Learning Community Assessment
Des Arc, Arkansas
This is my tenth grade English class. Many of the students are from farming, middle-class families. Des Arc's learning community is made up of these students, their parents, and the other adult learners from the community. We have a relatively small library, with not quite as many resources as hoped for, but we are incorporating more technology with the help of grants.
The Des Arc School District serves 566 students, with 266 at the high school level (7-12) and 306 at the elementary level (Pre-K through 6). The free and reduced lunch rate is 71%. The school is rural with a PEP club and a PALS club for parental involvement.
The population of Des Arc is 1,717. 87% of residents are White, 12% Black, 1.4% two or more races, and 1% Hispanic. The average age of residents is 44 years old. 69.4% have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Only 10.3% of residents have a college education. The unemployment rate is currently at 7.1%. The top occupations are production at 20.4% and natural resources at 20%.
There are currently no higher education institutions or vocational schools in the town of Des Arc. There are two medical facilities, public housing, and many churches and small businesses. Farming is the central focus of the town, with many farm families and most businesses catering to this population. When the farmers do well, the businesses do well, and vice versa.
Because of the rural farming community setting, it is my belief that the people who stay in Des Arc are either farming or working in a field closely related to the farming community. Therefore, many residents only have a high school diploma or its equivalent because this is all that is needed. The Des Arc citizens who leave and go to college stay gone because there are not enough jobs that require higher education degrees, with the exclusion of education and medical fields.
Des Arc, AR Population. (2011-2012). Retrieved from
Des Arc Demographics. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.arkansas-demographics.com/des-
USA city facts. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.usacityfacts.com/ar/prairie/des-arc/
* All information for the school was collected through interview.