|Little Rock Central High School|
Front entrance to Little Rock Central High School
1500 Park Street
public high school
|Founded||1869 Sherman School|
1905 Little Rock HS
1927 (current facility)
|School district||Little Rock School District|
|NCES District ID||0509000|
|NCES School ID||050900000607|
|Principal||Nancy Rousseau (2002–)|
|Teaching staff||160.86 (on FTE basis)|
|Student to teacher ratio||15.27|
|Classes offered||Regular, Career Focus, Advanced Placement|
|Hours in school day||6.75|
|Campus size||18 acres (7.3 ha)|
|Color(s)|| Black |
|Fight song||On, Tigers! (based on On, Wisconsin!)|
|Athletics conference||7A/6A East (2012–14)|
|Rival||Little Rock Hall, Little Rock Catholic|
|Accreditation|| ADE |
|USNWR ranking||Unranked (2012)|
|National ranking||No. 275 (2013)|
No. 119 (2012)
No. 123 (2011)
No. 92 (2010)
No. 55 (2009)
No. 32 (2008)
No. 23 (2007)
|Communities served||Little Rock|
Little Rock Central High School
|Location||Little Rock, Arkansas|
|Area||17.95 acres (7.26 ha)|
|Architect||Parks Almand, John|
|Architectural style||Gothic Revival|
|Part of||Central High School Neighborhood Historic District (#96000892)|
|NRHP reference #||77000268|
|Added to NRHP||August 19, 1977|
|Designated NHL||May 20, 1982|
|Designated CP||August 16, 1996|
|Designated NHS||November 6, 1998 (#01000274)|
Little Rock Central High School (LRCHS) is an accredited comprehensive public high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. The school was the site of forced desegregation in 1957 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional three years earlier. This was during the period of heightened activism in the Civil Rights Movement.
Little Rock is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arkansas. It is also the county seat of Pulaski County. It was incorporated on November 7, 1831, on the south bank of the Arkansas River close to the state's geographic center. The city derives its name from a rock formation along the river, named the "Little Rock" by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe in the 1720s. The capital of the Arkansas Territory was moved to Little Rock from Arkansas Post in 1821. The city's population was 198,541 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau. The six-county Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked 78th in terms of population in the United States with 738,344 residents according to the 2017 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.
Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.
In most jurisdictions, secondary education in the United States refers to the last four years of statutory formal education [grade 9 through grade 12 ] at a high school or schools split between three years of junior high school and another three at senior high school.
Central is located at the intersection of Park Street and Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive (formerly 14th Street).Bates was an African-American journalist and state NAACP president who played a key role in bringing about, through the 1957 crisis, the integration of the school.
Daisy Lee Gatson Bates was an American civil rights activist, publisher, journalist, and lecturer who played a leading role in the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909 as a bi-racial endeavor to advance justice for African Americans by a group including W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary White Ovington and Moorfield Storey.
Central can trace its origins to 1869 when the Sherman School operated in a wooden structure at 8th and Sherman streets; it graduated its first class on June 13, 1873. In 1885 the Sherman School was moved to 14th and Scott streets and was named Scott Street School, but was more commonly called City High School. Five years later in 1890, the Peabody School was constructed at West Capitol and Gaines streets. It was named in honor of philanthropist George Peabody from US$200,000 received via the Peabody Education Fund. In 1905, the city founded Little Rock High School at the intersection of 14th and Cumberland streets, and shuttered the Peabody and Scott Street schools to serve as the city's sole public high school. At the time only white students were enrolled.
George Peabody was an American financier and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as the father of modern philanthropy.
Founded of necessity due to damage caused largely by the American Civil War, the Peabody Education Fund was established by George Peabody in 1867 for the purpose of promoting "intellectual, moral, and industrial education in the most destitute portion of the Southern States." The gift of foundation consisted of securities to the value of $2,100,000, of which $1,100,000 were in Mississippi State bonds, afterward repudiated. In 1869 an additional $1,000,000 was given by Mr. Peabody, with $384,000 of Florida funds, also repudiated later. The main purpose of the fund was to aid elementary education by strengthening existing schools. Because it was restricted from founding new schools, it did not benefit freedmen in the South, as there were no established schools for blacks.
