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Section 4: Students

Section 4 of the ASBA classification system contains policies, regulations, and exhibits on students - admissions, attendance, rights and responsibilities, conduct, discipline, health and welfare, and school-related activities.

4.1 Residence Requirements

Definitions:

“In loco parentis” means relating to the responsibility to undertake the care and control of another person in the absence of:

  1. Supervision by the person's parent or legal guardian; and
  2. Formal legal approval.

“Reside” means to be physically present and to maintain a permanent place of abode for an average of no fewer than four (4) calendar days and nights per week for a primary purpose other than school attendance.

“Resident” means a student whose parents, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis reside in the school district.

“Residential address” means the physical location where the student’s parents, legal guardians, persons having legal, control of the student or persons standing in loco parentis reside. A student may use the residential address of parent, a legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or person standing in loco parentis only if the student resides at the same residential address and if the guardianship or other legal authority is not granted solely for educational needs or school attendance purposes.

The schools of the District shall be open and free through the completion of the secondary program to all persons between the ages of five (5) and twenty one (21) years whose parents, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of the student, or person standing in loco parentis reside within the District and to all persons between those ages who have been legally transferred to the District for educational purposes.

Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older may establish a residence separate and apart from his or her parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or a person standing in loco parentis for school attendance purposes.

In order for a person under the age of eighteen (18) years to establish a residence for the purpose of attending the District’s schools separate and apart from his or her parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or a person standing in loco parentis, the student is required to reside in the District for a primary purpose other than that of school attendance. However, a student previously enrolled in the district who is placed under the legal guardianship of a noncustodial parent living outside the district by a custodial parent on active military duty may continue to attend district schools. A foster child who was previously enrolled in a District school and who has had a change in placement to a residence outside the District, may continue to remain enrolled in his/her current school unless the presiding court rules otherwise.

Under instances prescribed in A.C.A. § 6-18-203, a child or ward of an employee of the district or of the education coop to which the district belongs may enroll in the district even though the employee and his/her child or ward reside outside the district.

Children whose parent or legal guardian relocates within the state due to a mobilization, deployment, or available military housing while on active duty in or serving in the reserve component of a branch of the United States Armed Forces or National Guard may continue attending school in the school district the children were attending prior to the relocation or attend school in the school district where the children have relocated. A child may complete all remaining school years at the enrolled school district regardless of mobilization, deployment, or military status of the parent or guardian.

Cross References:

  • Policy 4.40—HOMELESS STUDENTS
  • Policy 4.52—STUDENTS WHO ARE FOSTER CHILDREN

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-4-302
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-107
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-202
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-203
  • A.C.A. § 9-28-113

Date Adopted: 10/12/17
Revised: 03/16/15
Revised: 08/11/15
Revised: 10/16/17
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.2 Entrance Requirements

To enroll in a school in the District, the child must be a resident of the District as defined in District policy (4.1—Residence Requirements), meet the criteria outlined in policy 4.40—Homless Students or in policy 4.52—Students Who Are Foster Children, be accepted as a transfer student under the provisions of policy 4.4, or participate under a school choice option and submit the required paperwork as required by the choice option under Policy 4.5.

Students may enter kindergarten if they will attain the age of five (5) on or before August 1 of the year in which they are seeking initial enrollment. Any student who has been enrolled in a state-accredited or state-approved kindergarten program in another state for at least sixty (60) days, who will become five (5) years old during the year in which he/she is enrolled in kindergarten, and who meets the basic residency requirement for school attendance may be enrolled in kindergarten upon written request to the District. Any student who was enrolled in a state-accredited or state-approved kindergarten program in another state or in a kindergarten program equivalent in another country, becomes a resident of this state as a direct result of active military orders or a court-ordered change of custody, will become five (5) years of age during the year in which he or she is enrolled in kindergarten, and meets the basic residency requirement for school attendance may be enrolled in kindergarten upon a written request to the District.

Any child who will be six (6) years of age on or before October 1 of the school year of enrollment and who has not completed a state-accredited kindergarten program shall be evaluated by the district and may be placed in the first grade if the results of the evaluation justify placement in the first grade and the child’s parent or legal guardian agrees with placement in the first grade; otherwise the child shall be placed in kindergarten.

Any child may enter first grade in a District school if the child will attain the age of six (6) years during the school year in which the child is seeking enrollment and the child has successfully completed a kindergarten program in a public school in Arkansas.

Any child who has been enrolled in the first grade in a state-accredited or state-approved elementary school in another state for a period of at least sixty (60) days, who will become age six (6) years during the school year in which he/she is enrolled in grade one (1), and who meets the basic residency requirements for school attendance may be enrolled in the first grade.

