.2

68
72

AR Diamond School Schools to Watch
Top 10%
$77,073.06

Middle South

5th - 92.9
6th - 82.3

82
69

5th - 88.6
6th - 88

68
72

AR Diamond School Schools to Watch
Top 10%
$69,535.49

Junior North

7th - 81.8
8th - 85.3

77
77

7th - 78.8
8th - 78.6
Alg - 85.3

69
63
75

Top 10%
$111,833.61

Junior South

7th - 83.6
8th - 82

77
77

7th - 70.9
8th - 75.6
Alg - 85.1

69
63
75

Top 20%
$52,293.02

Additional information can be found at the following links:

1.) Report Card page: http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/public-school-accountability/school-performance/report-card.
2.) Parents page: http://www.arkansased.gov/im-looking-for/parents.
3.) YouTube (Video): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO_a5SM0kwrHZPrzXBa_ZKQ


Superintendent's Blog: What is all this about PARCC?

Posted 1/29/2015

PARCC stands for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. PARCC is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. PARCC is made up of the following states:  Arkansas, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island.  

The PARCC assessments will replace the Benchmark assessments which have been used in Arkansas public schools since 2000.  The data from these assessments is important.  Students, parents, teachers and administrators use the data to make decisions regarding instruction.  The information helps school leaders identify areas that may require additional instruction or teacher training.  Data is also used in the identification of students for services such as Gifted and Talented.  

Many forms of data are used by school leaders to guide decisions.  Assessment data is one piece of information which enables school leaders to better serve their students.  This data also provides students and parents valuable information regarding individual student progress.

Who can see a student’s assessment results?  All student information is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Individual student results may only be viewed by the student, that students’ parent or guardian, or a person with an explicit educational interest in that student (e.g., teacher, counselor, administrator).  

School and district results are combined to provide stakeholders information about the performance of their local schools.  These results are published in newspapers and websites.  However, no individual student data is reported. 

Which courses have PARCC assessments?  All mathematics and literacy courses in grades 3 – 8 will be assessed via  PARCC.  Additionally, high school math (Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II) and high school English (English 9, English 10, and English 11) will have PARCC End of Course Assessments.

What is the test like?  PARCC is comprised of two components:  the Performance Based Assessment (PBA) and the End of Year Assessment (EOY).  The Performance Based Assessment will be administered in the early spring. The End of Year Assessment will be administered the last few weeks of school.  Both tests will be computer-based.  The assessments are downloaded onto the district’s secure server and delivered to the student through a secure login.  Students are not on the internet during testing. The tests are comprised of various question types, including multiple choice, short constructed response, and research simulations.  You may view a sample PARCC assessment by visiting this website: http://parcc.pearson.com/practice-tests/  

The teachers and administrators of the Cabot School District will continue to be committed to providing the best educational opportunities for our students.  We believe that if we keep our focus on teaching and learning, test scores take care of themselves.


Cabot Public Schools

Elementary Schools (Grades PreK-4)

Central Elementary
36 Pond Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3564
Fax: (501) 843-4503
Eastside Elementary
17 Bellamy Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3563
Fax: (501) 843-5619
Magness Creek Elementary
16150 Arkansas Hwy 5, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3565
Fax: (501) 843-7567
Mountain Springs Elementary
3620 Mountain Springs
Road, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3575
Fax: (501) 605-1300
Northside Elementary
814 West Locust Street,
Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3568
Fax: (501) 843-6032
Southside Elementary
2600 South Pine Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3567
Fax: (501) 843-6229
Stagecoach Elementary
850 South Stagecoach Road,
Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3574
Fax: (501) 605-1221
Ward Central Elementary
1570 Wilson Loop Road,
Ward, AR 72176
(501) 743-3569
Fax: (501) 843-9744
Westside Elementary
1701 South Second Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3566
Fax: (501) 843-5802

High School (Grades 10-12)

Cabot High School
401 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 843-3562
Fax: (501) 843-4231

Academic Center of Excellence
(Grades 7-12)

Academic Center of Excellence
21 Funtastic Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3520
Fax: (501) 843-0283

Cabot Freshman Academy

Cabot Freshman Academy
18 Spirit Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3576
Fax: (501) 941-1505

Cabot Learning Academy

Cabot Learning Academy
813 West Locust, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3540
Fax: (501) 843-3138

Special Programs

404 North 2nd Street, Cabot, AR 72023
(501) 743-3543
Fax: (501) 941-2613

Central Administrative Office

602 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR 72023
(501) 843-3363
Fax: (501)843-0576

Middle Schools (Grades 5-6)

Cabot Middle School North
1900 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3571
Fax: (501) 605-0413

Cabot Middle School South
2555 Kerr Station Road, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3570
Fax: (501) 941-7432

Junior High Schools
(Grades 7-8)

Cabot Junior High North
38 Spirit Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3572
Fax: (501) 605-8472

Cabot Junior High South
38 Panther Trail, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3573
Fax: (501) 941-7746