In 1927 at a cost of US$1.5 million, the city completed construction on the nation's largest and most expensive high school facility, which remains in use today. In 1953 with the construction of Hall High School, the school was renamed as Little Rock Central High School. It has since been listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and named as a U.S. National Historic Landmark and National Historic Site.
Hall High School is an accredited public high school located in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. Hall is one of five comprehensive four-year public high schools in the Little Rock School District (LRSD) enrolling students in grades nine through twelve.
The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property.
A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Of over 90,000 places listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places, only some 2,500 are recognized as National Historic Landmarks.
Central High School, which covers grades 9 through 12, has an enrollment of 2,456 (2010–11).It is in the Little Rock School District. The current principal is Nancy Rousseau, who became principal in 2002.
The Little Rock School District is a school district in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. It is one of four public school districts in Pulaski County and encompasses 97.60 square miles (252.8 km2) of land nearly coterminous with the state's capital and largest city. As of the 2009-2010 school year, the district includes 50 schools, and had an enrollment of approximately 25,000 students. It has 5 high schools, 7 middle schools, 29 elementary schools, 4 early childhood (pre-kindergarten) centers, 2 alternative schools, 1 adult education center, 1 accelerated learning center, 1 career-technical center, and about 3,800 employees.
Built in 1927 at a cost of $1.5 million, Little Rock Senior High School was designed in the Gothic Revival style; it was hailed as the most expensive, most beautiful, and largest high school in the nation. Statues of four figures over the front entrance represent ambition, personality, opportunity, and preparation.Its opening earned national publicity, with nearly 20,000 people attending the dedication ceremony. In 1953 it was renamed as Little Rock Central High School.
Gothic Revival is an architectural movement popular in the Western world that began in the late 1740s in England. Its popularity grew rapidly in the early 19th century, when increasingly serious and learned admirers of neo-Gothic styles sought to revive medieval Gothic architecture, in contrast to the neoclassical styles prevalent at the time. Gothic Revival draws features from the original Gothic style, including decorative patterns, finials, lancet windows, hood moulds and label stops.
At the time in Arkansas and other states across the South, public school educational facilities were legally racially segregated. In 1954 the US Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that such segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, and encouraged the states to integrate their schools. Related historic events in the 1950s changed education at Central High School and throughout the United States.
LRCHS was the focal point of the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957.Nine Black students, known as the Little Rock Nine, were denied entrance to the school in defiance of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling ordering integration of public schools. This provoked a showdown between the Governor Orval Faubus and President Dwight D. Eisenhower that gained international attention.
On the morning of September 23, 1957, the nine Black high school students faced an angry mob of over 1,000 Whites in front of Central High School who were protesting the integration project.As the students were escorted inside by the Little Rock police, violence escalated, and they were removed from the school. The next day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the 1,200-man 327th Airborne Battle Group of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to escort the nine students into the school. By the same order, he federalized the entire 10,000-man Arkansas National Guard, in order to remove them from the control of Governor Faubus. At nearby Camp Robinson, a hastily organized Task Force 153rd Infantry drew guardsmen from units all over the state. Most of the Arkansas Guard was quickly demobilized, but the ad hoc TF153Inf assumed control at Thanksgiving when the 327th withdrew, and patrolled inside and outside the school for the remainder of the school year. As Melba Pattillo Beals, one of the nine students, wrote in her diary, "After three full days inside Central [High School], I know that integration is a much bigger word than I thought."
This event, watched by the nation and world, was the site of the first important test for the implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954.Many areas of the South pledged to resist this ruling. Arkansas' governor Orval Faubus questioned the authority of the federal court system and the validity of desegregation. The crisis at Little Rock's Central High School was the first fundamental test of the national resolve to enforce black civil rights in the face of massive resistance during the years following the Brown decision. As to whether Eisenhower's specific actions to enforce integration violated the Posse Comitatus Act, the Supreme Court, in Cooper v. Aaron (1958), indirectly affirmed the legality of his conduct. It was never expressly reviewed.
In 1958, federal Judge Jesse Smith Henley of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, stating that integration had "broken down under the pressure of public opinion," suspended operation of the federal integration order until the 1960-61 school term. The school board said that it had faced large fees and could not afford to hire security guards to keep the peace in school.
