Gibbs Magnet Elementary
1115 West 16th Street
Little Rock AR 72202
Principal: Felicia Hobbs
PTA President: Alfreda Johnson
Grade Levels: Pre-K-5
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 across the curriculum. The theme for the 2014-2015 school year is "Folk Traditions and Beliefs: Celebrating World Cultures." The school mascot is the endangered Snow Leopard. The school colors are blue and green, the colors of Earth from space.
Beginning in kindergarten, students select one from among three foreign languages (French, German and Spanish) for their 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. A reading teacher and an instructional facilitator 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, turkeys, and sometimes goats. Last year, Gibbs added a STEM Lab for hands-on experiments. Gibbs also offers reading 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 area 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 Little Rock. 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.
College and Career Readiness and Practice Standards:
Directions to Gibbs: From I-40 take either I-430 or I-30 to I-630. From I-630 take the Chester Street exit and turn south (away from downtown). At the light at Chester and Daisy Bates (formerly 14th Street) turn right onto Daisy Bates. Go two blocks west. Turn left on Cross Street. Go two blocks to West 16th Street and turn left. Gibbs Magnet School of International Studies and Foreign Languages is on your right-hand side, the first red brick building. Parking is located just east of the building.
There is no uniform policy because, at Gibbs, we celebrate diversity, not uniformity.
Partners in Education: