Langston to Become Leadership Academy

Langston to Become Leadership Academy
Posted on 01/22/2019
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In August of 2019, the new Langston Elementary Leadership Academy will open doors for pre-K - 6th grade students on Silver Street. A new, state-of-the-art campus is nearing completion, and a change of name and school theme will complete the full identify shift for this historic Hot Springs school. The current building on Chestnut Street is the Langston Aerospace and Environmental Magnet School, and has 356 students enrolled in pre-K-4th grade classes. Hot Springs School District (HSSD) and Langston leadership hopes the new campus and brand will connect closely with the history and residents of east Hot Springs, and provide a renewed spirit of growth, commitment to public service, and inspiration for learning for students and staff.

Magnet schools are schools of choice, which means children are enrolled based on their interest in the school’s theme, not based upon where they live. While schools may have a general theme, students of course still study a complete range of subjects. Each subject is aligned to Arkansas standards of learning, but is taught within the school’s theme. At the new Langston Elementary Leadership Academy, areas of focus will include community awareness, communication, health and wellness, environment, service, and entrepreneurship. The new mission is to ensure that we enrich the lives of our students and staff with high levels of learning, respect, and community.

“Langston staff has worked hard to create a new theme that we believe reflects the needs and interests of families in this community,” says Langston Principal Eileen Ellars. “With greater focus on working within the organizations, groups, and businesses that are the backbone to this community, we hope to help our students build character as they receive a solid educational experience. Working hands-on with partners and mentors, we are confident that students will not only enjoy the new focus, but will remember offerings and retain communications and entrepreneurial skills in a way that will change their lives and impact lives in this community for the better.”

Within the areas of focus identified, Langston staff members intend to create student engagement and participation in area civic organizations, city government, the Garland County Courts system, and even state and national representation during special events and field trip opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to practice public speaking, engage with media partners to learn about outreach and free speech, and produce a morning news show for the school community. Langston leadership hopes to facilitate a strong partnership with Garland County Health Department officials, and representatives from area fitness and wellness centers to continue the school Backpack Program, and build greater opportunities for school enrichment through an intramural program, extended recess program, and general involvement with health and wellness initiatives. With the new campus, an improved recycling program, community garden, and outdoor classroom are in the works. Langston staff members also hope to thread student activity together with street cleanup programs, visits to local nursing homes and community centers, assistance to the Jackson House, and other local charities. Students will also be exposed to specialized entrepreneurial skills in design, marketing, and business management by partnering with local entrepreneurs and HSSD alumni to arrange for guest speakers and field trips.

The Langston Elementary Leadership Academy is also excited to add to events that facilitate family engagement. Following a six-week study in areas of focus, Langston leadership will organize a Family Game Night event, a food drive, an organized family-to-family visiting period, and other programs that create active collaboration between Langston families and the surrounding community. New student groups and offerings are also planned including Citizenship and Leadership Classes, Student Debate Team, Langston Beta Club, and more.

Parents can expect a fully updated brochure and website about the new Langston Leadership Academy by April 1. April marks the beginning of enrollment for all HSSD kindergarten programs, and all new offerings will be explained in detail so that families can plan ahead and take full part in exciting offerings at the new site.

The new Langston school building was graciously funded by a millage increase from Hot Springs residents. The facility is projected for completion by May. Teachers will begin moving classrooms during the summer, as they also work to build curriculum and classroom resources for the new Leadership Academy school theme. A complete demolition of the current building will take place at the end of May/first of June. When students start classes in August of 2019, the overhaul of the site will be complete and classrooms will be open.

Other magnet elementary schools within the HSSD include the Oaklawn Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School,Gardner STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Magnet School, and Park Magnet - an IB PYP World School.

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