Students who move into the District from an accredited school shall be assigned to the same grade as they were attending in their previous school (mid-year transfers) or as they would have been assigned in their previous school. Private school students shall be evaluated by the District to determine their appropriate grade placement. Home school students enrolling or re-enrolling as a public school student shall be placed in accordance with policy 4.6—Home Schooling.

The district shall make no attempt to ascertain the immigration status, legal or illegal, of any student or his/her parent or legal guardian presenting for enrollment.

Prior to the child’s admission to a District school:

  1. The parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or standing in loco parentis shall furnish the child’s social security number, or if they request, the district will assign the child a nine (9) digit number designated by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.
  2. The parent, guardian, or other responsible person shall provide the district with one (1) of the following documents indicating the child’s age:
    1. A birth certificate;
    2. A statement by the local registrar or a county recorder certifying the child’s date of birth;
    3. An attested baptismal certificate;
    4. A passport;
    5. An affidavit of the date and place of birth by the child’s parent, or legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or person standing in loco parentis;
    6. United States military identification; or
    7. Previous school records.
  3. The parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or person standing in loco parentis shall indicate on school registration forms whether the child has been expelled from school in any other school district or is a party to an expulsion proceeding. Any person who has been expelled from any other school district shall receive a hearing before the Boardat the time the student is seeking enrollment in the District. The Board reserves the right to not allow the enrollment of such students until the time of the person's expulsion has expired following the hearing before the Board.
  4. In accordance with Policy 4.57—Immunizations, the child shall be age appropriately immunized or have an exemption issued by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Uniformed Services Member's Children

For the purposes of this policy:

“Activated reserve components” means members of the reserve component of the uniformed services who have received a notice of intent to deploy or mobilize under Title 10 of the United States Code, Title 32 of the United States Code, or state mobilization to active duty.

“Active duty” means full-time duty status in the active, uniformed services of the United States, including without limitation members of The National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders under 10 U.S.C. §§ 1209 and 1210.

“Deployment” means a period of time extending from six (6) months before a member of the uniformed services' departure from their home station on military orders through six (6) months after return to his or her home station.

"Active duty members of the uniformed services" includes members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. Section 1209 and 1211;

“Eligible child ” means the children of:

  • Active duty members of the uniformed services;
  • Members of the active and activated reserve components of the uniformed services;
  • Members or veterans of the uniformed services who are severely injured and medically discharged or retired for a period of one (1) year after medical discharge or retirement; and
  • Members of the uniformed services who die on active duty or as a result of injuries sustained on active duty for a period of one (1) year after death.

“Uniformed services” means the United States Army, United States Navy, United States Air Force, United States Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, the United States Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Services, and the state and federal reserve components of each of these bodies.

“Veteran” means an individual who served in the uniformed services and who was discharged or released from the uniformed services under conditions other than dishonorable.

The superintendent shall designate an individual as the District’s military education coordinator, who shall serve as the primary point of contact for an eligible child and for the eligible child’s parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the eligible child, or person standing in loco parentis. The individual the superintendent designates as the District’s military education coordinator shall have specialized knowledge regarding the educational needs of children of military families and the obstacles that children of military families face in obtaining an education.

An eligible child as defined in this policy shall:

  1. Be allowed to continue his/her enrollment at the grade level commensurate with his/her grade level he/she was in at the time of transition from his/her previous school, regardless of age;
  2. Be eligible for enrollment in the next highest grade level, regardless of age if the student has satisfactorily completed the prerequisite grade level in his/her previous school;
  3. Enter the District's school on the validated level from his/her previous accredited school when transferring into the District after the start of the school year;
  4. Be enrolled in courses and programs the same as or similar to the ones the student was enrolled in his/her previous school to the extent that space is available. This does not prohibit the District from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement and continued enrollment of the student in the courses/and/or programs;
  5. Be provided services comparable to those the student with disabilities received in his/her previous school based on his/her previous Individualized Education Program (IEP). This does not preclude the District school from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement of the student;
  6. Make reasonable accommodations and modifications to address the needs of an incoming student with disabilities, subject to an existing 504 or Title II Plan, necessary to provide the student with equal access to education. This does not preclude the District school from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement of the student;
  7. Be enrolled by an individual who has been given the special power of attorney for the student's guardianship. The individual shall have the power to take all other actions requiring parental participation and/or consent;
  8. Be eligible to continue attending District schools if he/she has been placed under the legal guardianship of a noncustodial parent living outside the district by a custodial parent on active military duty.

In the event that official copies of an eligible child’s education records are not available at the time the eligible child is transferring, then the District shall:

  • Pre-register and place an eligible child based on the eligible child’s unofficial education records pending receipt of the eligible child’s official records; and
  • Request the eligible child’s official education records from the sending district.

Cross References:

  • 4.1 Residence Requirements
  • 4.4 Student Transfers
  • 4.5 School Choice
  • 4.6 Home Schooling
  • 4.34 Communicable Diseases and Parasites
  • 4.40 Homeless Students

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-4-302
  • A.C.A. § 6-4-309
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-504
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-107
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-201 (c)
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-207
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-208
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-510
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-702
  • A.C.A. § 9-28-113
  • Plyler v Doe 457 US 202,221 (1982)

Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Revised: 03/16/15
Revised: 08/11/15
Revised: 10/16/17
Last Revised: 7/9/19

4.3 Compulsory Attendance Requirements

Every parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the child, or person standing in loco parentis of any child age five (5) through seventeen (17) years on or before August 1 of that year who resides, as defined by policy, within the District shall enroll and send the child to a District school with the following exceptions.

  1. The child is enrolled in private or parochial school.

    The child is being home-schooled and the conditions of policy have been met.

  2. The child will not be age six (6) on or before August 1 of that particular school year and the parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the child, or person standing in loco parentis of the child elects not to have him/her attend kindergarten. A kindergarten waiver form prescribed by regulation of the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education must be signed and on file with the District administrative office.
  3. The child has received a high school diploma or its equivalent as determined by the State Board of Education.
  4. The child is age sixteen (16) or above and is enrolled in a post-secondary vocational-technical institution, a community college, or a two-year or four-year institution of higher education.
  5. The child is age sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) and has met the requirements to enroll in an adult education program as defined by A.C.A. § 6-18-201 (b).

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-18-201
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-207

Date Adopted: 02/08/00
Revised: 8/11/15
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.4 Student Transfers

All persons seeking admission to the elementary and secondary schools of the District must satisfactorily meet eligibility prerequisites for the school or program to which they seek admission.

The District may reject a non-resident’s application for admission if its acceptance would necessitate the addition of staff or classrooms, exceed the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or school building, or cause the District to provide educational services not currently provided in the affected school. The District shall reject applications that would cause it to be out of compliance with applicable laws and regulations regarding desegregation.

Any student transferring from a school accredited by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education to a school in this district shall be placed into the same grade the student would have been in had the student remained at the former school. Any grades, course credits, and/or promotions received by a student while enrolled in the Division of Youth Services system of education shall be considered transferable in the same manner as those grades, course credits, and promotions from other accredited Arkansas public educational entities.

Any student transferring from a school that is not accredited by theDivision of Elementary and Secondary Education to a District school shall be evaluated by District staff to determine the student’s appropriate grade placement. A student transferring from home-school will be placed in accordance with Policy 4.6—Home Schooling.

Students who request admission at a time when they are suspended from another school district will not be admitted until the period of suspension expires. Students who have been recommended for expulsion, but have been allowed to withdraw from school prior to final action on the recommendation may request a hearing. The Board of Education reserves the right, after a hearing before the Board at the next regularly scheduled board meeting, not to enroll any person who has been recommended for expulsion to enroll, but was allowed to withdraw from school prior to final action on the recommendation.

Any person who has been expelled from any other school district shall receive a hearing before the Board at the next regularly scheduled board meeting. The Board reserves the right to not allow the enrollment of such students until the time of the person's expulsion has expired following the hearing before the Board.

Except as otherwise required or permitted by law, the responsibility for transportation of any nonresident student admitted to a school in this District shall be borne by the student or the student’s parents. The District and the resident district may enter into a written agreement with the student or student’s parents to provide transportation to or from the District, or both.

Cross Reference: 4.6 Home-Schooling

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-15-504
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-316
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-317
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-510
  • A.C.A. § 9-28-113(b)(4)
  • A.C.A. § 9-28-205

Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Revised: 8/16/18
Last Revised: 7/9/19

4.5 School Choice

Standard School Choice

Exemption

The District is under an enforceable desegregation court order/court-approved desegregation plan1 that explicitly limits the transfer of students between school districts and has submitted the appropriate documentation to the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). As a result of the desegregation order/desegregation plan, the District is exempt from the provisions of the Public School Choice Act of 2015 (Standard School Choice) and the Arkansas Opportunity Public School Choice Act of 2004 (Opportunity School Choice). The District shall notify the superintendent of each of its geographically contiguous school districts of its exemption. The exemption prohibits the District from accepting any school choice applications from students wishing to transfer into or out of the District through standard School Choice or Opportunity School Choice.

Definition

"Sibling" means each of two (2) or more children having a parent in common by blood, adoption, marriage, or foster care.

Transfers into the District

Capacity Determination and Public Pronouncement

The Board of Directors will adopt a resolution containing the capacity standards for the District. The resolution will contain the acceptance determination criteria identified by academic program, class, grade level, and individual school. The school is not obligated to add any teachers, other staff, or classrooms to accommodate choice applications. The District may only deny a Standard School Choice application if the District has a lack of capacity by the District having reached ninety percent (90%) of the maximum student population in a program, class, grade level, or school building authorized by the Standards or other State/Federal law.

The District shall advertise in appropriate broadcast media and either print media or on the Internet to inform students and parents in adjoining districts of the range of possible openings available under the School Choice program. The public pronouncements shall state the application deadline and the requirements and procedures for participation in the program; and include contact information for the primary point of contact at the District for school choice questions. Such pronouncements shall be made in the spring, but in no case later than March 1.

Application Process

The student's parent shall submit a school choice application on a form approved by DESE to this District along with a copy to the student’s resident district. Except for students who have a parent or guardian who is an active-duty member of the military and who has been transferred to and resides on a military base, the transfer application must be postmarked or hand delivered on or before May 1 of the year preceding the fall semester the applicant would begin school in the District. The District shall date and time stamp all applications the District receives as both the resident and nonresident district as they are received in the District's central office. Except for applications from students who have a parent or guardian who is an active-duty member of the military and who has been transferred to and resides on a military base, applications postmarked or hand delivered on or after May 2 will not be accepted. Statutorily, preference is required to be given to siblings of students who are already enrolled in the District. Therefore, siblings whose applications fit the capacity standards approved by the Board of Directors may be approved ahead of an otherwise qualified non-sibling applicant who submitted an earlier application as identified by the application's date and time stamp.

Students who have a parent or guardian who is an active-duty member of the military and who has been transferred to and resides on a military base may submit an application and transfer at any time if the student’s application:

  1. Is filed with the nonresident school district within fifteen (15) days of the parent's or guardian's arrival on the military base;
  2. Includes the parent's or guardian's military transfer orders; and
  3. Includes the parent's or guardian's proof of residency on the military base.

The approval of any application for a choice transfer into the District is potentially limited by the applicant's resident district's statutory limitation of losing no more than three percent (3%) of its past year's student enrollment due to Standard School Choice. As such, any District approval of a choice application prior to July 1 is provisional pending a determination that the resident district's three percent (3%) cap has not been reached. The superintendent shall contact a student’s resident district to determine if the resident district’s three percent (3%) cap has been met.

The Superintendent will consider all properly submitted applications for School Choice. By July 1, the Superintendent shall notify the parent and the student’s resident district, in writing, of the decision to accept or reject the application.

Accepted Applications

Applications which fit within the District's stated capacity standards shall be provisionally accepted, in writing, with the notification letter stating a reasonable timeline by which the student shall enroll in the District by taking the steps detailed in the letter, including submission of all required documents. If the student fails to enroll within the stated timeline, or if all necessary steps to complete the enrollment are not taken, or examination of the documentation indicates the applicant does not meet the District's stated capacity standards, the acceptance shall be null and void.

A student, whose application has been accepted and who has enrolled in the District, is eligible to continue enrollment until completing his/her secondary education. Continued enrollment is conditioned upon the student meeting applicable statutory and District policy requirements. Any student who has been accepted under choice and who either fails to initially enroll under the timelines and provisions provided in this policy; who chooses to return to his/her resident district; or who enrolls in a home school or private school voids the transfer and must reapply if, in the future, the student seeks another school choice transfer. A subsequent transfer application will be subject to the capacity standards applicable to the year in which the application is considered by the District.

A present or future sibling of a student who continues enrollment in this District may enroll in the District by submitting a Standard School Choice application. Applications of siblings of presently enrolled choice students are subject to the provisions of this policy including the capacity standards applicable to the year in which the sibling's application is considered by the District. A sibling who enrolls in the District through Standard School Choice is eligible to remain in the District until completing his/her secondary education.

Students whose applications have been accepted and who have enrolled in the district shall not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, or disability.

Rejected Applications

The District may reject an application for a transfer into the District under Standard School Choice due to a lack of capacity. However, the decision to accept or reject an application may not be based on the student’s previous academic achievement, athletic or other extracurricular ability, English proficiency level, or previous disciplinary proceedings other than a current expulsion.

An application may be provisionally rejected if it is for an opening that was included in the District's capacity resolution, but was provisionally filled by an earlier applicant. If the provisionally approved applicant subsequently does not enroll in the District, the provisionally rejected applicant could be provisionally approved and would have to meet the acceptance requirements to be eligible to enroll in the District.

An application may be provisionally rejected if the student’s application was beyond the student’s resident district’s three percent (3%) cap. The student’s resident district is responsible for notifying this District that it is no longer at its three percent (3%) cap. If a student’s application was provisionally rejected due to the student’s resident district having reached its three percent (3%) cap and the student’s resident district notifies this District that it has dropped below its three percent (3%) cap prior to July 1, then the provisional rejection may be changed to a provisional acceptance and the student would have to meet the acceptance requirements to be eligible to enroll in the District.

Rejection of applications shall be in writing and shall state the reason(s) for the rejection. A student whose application was rejected may request a hearing before the State Board of Education to reconsider the application which must be done, in writing to the State Board within ten (10) days of receiving the rejection letter from the District.

Any applications that are denied due to the student’s resident district reaching the three percent (3%) limitation cap shall be given priority for a choice transfer the following year in the order that the District received the original applications.

Transfers Out of the District

All Standard School Choice applications shall be granted unless the approval would cause the District to have a net enrollment loss (students transferring out minus those transferring in) of more than three percent (3%) of the average daily membership on October 15 1 of the immediately preceding year. By December 15 of each year, ADESE shall determine and notify the District of the net number of allowable choice transfers. Students are not counted for the purpose of determining the three percent (3%) cap if the student transfers:

  • Through Opportunity School Choice due to the school receiving a rating of “F” or a district classified as in need of Level 5 Intensive Support under A.C.A. § 6-18-227;
  • Due to the district’s identification of Facilities Distress under A.C.A. § 6-21-812; or
  • Through the Foster Child School Choice under A.C.A. § 6-18-233.

If, prior to July 1, the District receives sufficient copies of requests from other districts for its students to transfer to other districts to trigger the three percent (3%) cap, it shall notify each district the District received Standard School Choice applications from that it has tentatively reached the limitation cap. The District will use confirmations of approved choice applications from receiving districts to make a final determination of which applications it received that exceeded the limitation cap and notify each district that was the recipient of an application to that effect. The District shall immediately notify all receiving districts if it should drop back below its three percent (3%) cap prior to July 1.

When the last successful application requesting to transfer out of the District before the District’s three percent (3%) cap was triggered belonged to an individual who was a member of a group of siblings who applied to transfer out of the District, the District shall allow all members of the individual’s sibling group to transfer out of the District even though these applications are beyond the District’s transfer cap.

Facilities Distress School Choice Applications

There are a few exceptions from the provisions of the rest of this policy that govern choice transfers triggered by facilities distress. Any student attending a school district that has been identified as being in facilities distress may transfer under the provisions of this policy, but with the following four (4) differences.

  • The receiving district cannot be in facilities distress;
  • The transfer is only available for the duration of the time the student's resident district remains in facilities distress;
  • The student is not required to meet the May 1 application deadline; and
  • The student's resident district is responsible for the cost of transporting the student to this District's school.

Opportunity School Choice

Transfers Into or Within the District

For the purposes of this section of the policy, a “lack of capacity” is defined as when the receiving school has reached the maximum student-to-teacher ratio allowed under federal or state law, the ADESE Rules for the Standards for Accreditation, or other applicable rules. There is a lack of capacity if, as of the date of the application for Opportunity School Choice, ninety-five percent (95%) or more of the seats at the grade level at the nonresident school are filled.

Unless there is a lack of capacity at the District’s school or the transfer conflicts with the provisions of a federal desegregation order applicable to the District, a student may transfer from the student’s assigned school to another school in the District10 or from the student’s resident district into the District if:

  • Either:
    • The student’s resident district has been classified by the state board as in need of Level 5 — intensive support; or
    • The student’s assigned school has a rating of "F"; and
  • By May 1 of the year before the student intends to transfer, the student’s parent, guardian, or the student if the student is over eighteen (18) years of age has submitted an application of the student’s request to transfer to the:
    • DESE;
    • Sending school district; and
    • Receiving school district.

A student is not required to meet the May 1 application deadline if the student has a parent or guardian who is an active-duty member of the military and who has been transferred to and resides on a military base. The student may transfer at any time if the student’s application:

  1. Is filed with the nonresident school district within fifteen (15) days of the parent's or guardian's arrival on the military base;
  2. Includes the parent's or guardian's military transfer orders; and
  3. Includes the parent's or guardian's proof of residency on the military base.

Within thirty (30) days from receipt of an application from a student seeking admission under this section of the policy, the Superintendent shall notify in writing the parent or guardian, or the student if the student is over eighteen (18) years of age, whether the Opportunity School Choice application has been accepted or rejected. The notification shall be sent via First-Class Mail to the address on the application.

If the application is accepted, the notification letter shall state the deadline by which the student must enroll in the receiving school or the transfer will be null and void.

If the District rejects the application, the District shall state in the notification letter the specific reasons for the rejection.13 A parent or guardian, or the student if the student is over eighteen (18) years of age, may appeal the District’s decision to deny the application to the State Board of Education. The appeal must be in writing to the State Board of Education via certified mail, return receipt requested, no later than ten (10) calendar days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, after the notice of rejection was received from the District.

A student’s transfer under Opportunity School choice is effective at the beginning of the next school year and the student’s enrollment is irrevocable for the duration of the school year and is renewable until the student completes high school or is beyond the legal age of enrollment. This provision for continuing eligibility under Opportunity School Choice does not negate the student's right to apply for transfer to a district other than the student's assigned school or resident district under the Standard School Choice provisions of this policy.

The District may, but is not obligated to provide transportation to and from the transferring district.

Transfers out of, or within, the District

If a District school receives a rating of “F” or the District has been classified by the State Board as in need of Level 5 Intensive Support, the District shall timely notify parents, guardians, or students, if over eighteen (18) years of age, as soon as practicable after the school or district designation is made of all options available under Opportunity School Choice. The District shall offer the parent or guardian, or the student if the student is over eighteen (18) years of age, an opportunity to submit an application to enroll the student in or school district that has not been classified by the State Board as in need of Level 5 Intensive Support or in a public school that does not have a rating of “F.

Additionally, the District shall request public service announcements to be made over the broadcast media and in the print media at such times and in such a manner as to inform parents or guardians of students in adjoining districts of the availability of the program, the application deadline, and the requirements and procedure for nonresident students to participate in the program.

Unsafe School Choice Program

Any student that becomes the victim of a violent criminal offense while in or on the grounds of a District school or who is attending a school classified by DESE as a persistently dangerous public school shall be allowed to attend a safe public school within the District.

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-1-106
  • A.C.A. § 6-13-113
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2915
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-227
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-233
  • A.C.A. §6-18-320
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-510
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-1901 et seq.
  • A.C.A. § 6-21-812
  • ADESE Rules Governing the Guidelines, Procedures and Enforcement of the Arkansas Opportunity Public School Choice Act
  • DESE Rules Governing The Public School Choice Act of 2015

Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Revised: 3/11/14
Revised: 8/11/15
Revised: 10/16/17
Revised: 4/4/18
Last Revised: 7/9/19

4.6P Home Schooling

Enrollment in Home-School

Parents or legal guardians desiring to provide a home school for their children shall give written notice to the Superintendent of their intent to home-school. The notice shall be given:

  1. At the beginning of each school year, but no later than August 15;
  2. Fourteen (14) calendar days prior to withdrawing the child (provided the student is not currently under disciplinary action for violation of any written school policy, including, but not limited to, excessive absences) and at the beginning of each school year thereafter; or
  3. Within thirty (30) calendar days of the parent or legal guardian establishing residency within the district during the school year. Written notice of the parent or legal guardian’s intent to home-school shall be delivered to the Superintendent through any of the following methods:
    • Electronically, including without limitation by email;
    • By mail; or
    • In person.

The notice shall include:

  1. The name, sex, date of birth, grade level, and the name and address of the school last attended, if any;
  2. The mailing address and telephone number of the home school;
  3. The name of the parent or legal guardian providing the home school;
  4. Indicate if the home-schooled student intends to participate in extracurricular activities during the school year;
  5. A statement of whether the home-schooled student plans to seek a high school equivalency diploma during the current school year;
  6. A statement if the home-school student plans to seek a driver's license during the current school year;
  7. A statement that the parent or legal guardian agrees that the parent or legal guardian is responsible for the education of their children during the time the parents or legal guardians choose to home-school; and
  8. A signature of the parent or legal guardian, which must be notarized if the home-schooled student plans to seek a driver’s license during the school year.

To aid the District in providing a free and appropriate public education to students in need of special education services, the parents or legal guardians home-schooling their children shall provide information that might indicate the need for special education services.

Enrollment or Re-Enrollment in Public School

A home-schooled student who wishes to enroll or re-enroll in a District school shall submit:

  • An official transcript from an accredited home-school institution listing all courses taken and semester grades from the home school;
  • Score of at least the thirtieth percentile on a nationally recognized norm-referenced assessment taken in the past year if available; and
  • A portfolio of indicators of the home-schooled student's academic progress to be reviewed by the appropriate district curriculum personnel or department head, including without limitation:
    • Curricula used in the home school;
    • Tests taken and lessons completed by the home-schooled student; and
    • Other indicators of the home-schooled student's academic progress.

A home-schooled student who enrolls or re-enrolls in the District will be tentatively placed at a grade level and academic course level equivalent to or higher than the home-schooled student's grade level and academic course level in the home school:

  1. As indicated by the district approved documentation submitted by the home-schooled student;
  2. If the home-schooled student fails to provide the documentation required by this policy, the District may have sole authority to determine the home-schooled student's grade placement and course credits. The District will determine the home-schooled student’s grade placement and course credits in the same manner the District uses when determining grade placement and course credits for students enrolling or re-enrolling in the District who attended another public or private school.

