FPS Community Blog

September 2009 Archives

Purple Dog Night at Steak-n-Shake

Posted by Alan on September 29, 2009 9:13 AM | Filed in Events |

bulldog_hungry.pngTonight from 5-8pm, Steak-n-Shake, is having FHS Bulldog night.  Go by Steak-n-Shake between 5-8 pm and 10% of the sales will benefit the FHS Football Program. Thank you for your support of our Bulldogs!  Go Purple Dogs! BEAT Springdale!"

Bands to Help Clean Up for Bikes, Blues & BBQ

Posted by Alan on September 24, 2009 3:39 PM | Filed in News |

BBB_1_-372x314.pngFayetteville Band members and band boosters will help clean-up after Bikes, Blues & BBQ on Sunday morning, Sept. 27.
FHS Band members will have an unusually active weekend.  The band will perform at pre-game and half-time Friday night at Harmon Field.  Saturday morning, the band travels to Owasso, OK, for a marching contest.  Then Sunday morning band members and boosters will start picking up trash on Dickson street at 7 a.m. and must be finished by 2 p.m.
Each night during the festival, band boosters will also work overnight from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. to help keep the area clean and make Sunday's clean-up easier.  Sunday morning, FHS band members will be joined with band members from both the Ramay and Woodland Junior High Schools.
Band booster fund raisers help supplement the band's annual budget.  The Fayetteville Band will be completing at several marching contests this fall, including the Greater St. Louis Marching Festival on October 24.  Forty eight bands participate in the festival and are judged by nationally recognized band directors from high schools, college band programs and from drum and bugle corps staffs. This is the 38th year for the Greater St. Louis Marching Band Festival.  Fayetteville has been on a waiting list for several years.  They were invited last year, but were raising money for their appearance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Each student must raise $180 to cover travel costs to St. Louis.
For information on the band, visit the band's web site at www.fayettevilleband.com.

TLX Application Deadline Extended

Posted by Alan on September 24, 2009 11:10 AM | Filed in News |

xperience-logo.pngThe deadline to apply for the Teen Leadership Xperience class of 2010 has been extended until Thursday, October 1. TLX is a program sponsored by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce that identifies emerging leaders at Fayetteville High School and provides opportunities to meet local leadership, see leadership in action, and develop plans to be leaders at FHS.

Click here for more info on TLX and the application form.

FHS ACT Scores Trending Up

Posted by Alan on September 23, 2009 1:49 PM | (Not Filed) |

ACT_logo2.pngIn their College Readiness Letter to the Fayetteville School District for 2009, ACT reported the following composite scores for FHS students on the ACT Exam from 2005 to 2009:

22.5 (state avg: 20.3)
2006: 22.9 (state avg. 20.6)
2007: 23.3 (state avg. 20.5)
2008: 23.6 (state avg. 20.6)
2009: 23.9 (state avg. 20.6)

Now, that's a nice trend!

14 FHS Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

Posted by Alan on September 16, 2009 12:59 PM | Filed in News |

FHS_front.pngFHS Seniors Mathias Bellaiche, Sue Breden, Pete Brooks, Benjamin Costrell, Zoe Curlee-Strauss, Mary Guthrie, Robert Hills, Kate Ivey, Yibo, Jia, Melissa Richardson, Gabe Trumbo, Annie Wang, California Wang, and Rachel Yeager have been named as semifinalists in the 2010 National Merit Scholarship Program. Only Little Rock Central High School had more semifinalists than FHS.

To see the news release from National Merit, click here.

Statement on Millage Election

Posted by Alan on September 16, 2009 10:54 AM | Filed in Miscellaneous | Comments (4)

Statement from Vicki Thomas, superintendent:

On behalf of the Fayetteville School District, I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers for the thousands of hours they contributed toward the millage election. While we are disappointed in the outcome, we are encouraged by the tremendous voter turnout. Fayetteville has always and will always make the education of children its first priority. We have heard from many of our patrons who still believe Fayetteville needs a new high school, and we will continue to work diligently to make that a reality for our students and the community.

Special thanks go to Missy Kincaid and Fred Vorsanger, the co-chairs of the campaign, and to our school board members, principals, parents, teachers, and central office staff who worked so tirelessly in this election. Regardless of the outcome, you gave it your all, and, for that, we are indebted to you.

Get a Subscription to The Register

Posted by Alan on September 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Filed in News |


Fayetteville High School's award-winning student newspaper, the Register, is offering subscriptions this year.  Subscriptions are now $12 for 7 issues. Please contact student newspaper subscription manager Hannah Hairston at 445- 1191 or email newspaper adviser Geniece Yates or visit the school newspaper site.