LRCHS was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 19, 1977, and was designated as a National Historic Landmark on May 20, 1982.The school continues to be used as an educational facility.
In 2007, Central High School held an event for the 50th Anniversary of the Little Rock Nine entering Central. On September 24, 2007, a new museum was opened honoring the Little Rock Nine. That same year, HBO produced a documentary film directed by the Renaud Brothers, Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later, which explored the significant changes and continuities within the school since its desegregation.
Little Rock Central High School made legal history again in 1968, in a case based on the teaching of evolution in the public schools. LRCHS biology teacher Susan Epperson agreed to be the plaintiff in a case challenging an Arkansas law forbidding the teaching of the theory of evolution by natural selection in the public schools. The United States Supreme Court's decision in Epperson v. Arkansas held that states could not require that "teaching and learning must be tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any religious sect or dogma," i.e., the teaching of evolution in schools could not be forbidden on religious grounds.
Today, the high school is minority-majority. The racial breakdown of the school in 2019 was 59% Black, 29% White, 7% Asian, 4% Hispanic, and 1% two or more races.
The assumed course of study follows the Smart Core curriculum developed by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE). For 2011–12, Central is in Whole School Improvement Year 4 in its work to reach Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) toward the No Child Left Behind Act.
Central has an International Studies Magnet Program, an EAST Initiative Lab Program, more than 30 service, academic, and honors clubs, award-winning instrumental and concert band and choral programs, and more than 141 courses offered, including 33 AP and Pre-AP courses and 5 foreign languages.
Its student publications include The Tiger (the student newspaper), The Pix (the school yearbook), which was originally named The Cage, and The Labyrinth (the school poetry and arts magazine).
The Pix was inducted into the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association's Arkansas Yearbook Hall of Fame on April 16, 2010. The 2010–11 edition of the PIX received a Silver Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
The Tiger is the official news publication of Little Rock Central High School and one of the oldest high school newspapers in the country. It is issued in the form of a quarterly mini-magazine that keeps students updated on issues around the school. The newspaper has won many Arkansas Scholastic Press Association awards. The periodical is known for covering difficult aspects of student life, including eating disorders, drug use, and academic dishonesty.
Central is a charter member and has been fully accredited by AdvancED since 1924.It has the oldest charter west of the Mississippi River in the Cum Laude Society.
As of 2008 [update] Central has had the most National Merit and National Achievement finalists in the state over the past 10 years with over $4 million in scholarships awarded during the 2006–07 school year. Central has had five Presidential Scholars in the last decade and had 144 AP Scholars in 2006–07. The school dominates at regional and state Science Fairs. It has the largest number of delegates to Boys' and Girls' State, the most participants in Governor's School Gifted and Talented Program, and has competed in chemistry Olympiad, Arkansas Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, mock trial, various mathematics competitions, and the SECME Olympiad. In addition, Central has had 55 Stephens' Award winners for academic achievement.
The Drama and Competitive Speech program is competitive and became one of the charter chapters of the Arkansas district of the National Forensic League (speech and debate honor society).
The school's choir programs has garnered several Best in Class awards at the annual Arkansas State Choral Festival administered by the Arkansas Choral Directors Association (ArkCDA). In addition, educated Andrew Goldberg. In 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013, the Little Rock Central Madrigals won Class 7A Best in Class for Mixed Ensemble and Overall Ensemble.
Since 2007, Central has been ranked nationally within the top 275 high schools based on the Challenge Index developed by the Washington Post .In Newsweek's June 13, 2010 issue, ranking the country's top high schools, Little Rock Central High School was ranked 94th in the nation, after having been ranked 20th in the magazine's 2006 rankings.
Little Rock Central High School won the National Fed Challenge competition in 2007 and again in 2008.
In 2008, Central was the Quiz Bowl division 7A state champion.
The Little Rock Central Band and Flag Line were selected to participate in the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade for Barack Obama.
The Little Rock Central High School mascot for academic and athletic teams is the Tiger, with black and old gold serving as the school colors. The school's fight song, "On, Tigers!" is based on "On, Wisconsin!."
