Gibbs Magnet Elementary
1115 West 16th Street
Little Rock AR 72202
Students learn about other nations and cultures through the study of geography and the universals of culture. Each classroom represents a nation which the students study and compare to the United States. An Ambassador from each classroom nation participates in the Gibbs Mini-United Nations complete with an elected fifth grade Secretary General.
An annual school-wide theme connects all the classrooms. The theme this year is "Traveling the World: Where have I been and where am I going?"
Beginning in kindergarten, students select one from among three foreign languages (French, German and Spanish) for their six-year study at Gibbs. The foreign language class is daily for thirty-minutes. The three foreign language teachers strive for exiting fifth graders to have achieved a novice proficient level in the language.
Strong Academic Expectations
Major goals for Gibbs include improving literacy and math skills. Benchmarks are achieved in all the core disciplines: language arts, math, science, and social studies. Gibbs also features the Arkansas Comprehensive Literacy Model and Reading Recovery program. A Literacy Coach and a Math Coach work with classroom teachers to ensure that "no child is left behind."
Gibbs has a variety of specialty classes to add to its international appeal. Students have weekly classes in art, music, physical education, computer technology and counseling. Each student has the opportunity to perform in an original musical, to enter artwork in annual competitions and to participate in physical fitness opportunities.
Every student takes classes at the Gibbs-Dunbar Community Garden to learn organic gardening and how to take care of chickens. Gibbs also offers reading recovery classes, gifted and resource classes, and access to two libraries, the school library and a public library. Gibbs Magnet School is part of a learning community located near downtown Little Rock (west of Chester Street and north of Wright Avenue) that includes Dunbar Middle School, Dunbar Field, Dunbar Recreation Center and Gymnasium, Gibbs-Dunbar Community Garden, and the Sue Cowan Williams Public Library.
History: Gibbs Elementary School was built in 1952. The school is named for Mifflin Wistar Gibbs who was the first black municipal court judge in the United States. Judge Gibbs was also a successful businessman who lived in this are of Little Rock. This building replaced an older school of the same name located near this same site.
In 1987, Gibbs Elementary vacated its staff and student populations to become the first international studies/foreign languages magnet school in the state. Gibbs Magnet School of International Studies and Foreign Languages has been operating since the 1987-88 school year.
This magnet does not have an attendance zone, but attracts students from all over Pulaski County, the tri-district area. In November 1992, then-governor Bill Clinton visited Gibbs on his first presidential election day. He again visited Gibbs in April 1994 to give his weekly radio address in front of Gibbs students in the Media Center. In 1996, the faculty, students, and LRSD Board voted to rename the Media Center for William Jefferson Clinton.
There is no uniform policy because, at Gibbs, we celebrate diversity, not uniformity.
Partners in Education: