What is LISA Academy ?

Representative Cheatham spoke very highly about LISA Academies during the LISA Academy Outreach Dinner. Click on the picture to see all pictures of the event.

LISA Academies are very good examples of Public Charter Schools in the State of Arkansas. LISA Academy in Little Rock has been serving the education of Arkansas since 2004. LISA Academy in Sherwood has been open since 2008. The schools are very-well known in the community for their Math and Science focus, successful academic programs that lead academic success for students, college preparatory programs, state-winning teams such as MathCounts, Science Fair, Science Quiz Bowl, Science Olympiads, Social Studies Quiz Bowl, Spelling Bee etc., parental involvement and its diversity.

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What does LISA Stand for?

Little Scholars of Arkansas

LISA Academy's Mission

The mission of LISA Academy is to provide an academically rigorous college preparatory program, in partnership with students, families, and the community, and guide all students in gaining knowledge, skills, and the attitude necessary to direct their lives, improve a diverse society, and excel in a changing world by providing dynamic, resource-rich learning environments.

Who Operates LISA Schools ?

LISA Academy Public Charter Schools are operated by the LISA Foundation , a non-profit organization, established in Little Rock, Arkansas, for the sole purpose of supporting LISA Schools. The LISA Foundation, the charter holder, conducts business as LISA Academies. LISA Academy operates 2 charter schools in Arkansas, one in Little Rock and one in Sherwood.

Do LISA Academies or the LISA Foundation Have any Ties with any Religious Movement ?

LISA Academy Public Schools and the LISA Foundation are nonprofit, academic entities founded in the United States for the sole purpose of providing quality public education for children in Arkansas. LISA Academy was established by a group of educators at University of Arkansas, who realized the need for advanced math and science education in Arkansas. There are no ties of any kind to any religious movement.

Do LISA Academy Public Schools Teach Religion ?

No. LISA Academy Public Schools are not affiliated with any religious group, nor do our schools teach any sort of religious curriculum. As publicly funded charter, LISA Academy is required to abide by the same state curriculum as any traditional public school. We have a 7-year track record of delivering a rigorous math and science-centered curriculum that produces excellent academic results. We adhere strictly to the guidelines of the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), and our focus is on delivering excellent educational opportunities for children in Arkansas.

Why does LISA Recruit Teacher from Outside of the United States ?

At LISA Public Schools, we are committed to providing the very best education for our students, and we recruit international teachers within the United States and outside. Today, Arkansas and America have a shortage of qualified math and science teachers. This unfortunate situation was highlighted in a January 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Education, which identified specific areas of deficiency (including math and science) and called for the hiring of teachers in those areas as rapidly as possible.

That report follows a 2009 study that found a severe lack of math and science educators in the United States, and suggested that the shortage would grow in coming years; while at the same time new high school graduation requirements were requiring increases in math and science curriculum. This critical shortage of math and science teachers has resulted in education experts urging the federal government to become more involved in recruiting underrepresented minority students to science, math, and engineering majors, noting such efforts are critical to increasing the number of Americans working in those fields (The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 2009).

LISA only hires international teachers when there is not enough highly qualified math and science teachers in the application pool. As a result of the national shortage of math and science teachers, it becomes a viable option for LISA administrators to hire international teachers based primarily on academic professional credentials, regardless of their national origin.

How many H1-B Teachers does LISA employ ?

Due to the ongoing teacher shortages in the field of math and science, less than 20 percent of LISA Public School teachers hold H-1B visas. Initially, a teacher may be issued an H-1B visa for a-three-year term, only after the federal government has determined that no U.S. citizen is qualified for the job being filled. This situation is due to the well-documented critical shortage of science and math teachers in the U.S. As a result, LISA Public Schools must recruit both inside and outside of the United States to find teachers qualified to meet the rigorous math and science-centered curriculum that is the foundation of our schools. Our goal is that one day, based on our intense focus on math and science, LISA graduates will help fill the nation’s critical need for math and science teachers.

What Ethical Standards are in Place at LISA Schools ?

At LISA Academies, excellence is our standard, and this applies without exception to our students, teachers, faculty, Board of Directors, vendors, and anyone else affiliated with our schools. We have a meticulous recruitment and training process, and our teachers, in particular, are required to:

  • Recognize the basic dignities of all individuals with whom they interact in the performance of their duties;
  • Represent accurately their academic and professional qualifications;
  • Exercise due care to protect the mental and physical safety of students, colleagues, and subordinates;
  • Understand and apply the knowledge and skills appropriate to assigned responsibilities;
  • Keep in confidence legally confidential information they may obtain;
  • Ensure that their actions, or those of another on their behalf, are not made with the specific intent of advancing private economic interests;
  • Refrain from using their position or public property, or permitting another person to use an employee's position or public property, for partisan political or religious purposes; and,
  • Avoid accepting anything of value offered by another for the purpose of influencing judgment.

How are the Members of LISA Board of Directors Selected ?

The LISA Foundation is a nonprofit organization and members of its Board of Directors, who serve as unpaid volunteers, can be nominated by anyone – existing Board members, LISA Academy school employees, parents of LISA students, LISA alumni, even the general public.  The existing Board of Directors reviews the qualifications of nominees, seeking individuals who have expertise, experience or leadership abilities that will contribute to maintaining a continued standard of excellence for LISA Public Schools and students. Once each year, the existing Board of Directors votes on nominations to replace members whose terms have expired or who have left the Board for other reasons.

