Another school year is drawing to a close. Shirley School graduated 23 seniors May 11 in the Shirley School Auditorium. It has been a year filled with excitement and accomplishments.

Shirley School enrollment is 356. This is up by nine students over the 2017-18 school year.

Finances look good with an expected balance on June 30th of $824,319 in the operating fund and a balance of $2,715,000 in the building/reserve fund for a total of $3,539,319. The school board recently voted to use $100,000 from the reserve to complete a campus-wide LED lighting project.

Academics

Shirley School District rewarded 65 high school students and 56 elementary students with a trip to Urban Air Trampoline Park in Conway for their efforts on last year's ACT/Aspire test. The students were rewarded for their performance in English, Reading, Math, and Science or for showing high growth in two of those subjects. Students were taught a health unit on the effect of exercise on heart rate and also had to complete a survey and graphs on the favorite activity of their classmates as part of a math unit.

Shirley High School received two awards for growth on the ACT/Aspire tests. The School was awarded a certificate for Best Growth Scores in English Language Arts statewide in 2018 and Beating the Odds in English Language Arts in 2018 from the Office of Outstanding Educational Performance. Along with those awards came $6700.00 to use to improve student tests scores.

One Book One Read

Shirley students took part of One Book One Read literacy engagement with the book “The Toothpaste Millionaire” recommended by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. Each student was presented with their own copy of the book and took part in various classroom activities that reached multiple subject areas such as literacy and finance as well as other areas like diversity and innovation. Students had the opportunity to engage more with book contents as we held a Tooth Fair Day. Each class in elementary picked an activity related to the material.

For the 6th Grade Language Arts class, students had to go through the writing process and create a short story along with an picture that went with the story. Those stories were then published into a book. Students enjoyed the chance to get creative.

Clubs

Shirley Beta Club Does It Again!

Autumn Pruitt, Jeff Mannon Beta Club Sponsors

On January 25th and 26th of 2019, the Shirley High School Beta Club traveled to Hot Springs to compete in the State Beta Convention. The Beta Club is a group of high achieving students with great enthusiasm to go above and beyond expectations.

After weeks of preparation, including after school practices, the Beta Club brought home three state winning titles. Jesse James won 1st place in the Division II AgriScience competition, Adam Graddy, Jessica Ramer, Ariel Privitt, Layla Armstrong, and Alexis Mascio won 4th place in the Problem Solving Scenario competition with their Back to the Future themed skit, and Savannah Newman, Ashley Green, Brannon Littell, Trista Doty, Jesse James, Reece Jones, and Graysen Berry brought home the 1st place win in the Living Literature competition with their amazing scene from Peter Pan. All three of these winning titles qualify for the National Convention in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma June 19-22.

In sports, Senior Boys Track won district and Alyssa Gatlin qualified for state in the 100m.

Shirley Shooting Sports Juniors qualified in top 16 to go to State Competition in June at Jacksonville, Arkansas.

Extra Curricular

Shirley School Celebrates Red Ribbon Week

Shirley School Students have just completed their annual celebration of Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is scheduled to fall within the dates from October 23-October 31. It was originally developed to encourage student to pledge to be drug free. Today it has evolved into teaching students about making healthy choices. Students participated in different dress up days each day. Red Ribbon Week was very busy at Shirley School but it was enjoyed by all. In addition to the dress up days, students were given water bottles, t shirts, necklaces and many other articles with drug free and healthy choice messages on them.

Shirley FFA competed in the County, District, and State Fair livestock divisions. Shirley FFA also assisted in the Farmer for a Day at the Van Buren County Fair.

Shirley FFA competed in District FFA Career Development Events in Russellville. Shirley FFA went to a College Day and Practice CDE at ASU Beebe.

Shirley FFA went to Welding Competition at UACCM Morrilton and placed 5th and 6th overall.

Shirley College and Career Readiness class was awarded a grant to purchase 20 new Chromebooks, a new advanced Smartboard, and color printer. Shirley College and Career Readiness Class as well as 10 grade went to a college day at Ozarka College Melbourne and UACCM Morrilton.

Shirley School Food Pantry

The Shirley School Food Pantry has been in full swing this year. We are currently receiving some small monetary donations and food donations from several local churches in the area. Without those donations it would sometimes be a struggle.

We also have several club sponsors bring students during the school day to volunteer in the food pantry. These volunteer hours are recorded to give students the opportunity to earn service learning accomplishments. A Community Service cord will be awarded to any Shirley graduate who has accumulated 25 volunteer hours and any student earning 75 hours will be given a Community Service credit towards graduation. Volunteer duties include loading and unloading groceries, stocking shelves, building food bags and backpacks, checking expiration dates, breaking down boxes and cleaning up. All this volunteering is a great addition to their high school transcripts and future college applications. It is definitely a group effort to keep up with the food pantry, but knowing we are helping our students and our community is all the reward we need.

The Shirley School Food Pantry is open every Thursday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and is located in the old high school building at the Admin/Superintendent’s Office. The pantry will continue these hours through the summer break for anyone wishing to receive a food box or make donations.