The District shall afford a home-schooled student who enrolls or re-enrolls in a public school the same rights and privileges enjoyed by the District’s other students. The District shall not deny a home-schooled student who enrolls or re-enrolls in the District any of the following on the basis of the student having attended a home school:

  1. Award of course credits earned in the home school, so long as the maximum number of credits for each year in attendance in home-school does not exceed the number of credits earned by a student enrolled in the District during a regular school day;
  2. Placement in the proper grade level and promotion to the next grade level;
  3. Participation in any academic or extracurricular activity;
  4. Membership in school-sponsored clubs, associations, or organizations;
  5. A diploma or graduation, so long as the student has enrolled or re-enrolled in the District to attend classes for at least the nine (9) months immediately prior to graduation; or
  6. Must have completed the two consecutive grades immediately prior to the graduation year in an accredited secondary school (grade 9-12) to be considered for ranking as an honor graduate, including Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Rank in class and grade point average will be determined only by credits earned while attending an accredited high school.
  7. Scholarships.

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-15-503
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-504
  • A.C.A. § 6-41-103

Date Adopted: 06/09/98
Last Revised: 12/13/17
Manual Adoption 2/8/00

4.7 Absences

If any student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan conflicts with this policy, the requirements of the student’s IEP or 504 Plan take precedence.

Education is more than the grades students receive in their courses. Important as that is, students’ regular attendance at school is essential to their social and cultural development and helps prepare them to accept responsibilities they will face as an adult. Interactions with other students and participation in the instruction within the classroom enrich the learning environment and promote a continuity of instruction which results in higher student achievement.

Excused Absences

Excused absences are those where the student was on official school business or when the absence was due to one of the following reasons and the student brings a written statement to the principal or designee upon his/her return to school from the parent or legal guardian stating such reason. A written statement presented for an absence having occurred more than five (5) school days prior to its presentation will not be accepted.

  1. The student’s illness or when attendance could jeopardize the health of other students. A maximum of six (6) such days are allowed per semester unless the condition(s) causing such absences is of a chronic or recurring nature, is medically documented, and approved by the principal.
  2. Death or serious illness in their immediate family;
  3. Observance of recognized holidays observed by the student's faith;
  4. Attendance at an appointment with a government agency;
  5. Attendance at a medical appointment;
  6. Exceptional circumstances with prior approval of the principal;
  7. Participation in an FFA, FHA, or 4-H sanctioned activity;
  8. Participation in the election poll workers program for high school students.
  9. Absences granted to allow a student to visit his/her parent or legal guardian who is a member of the military and been called to active duty, is on leave from active duty, or has returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting. The number of additional excused absences shall be at the discretion of the superintendent or designee.
  10. Absences granted, at the Superintendent's discretion, to seventeen (17) year-old students who join the Arkansas National Guard while in eleventh grade to complete basic combat training between grades eleven (11) and (12).
  11. Absences for students excluded from school by the Arkansas Department of Health during a disease outbreak because the student has an immunization waiver or whose immunizations are not up to date.

Students who serve as pages for a member of the General Assembly shall be considered on instructional assignment and shall not be considered absent from school for the day the student is serving as a page.

Unexcused Absences

Absences not defined above or not having an accompanying note from the parent, or legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student; or person standing in loco parentis presented in the timeline required by this policy, shall be considered as unexcused absences. Students with ten (10) unexcused absences in a course in a semester may not receive credit for that course. At the discretion of the principal after consultation with persons having knowledge of the circumstances of the unexcused absences, the student may be denied promotion or graduation. Excessive absences shall not be a reason for expulsion or dismissal of a student.

When a student has five (5) unexcused absences, his/her parents, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis shall be notified. Notification shall be by telephone by the end of the school day in which such absence occurred or by regular mail with a return address sent no later than the following school day.

Whenever a student exceeds five (5) unexcused absences in a semester, the District shall notify the prosecuting authority and the parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis shall be subject to a civil penalty as prescribed by law.

It is the Arkansas General Assembly’s intention that students having excessive absences be given assistance in obtaining credit for their courses. Therefore, at any time prior to when a student exceeds the number of unexcused absences permitted by this policy, the student, or his/her parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis may petition the school or district’s administration for special arrangements to address the student’s unexcused absences. If formal arrangements are granted, they shall be formalized into a written agreement which will include the conditions of the agreement and the consequences for failing to fulfill the agreement’s requirements. The agreement shall be signed by the student, the student’s parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis, and the school or district administrator or designee.

Students who attend in-school suspension shall not be counted absent for those days.

Days missed due to out-of-school suspension or expulsion shall not be counted toward the ten (10) unexcused absences allowable per semester.