Is LISA Academy Accredited ?

Of course. Every year, Arkansas Department of Education does its own checks and audits to make sure every public school in Arkansas comply with the state standards. LISA Academy has been accredited by the Department of Education every year since 2004.

How Are LISA Academies Funded and Is there an Audit Mechanism?

LISA Academies are public charter schools. The only fund resources of the schools are the state and federal funds. LISA Academies  have financial audits every year as state requirement.

Who can Apply for LISA Academy ?

LISA Academies are open enrollment and free to all students living in the State of Arkansas. Students must also be age eligible to attend any LISA Public School.

Is There a School Uniform Policy ?

Yes, there is a school uniform policy at LISA Public Schools. Parents need to purchase uniforms before the school starts from the school.

Do LISA Academies Offer After School and Saturday Tutorials ?

Yes, LISA Academies offer after school and Saturday tutorials.

Do LISA Academies Offer Gifted-Talented Program ?

Yes, LISA Academies offer GT program.

Why Should Parents Send Their Child to LISA Academy ?

LISA Academy Public Schools offer a comprehensive college preparatory program emphasizing science, mathematics, and technology education.LISA Academy Public Schools strive to play a role in satisfying this need. LISA Academy Public Schools also offer programs to develop skills and education for its students to enroll in Science and Engineering departments of prestigious colleges in the country and compete in an increasingly demanding workplace of science and technology, and contribute to the long-term economic development for the region.
  • As LISA Academy Public Schools, we believe every child can learn and grow into a successful and productive citizen. When this belief is combined with the expertise necessary to set up and run a school, the result, we think, is an excellent environment for your children to learn. We believe that this environment will lay the foundation for a bright and productive future.
  • LISA Academy Public Schools emphasize character education. We believe that parents want schools where their children are taught to be honest, courageous, persistent, etc. individuals, not just where they become educated. Our students wear uniforms daily and adhere to a clearly-articulated discipline policy.
  • Our teachers and leadership team are experienced and committed. Administrators are also strong, dedicated and diverse, and they monitor the quality and viability of our organization.

  • Your children will be in the classroom with a high-performing teacher at LISA Academies.
  • At LISA Academies, our goal is to enable our graduating seniors to enroll in top 4-year public and private universities.

What Distinguishes LISA Academies from Other Charter and Traditional Public Schools ?

LISA Academy Public Schools have very high expectations for students in both academics and behavior. Our faculty and staff are dedicated and hard-working, and receive regular professional development and supervision. They function as a team and are committed to ensuring that students succeed. LISA Academy Public Schools have a small school and small class size.

The following educational innovations will distinguish LISA Academy Public Schools from other schools;

  • Integration of technology into curriculum: By using a multi-sensory approach to learning, students will be provided with opportunities to learn through auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic activities. The students are guided through the process of determining which learning style is best suited to their needs at LISA Academy Public Schools.

  • Online Access: Parents will be able access online student grades, attendance, conduct, discipline reports, and teacher comments at LISA Academy Public Schools.

  • Strong Reading and Writing Emphasis: English and ESL teachers focus on pronunciation and spelling of vocabulary used in the school, classroom, and home.

  • Performance Assessments: Performance assessments - also known as "alternative" or "authentic" assessments - augment norm-referenced multiple-choice tests in all grade levels at LISA Academy Public Schools.

  • Parental and Community Involvement: Involving parents in the activities of the classrooms, cafeteria, playground and many other extra-curricular affairs helps both students and parents to become better acquainted with the process of education.

  • Peer Tutoring, Mentoring and Counseling: Peer partnership is used as a positive tool at LISA Academy Public Schools. High school students will tutor elementary and middle school students in core areas.

  • Guidance for teaching and support personnel: In-services are the frequent and major part of our staff development LISA Academy Public Schools.

  • Teachers as Homeroom Advisors: Middle school students are assigned a homeroom teacher who acts as an advisor, helper, and immediate guide for the student at LISA Academy Public Schools.

  • Character Education and Leadership development: The aim of education is to support the growth of pupils' overall personalities.

  • Family Visits: At LISA Academy Public Schools, parent-teacher relationship is improved by family visits. Teachers will be urged to visit students at home to inform the parents about the school and student’s progress, while the parents will have an opportunity to provide the teachers with feedback and input.

  • Cross-disciplinary learning: Students work on projects that require cooperative teaching efforts in Language Arts, Fine Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.

  • Participation in Contests: Students in the gifted and talented and the standard program are encouraged to participate in local, statewide, national and international competitions.

  • Out of State and Europe Trips:LISA Academy Public Schools organize out of state and Europe Trips every year to different countries in Europe.

Do LISA Academies Offer Character Education and What Does It Exactly Mean ?

Yes, as LISA Academy Public Schools, we also offer character education classes to our students. By character we mean “common sense values” such as honesty and integrity. LISA Academy Public Schools strive to create a culture that honors “Doing the RIGHT Thing!” where RIGHT stands for Respectful, Intelligent, Genuine, Hard-Working and Team-Oriented.

As LISA Academy Public Schools we hope that parents who want their children to grow up to be adults who embrace common sense values will not only choose to send their children to LISA Academy Public Schools, but also work with us to model and teach their children what these words mean and what they look like when put into action.

LISA Academy Public Schools hire faculty, administrators, and staff who embody principles of character and leadership and who wish to be an active part of a community that values these in word and deed.