Vandergriff Elementary Named National Blue Ribbon School

Posted by Alan on September 15, 2009 2:28 PM | Filed in News |

p1242322399_585.jpgWASHINGTON, DC--U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced 314 schools as 2009 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Secretary Duncan was joined by Maryland State Superintendent Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, Montgomery County Board of Education President Shirley Brandman, and Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast for the announcement this morning at Highland Elementary School, a 2009 Blue Ribbon School in Silver Spring, Md.

In Arkansas, Vandergriff Elementary School, Mount Pleasant Elementary School, and Park International Magnet School in Hot Springs were named to the 2009 list.

The schools - 264 public and 50 private - will be honored at an awards ceremony on November 3 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. For the past 27 years, more than 6,150 of America's schools have received this coveted award.

"These Blue Ribbon Schools have shown that all children can learn with appropriate supports," Duncan said. "They are producing outstanding results for their students. Some have shown dramatic improvements in places where students are overcoming the challenges of poverty, and others serve as examples of consistent excellence that can be a resource for other schools. They are places where improved teaching and learning benefits every student, and where students are challenged to meet high expectations with the active support of teachers, parents and the community."

The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior, or have made dramatic gains in student achievement and helped close gaps in achievement among minority and disadvantaged students. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals. Using standards of excellence, as evidenced by student achievement measures and the characteristics known from research to exemplify school quality, the Department celebrates schools, including those that beat the odds.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private schools based on one of two criteria: 1) Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests or in the case of private schools in the top 10 percent of the nation on nationally-normed tests; and 2) Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that demonstrate dramatic improvement of student performance to high levels on state tests or nationally-normed tests.

In addition, public schools must meet Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, in reading (language arts) and mathematics. Each state -- not the federal government -- sets its own academic standards and benchmark goals.

A total of 413 schools nationwide can be nominated, based on the number of K-12 students and the number of schools in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Chief State School Officer (CSSO) nominates public schools, and the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) submits private schools' nominations. The schools are invited by the Secretary of Education to submit an application for possible recognition as a Blue Ribbon School.

To see the complete list, go to http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/2009/applications/index.html

18 & Live to Go: A Legal Handbook for Young Arkansans

Posted by Alan on September 14, 2009 1:08 PM | Filed in Miscellaneous |

18_cover.pngThe Arkansas Bar Association has released a great new handbook for young adults entitled "18 & Life to Go: A Legal Handbook for Young Arkansans. It contains a wealth of information and advice on Arkansas laws pertaining to automobiles, consumer rights, contracts, employment, insurance, lawsuits, marriage, personal injury, and much more.

Click here to read the handbook

Teen Leadership Xperience for FHS Juniors

Posted by Alan on September 14, 2009 8:47 AM | Filed in News |


A program of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerece, the mission of the Teen Leadership "X"Perience program is to provide a program which will educate high school juniors on community issues and the processes of decision making, planning and teamwork.

The Teen Leadership "X"Perience program began in 1999 with the first class graduating in 2000. More than 200 Fayetteville High School students have graduated from the program.


The Teen Leadership "X"Perience program consists of seven full-day training sessions. Participants are also required to work on an individual and group community project. The sessions begin in October and continue through April. Graduation will also be held in April. To graduate each participant will be allowed to miss no more than one session.

Sessions will include:

Social Services
Business & Industry
Government & Law
Quality of Life


You may pick-up an application from the FHS Counselor's Office or click the link below. Simply complete the application and turn it in to your Counselor's Office or the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce office. You may also click on the "Teen Leadership Application" link below to download a copy of the 2009-2010 Teen Leadership application.


The Teen Leadership "X"Perience committee will review applications. The class size is limited. You MUST be a high school junior to apply for the program.

The Teen Leadership "X"Perience Class participants will be selected and notified by September 25th.


The fee for each participant is $50.00.

District to Receive Stimulus Credits for New FHS

Posted by Alan on September 11, 2009 3:50 PM | Filed in News |

FHS_front.pngThe Fayetteville School District learned today that the Arkansas Department of Education plans to release $113,443,000 in stimulus credits on September 21. Applying the rules of the program and understanding that a limited number of school districts applied for credits by the 2009 deadline, the new Fayetteville High School project could receive approximately $54 million of these credits for use in financing the project.

This will significantly lower the district's interest rate on the bonds and reduce the date the bonds will be paid off by perhaps as much as six years.