The Little Rock Tigers compete in numerous interscholastic activities in the state's largest classification (7A) in the 7A/6A East Conference for 2012–14, as administered by the Arkansas Activities Association. The Tigers participate in baseball, basketball (boys/girls), bowling, competitive cheer, cross country, football, golf (boys/girls), soccer (boys/girls), softball, swimming & diving (boys/girls), tennis (boys/girls), track & field (boys/girls), volleyball, and wrestling.
Little Rock Central holds numerous team and individual national and state titles and records including:
Little Rock Central offers a variety of clubs and organizations to support student social and community activities, competitions and events including; Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Future Educators Association (FEA), Junior Civitan, and Student Council.
In addition to National Honor Society and National Beta Club, exceptional students at Central may be eligible to participate in honor societies including: math (Mu Alpha Theta); science (Science National Honor Society (SNHS)); vocal and instrumental music (Tri-M Music Honor Society); journalism (Quill and Scroll Society); theatre and drama (International Thespian Society); speech and debate as charter members of the Arkansas district of the National Forensic League.
Students who are members of the following groups wear special academic dress medallions / cords at graduation:
|Presented by||Color / Honor|
|Beta Club||Black & Gold Ribbon with Medal|
|Future Educators Association||Baby Blue Cord|
|Honor Graduate||Gold Cord|
|Honor Thespian||Royal Blue & Gold Cord with Medallion|
|International Studies||Forest Green Cord|
|International Thespian Society||Royal Blue & Gold Ribbon with Bronze Medallion|
|Junior Civitan||Blue & Yellow Cord|
|National Honor Society||Blue & Gold Tassel|
|Principal's Cabinet||Leadership Medal|
|Quill and Scroll||Blue & Gold Cord|
|Science National Honor Society||Gold, Green & Purple Cord|
|Mu Alpha Theta||Sky Blue & Gold Cord|
|National Forensics League||Silver & Red Cord|
Elementary schools that feed into Little Rock Central include:
Middle schools include:
Magnet-only schools that matriculate many students to Central include Mann Arts and Science Magnet Middle School.
The following are notable people associated with Little Rock High School / Little Rock Central High School. If the person was a Central High School student, the number in parentheses indicates the year of graduation; if the person was a faculty or staff member, that person's title and years of association are included
On November 6, 1998, Congress established Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. The National Historic Site is administered in partnership with the National Park Service, Little Rock Public Schools, the City of Little Rock, and others.
The visitor center for the site is located diagonally across the street from the school and across from the memorial dedicated by Michael Warrick, and opened in fall 2006. It contains a captioned interpretive film on the Little Rock integration crisis, as well as multimedia exhibits on both that and the larger context of desegregation during the 20th century and the Civil Rights Movement.
Opposite the visitor center to the west is the Central High Commemorative Garden, which features nine trees and benches that honor the students. Arches that represent the school's facade contain embedded photographs of the school in years since the crisis, and showcase students of various backgrounds in activities together.
Opposite the visitor center to the south is a historic Mobil gas station, which has been preserved in its appearance at the time of the crisis. At the time, it served as the area for the press and radio and television reporters. It later served as a temporary visitor center before the new one was built.
Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School is a magnet school in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States that concentrates heavily on science and the arts. It is Arkansas' first and only interdistrict high school. Although administered by the Little Rock School District, Parkview may receive students from the Pulaski County Special School District and the North Little Rock School District. It is commonly referred to as Little Rock Parkview.
Catholic High School for Boys is a private, Catholic high school located in Little Rock, Arkansas, and established in 1930.
Bentonville High School (BHS) is a comprehensive public high school in Bentonville, Arkansas, United States. Founded in 1910, the school provides secondary education for more than 3,600 students in grades nine through twelve. It is one of nine public high schools in Benton County, and is one of two high schools of the Bentonville School District.
Mills University Studies High School is a secondary school in Little Rock, Arkansas, serving students in grades 9 through 12 and is one of six high schools within the Pulaski County Special School District. The school opened on August 25th, 1969 and is named after the late Congressman Wilbur Daigh Mills. While drawing students from around its home area, Mills also contains a hybrid Gifted & Talented magnet school focusing on college preparation through Advanced Placement courses. According to the school's website, it is also the only high school in the PCSSD which is authorized to develop new AP courses.
Sylvan Hills High School (SHHS) is an accredited comprehensive public high school located in the city of Sherwood, Arkansas, United States, serving grades nine through twelve. Sylvan Hills is one of four high schools administered by the Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD). Prior to 1956, Sylvan Hills School instructed students through grade nine, until local citizens gathered to approve expanding the school to a senior high, resulting in its first graduating class in 1959. Then, due to the increasing population in the surrounding communities, the school moved to its current campus, adjacent to its former facilities, starting in the 1968–69 school year.
J. A. Fair High School (FHS) is a four-year public high school located in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. J. A. Fair is one of five comprehensive high schools of the Little Rock School District. Beginning the 2014 school year, J. A. Fair is placed under academic distress, changing its name from J. A. Fair Systems Magnet High School to J. A. Fair High School of College and Career Academies.
Central Arkansas Christian Schools (CAC) is a group of three private schools based in North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. CAC was established in 1971 at Sylvan Hills Church of Christ in Sherwood as a segregation academy. The school system includes Central Arkansas Christian High School and two elementary schools: Pleasant Valley and North Little Rock Elementary. Together, they composed the state's second-largest combined private school in 1997. The schools are run by the Churches of Christ and are members of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Alma High School is a comprehensive public high school serving students in grades nine through twelve in Alma, Arkansas, United States. It is the sole high school administered by the Alma School District in Crawford County.
Jacksonville High School (JHS) is a secondary public school located in Jacksonville, Arkansas for students in grades nine through twelve. JHS serves students in the Jacksonville and McAlmont communities and is administered by the Jacksonville North Pulaski School District (JNPSD). In 2007, Jacksonville requested to become separated from the PCSSD and form its own school district, but a final decision has not been made on that request.
The Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) is the primary sanctioning body for high school sports in state of Arkansas. AAA is a member association of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA). Every public secondary school in Arkansas is a de jure member of the AAA, and most private schools, save for a few schools in the delta that belong to the Mississippi Private Schools Association, are included in membership.
The Daisy Bates House is a historic house at 1207 West 28th Street in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is significant as the home of Arkansas NAACP president Daisy Bates, and for its use as a command post for those working to desegregate the Little Rock Central High School during the desegregation crisis of 1957–1958. It was a sanctuary for the nine students involved. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2001.
The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
On May 17, 1954, the U.S Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation of public schools was unconstitutional in the United States. That ruling would focus the spotlight of national attention in the United States upon the Arkansas National Guard and the integration of Central High School. The Arkansas National Guard was drawn into the conflict when Governor Orval Faubus ordered them to "Preserve the Peace" by turning away the black students who were attempting to integrate into Little Rock's Central High School. President Dwight D. Eisenhower reacted to this use of the Guard to foil the court-ordered integration by federalizing the entire Arkansas National Guard and using it to protect the nine black students integrating Central High School.
Maumelle High School is a public secondary school located in Maumelle, Arkansas, United States, for students in grades nine through twelve. Maumelle is one of six high schools administered by the Pulaski County Special School District and is fed into by Maumelle Middle School.
North Little Rock High School is a public school in North Little Rock, Arkansas, that is administered by the North Little Rock School District. As of the 2016–17 school year, the high school consists of one campus, which holds 9th - 12th grade.
Russellville High School is a comprehensive public high school established in 1893 serving the community of Russellville, Arkansas, United States. Located in Pope County and within the Russellville micropolitan area, Russellville High School is the sole high school managed by the Russellville School District and serves students in grades ten through twelve and its main feeder schools are Russellville Junior High School and Russellville Middle School.
Searcy High School (SHS) is a comprehensive public high school serving the community of Searcy, Arkansas, United States. Located in White County, Searcy High School is the sole high school managed by the Searcy School District and serves students in grades nine through twelve.
Dollarway High School is a comprehensive public high school in Pine Bluff, Arkansas that serves grades 9 through 12. It is one of three public high schools in Pine Bluff and the only high school managed by the Dollarway School District. Within the state, the school is often referred to as Pine Bluff Dollarway.
The Baptist Preparatory School is a private, independent college preparatory, preschool, elementary, and junior/senior high school Christian school in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. Founded in 1981, The Baptist Preparatory School via its Lower School and Upper School provide Christian-based education to more than 700 students annually in kindergarten through grade 12.
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