Lee County

ForwARd’s Work In Lee County


Lee County School District sits in Marianna, AR in the Delta Region. Marianna boasts a population of more than 3,500 and industry focused in agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, retail and healthcare. The District is comprised of three schools: Whitten Elementary/Pre-K, Anna Strong Learning Academy and Lee High School.

Community metrics

  • 20%

    Third Grade Literacy

    Based on the ACT Aspire Achievement Score (2016-2017)

  • 21%

    Eighth Grade Math

    Based on the ACT Aspire Achievement Score (2016-2017)

  • 80%

    High School Graduation

    Based on the School Report Card

  • 35%

    College Enrollment

    Based on LEA Information

Our Work

The focus of the Lee County community plan is to identify avenues to improve parent engagement, expand after-school activities for students and increase teacher retention.

Parent Engagement

Lee County School District has been making a concerted effort to increase parental engagement hosting more events in the elementary school to build trust with parents at an early point in their children’s education. Potential events/opportunities could be art-related programming, Alumni Association, and Community Gardens among others.

After-School Activities

In Spring 2018, Lee County School District was awarded grant funding from the EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) Initiative in Little Rock for an EAST Lab at Lee High School. The EAST Initiative, which opened at 2001, provides all learners the opportunity to have relevant and individualized educational experiences through technology such as 3D Animation, Music Composition/Production, Programming/Coding and GPS/GIS.

A modeling mentorship program was implemented at Lee Senior High School in Spring 2018 as a positive way to strengthen self-confidence, increase community engagement and brainstorm career opportunities. A few of the students involved in the modeling program were featured in the July 2018 issue of Southern Bride magazine.

Maintaining community gardens has also been a successful after-school activity for middle school students with its multi-faceted approach of teaching youth about growing produce, entrepreneurship and community development. Community residents are recipients of food students grow.

Teacher Retention

Another focus of the Lee County School District administration is increasing teacher retention. Plans are currently in progress to provide programs for mentorship of new teachers and skill refinement for veteran teachers.

Looking ForwARd

Lee County School District is committed to implementing the priorities of their community plan.

To increase student engagement, the District plans to expand its after-school activities by implementing academic-based clubs, in STEM or the arts, to provide opportunities for students other than sports.

Additional mentorship programs will be developed and focus on increasing soft skills such as resume development and public speaking, among students as well as provide insight on how to conduct themselves in a professional environment.

Discussions are also currently underway about developing a Boys and Girls Club for youth in Marianna. This would create an additional space outside of the schools for much needed after-school activities in the community.

Understanding that teachers are vital to the education process, the school district will also focus on establishing teacher-support initiatives, such as an annual appreciation dinner.