New residents need look no further than Little Rock schools for their child's education. From preschool to high school, the city boasts some of the highest-ranked programs in the U.S. With a wide variety of public, private, charter and even Montessori schools, parents can find the perfect fit for their child in Little Rock.
Little Rock has a host of excellent preschools. The public Pre-K program, known as the Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) for School Success, is completely free to parents and considered one of the top public preschool programs in the nation. One such school is the Fair Park Early Childhood Center in Hillcrest, a former elementary school now devoted exclusively to Pre-K classes.
Montessori enthusiasts who don't mind paying a little more for tuition have their pick of schools in Little Rock. The choices include:
The following are also highly rated private preschool programs:
- Trinity Methodist Preschool, located on Mississippi and Evergreen near the Heights, is a parent favorite. The school offers reasonable tuition with the option of half or full days for ages two and up. The program is accredited with the state of Arkansas.
- A Child's Place Preschool is part of the Easter Seals Arkansas campus on Woodland Heights Road. The classroom is inclusive, designed for children with and without disabilities. The teacher-student ratio is 1:5 for the Pre-K class. Occupational and Speech therapy can be integrated as needed into the classroom.
- Located on T Street in the Heights, Miss Selma's Schools are well-loved among many Little Rock parents. The schools serve ages 2 years to sixth grade.
Some of the top-rated public elementary schools in Little Rock are:
Parents in Little Rock also have several elementary magnet schools to choose from. Booker Arts Magnet School, Carver Basic Skills Math-Science Magnet School and Gibbs Magnet School of International Studies and Foreign Languages are all in the downtown area. Williams Traditional Magnet School is located in mid-town Little Rock. Students can request a place on the waiting list at any time and placement is chosen by lottery. These schools are considered part of the Little Rock School District (LRSD) and are publicly funded.
LRSD has opened two academies: Forest Heights STEM academy (K-8) and Geyer Springs Gifted and Talented Academy (1-5).
The eStem public charter school (K-12) is a non-profit charter school dedicated to improving public education in Arkansas. Charter schools do not charge tuition.
The LISA Academy (Little Scholars of Arkansas), a long-standing charter school with locations in North Little Rock and West Little Rock, serves grades K-12 and is well-regarded as a place of high academic achievement.
Recently opened Quest Middle School, a charter school in West Little Rock, opened for grades 6-8.
Many elementary private schools in the city have excellent reputations for their students' academic achievements. These include:
- Pulaski Academy (secular, PK-12, on Hinson Road in West Little Rock.)
- The Anthony School (secular, PK-8, on Ohio Street near the Heights)
- Christ the King Catholic School (Catholic, PK-8, on North Rodney Parham)
- Little Rock Christian Academy (Non-denominational Protestant, PK-12, on West Highway 10)
- Holy Souls Catholic School (Catholic, PK-8, in Hillcrest)
- Christ Lutheran School (Lutheran, PK3-8, in Mid-Town)
Several schools, both public and private, offer K-8 options. Two of the best public schools in the area designated for grades 6-8 only are Henderson Middle School on Barrow Road and Pulaski Heights Middle School in Hillcrest.
Dunbar Gifted and Talented International Studies Magnet and Horace Mann Arts and Science Magnet are both excellent magnet middle schools schools; student selection is determined by lottery.
The very best in Little Rock education can be found in the halls of the high schools. Little Rock Central High School, a National Historic Landmark, has had the most national merit and national achievement finalists in the state in the last 10 years and over $10 million in scholarships in the last year.
Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School, located on Barrow Road, is an magnet school with an emphasis on music, art, and performance as well as high tech specialty science courses. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette has named Parkview the best high school in Pulaski county; the Magnet Schools of Merit Committee has rated it at the top one percent of national magnet programs.
The LISA Academy also has a charter high school that offers a rigorous, tuition-free college preparatory program.
The best private high schools in Little Rock include:
Since 1994 ACCESS School has been providing full-time education and diagnotic services for infants, toddlers, children and youth who are developing or diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, apraxia, autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, feeding disorders and other learning disabilities.
Little Rock also is home to the Arkansas School for the Deaf and the Arkansas School for the Blind.