The Stimulus credits could equal an interest savings of approximately $63,000,000, depending upon market conditions at the time the bonds are being offered. According to Dr. Lisa Morstad, chief financial officer of the district, "Due to the Stimulus Act, this is a very unique opportunity in which the district will be able to finance the new high school under extremely favorable terms. We are uniquely positioned in 2009 to take advantage of these credits, since the 2010 credits cycle will likely have many more participants, making the allocations much smaller. We're grateful to Dennis Hunt and the staff at Stephens, Inc., for informing us of this opportunity and helping us through the process."

Use of the credits for the new high school is contingent on the passage of the proposed millage increase on September 15.

Bulldogs on National TV on Friday Night!

Posted by Alan on September 9, 2009 10:35 AM | Filed in News |

tv_camera.jpgThe FHS Bulldogs vs. Jefferson City, MO football game on Friday, September 11 will be televised nationally by CBS College Sports TV, which is available in Fayetteville on Direct TV (channel 613) and on Dish Network (channel 152).

Kickoff will be at 7 pm with a special pre-game salute to police, fire fighters, emergency medical responders, and our military to commemorate September 11, 2001.

Statement on President Obama's Address to Students

Posted by Alan on September 7, 2009 4:05 PM | (Not Filed) |

September 7, 2009 A statement from superintendent Vicki Thomas: There has been much confusion locally and nationally regarding the President's education speech on Tuesday. To be absolutely clear, the Fayetteville School District is not prohibiting the viewing of the Presidential address to students on Tuesday. While we are not providing a school-wide viewing, we will fully support our teachers in having their classes view the address. As with all video presentations, we have an opt-out provision for a parent of a student who does not wish their child to view the speech. In that case, the teacher will provide an alternative location and activity for the child. If a parent wishes to exercise this option, I ask you to please have your child bring a note tomorrow and give it to the teacher.

Because we do not have the capability to simultaneously broadcast the address to all students, we have made plans in advance to link the address to our website and to place it on Channel 14 so that students and parents might have the opportunity to view it together and discuss the content as often as they choose. It will also be available to teachers to show to their classes who may have not been available for the live broadcast.

I understand that my previous announcement regarding the speech might have some school stakeholders confused or upset. For that I apologize. Please be assured that my initial statements were not a reaction to any political agenda or censorship issue. The Fayetteville School District will not deny student access to President Obama's speech, just as we do not restrict access to appropriate books and other materials.

As a citizen, I honor the Office of President of the United States. As a former social studies teacher, I appreciate the opportunity for a civics lesson. As an educator, I value a message that encourages students to aim high, complete school and be the best one can be. As a school superintendent, I must consider logistics and accessibility for all, whether during real time or through some alternative measure. That has always been my intent, and it is what I hope this plan will accomplish as we move forward.

The text of the President's address may be viewed at

The address may be viewed online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live/

It will also be available live on C-Span on TV.

President Obama's Address on Tuesday

Posted by Alan on September 3, 2009 3:44 PM | (Not Filed) |

whitehouse.pngThe Fayetteville Public Schools would like to provide additional clarification on the viewing of the President's speech on Tuesday.  The District cannot make viewing the speech a coordinated school-wide effort because of logistics,timing of school lunches, and equipment or other instructional requirements (such as physical education). Many of our schools have to feed hundreds of children on a daily basis; we start lunches at 10:30 and many run until 1:00 p.m. We also do not have viewing capabilities in all classrooms.

In an effort to provide access to all students and parents we will make the speech available on our web site and Channel 14 for those who missed the speech. Teachers who have appropriate equipment and whose students are not at lunch may show the speech.  If a parent chooses for their children not to view the speech in those classes, the students will be provided an alternative location and activities.

The Economic Impact of a New FHS

Posted by Alan on September 1, 2009 11:04 AM | Filed in News |

FHS_front.pngGet the facts about the economic impact of the new Fayetteville High School on our community, in terms of real estate values, economic development initiatives, recruiting and retaining a workforce, and developing a strategic educational niche for Fayetteville!

Thursday, September 3
5:30 - 6:30 pm
East Square Plaza lobby (former Bank of America building)

Panelists include:
  • Linda Auman, chief academic officer, Fayetteville Public Schools
  • Lee Ann Kizzar, Washington County Assessor
  • Dr. Lisa Morstad, chief financial officer, Fayetteville Public Schools
  • Dr. Kathy Deck, director, UA Center for Business and Economic Research
  • Don Marr, chief of staff, City of Fayetteville
  • Karon Reese, executive broker, Bassett Mix Realtors

Complete List