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-4-302
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-107
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-209
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-220
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-222
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-229
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-231
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-507(g)
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-702
  • A.C.A. § 7-4-116
  • A.C.A. § 9-28-113(f)
  • A.C.A. § 27-16-701
  • Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Rules Governing Distance and Digital Learning

Date Adopted: 6/21/84
Last Revised: 8/11/15
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.8 Make-up Work

Students who miss school due to an excused absence shall be allowed to make up the work they missed during their absence under the following rules.

  1. Students or parent/guardians are responsible for asking the teachers of the classes they missed what assignments they need to make up.
  2. Teachers are responsible for providing the missed assignments when asked by a returning student or the student’s parent/guardian.
  3. Students or parent/guardians are required to ask for assignments on the student’s first day back at school or their first class day after their return.
  4. Make-up tests are to be rescheduled at the discretion of the teacher, but must be aligned with the schedule of the missed work to be made up.
  5. Students shall have at least one class day to make up their work for each class day they are absent, at the discretion of the teacher.
  6. Make-up work which is not turned in within the make-up schedule for that assignment shall be graded at the discretion of the teacher.
  7. Students, or the parent/guardian of elementary students, are responsible for turning in their make-up work without the teacher having to ask for it.
  8. Students who are absent on the day their make-up work is due must turn in their work the day they return to school whether or not the class for which the work is due meets the day of their return, at the discretion of the teacher.
  9. As required/permitted by the student’s Individual Education Program or 504 Plan.

Work may not be made up for credit for unexcused absences unless the unexcused absences are part of a signed agreement with the principal.

Students who are found to be out of designated area, and in violation of this rule the 2nd time, will not be allowed to make up major classroom test. Students will be allowed to make up worked missed for the first suspension or any suspension of two (2) days or less. The District shall establish programs, measures, or alternative means and methods to continue student engagement and access to education during a student’s period of expulsion.

In lieu of the timeline above, assignments for students who are excluded from school by the Arkansas Department of Health during a disease outbreak are to be made up as set forth in policy.

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

Cross References:

  • 4.7 Absences
  • 4.57 Immunizations
  • 4.31 Expulsions

Date Adopted: 6/11/85
Revised: 8/11/15
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.11 Equal Educational Opportunity

No student in the Pulaski County Special School District shall, on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity sponsored by the District. The District has a limited open forum granting equal access to the Boy Scouts of America and other youth groups.

Inquiries on non-discrimination may be directed to Assistant Superintendent for Equity and Pupil Services, who may be reached at 501-234-2022 or sawhitfield@pcssd.org.

For further information on notice of non-discrimination or to file a complaint, visit http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm; for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-10-130
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-514
  • 28 C.F.R. § 35.106
  • 34 C.F.R. § 100.6
  • 34 C.F.R. § 104.8
  • 34 C.F.R. § 106.9
  • 34 C.F.R. § 108.9
  • 34 C.F.R. § 110.25

Date Adopted: 03/08/83
Last Revised: 2/1/18

4.12 Student Organnizations/Equal Access

Non-curriculum-related secondary school student organizations wishing to conduct meetings on school premises during non-instructional time shall not be denied equal access on the basis of the religious, political, philosophical, or other content of the speech at such meetings. Such meetings must meet the following criteria.

  1. The meeting is to be voluntary and student initiated;
  2. There is no sponsorship of the meeting by the school, the government, or its agents or employees;
  3. The meeting must occur during non-instructional time;
  4. Employees or agents of the school are present at religious meetings only in a non-participatory capacity;
  5. The meeting does not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school; and
  6. Non-school persons may not direct, conduct, control, or regularly attend activities of student groups.

All meetings held on school premises must be scheduled and approved by the principal. The school, its agents, and employees retain the authority to maintain order and discipline, to protect the well-being of students and faculty, and to assure that attendance of students at meetings is voluntary.

Fraternities, sororities, and secret societies are forbidden in the District’s schools. Membership to student organizations shall not be by a vote of the organization’s members, nor be restricted by the student’s race, religion, sex, national origin, or other arbitrary criteria. Hazing, as defined by law, is forbidden in connection with initiation into, or affiliation with, any student organization, extracurricular activity or sport program. Students who are convicted of participation in hazing or the failure to report hazing shall be expelled.


Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-5-201 et seq.
  • A.C.A. § 6-10-132
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-601 et seq.
  • A.C.A. § 6-21-201 et seq.
  • 20 U.S.C. 4071 Equal Access Act
  • Board of Education of the Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990)

Date Adopted: 03/12/85
Last Revised: 03/16/15
Last Revised: 10/16/17

4.13 Privacy of Students' Records/Directory Information

Except when a court order regarding a student has been presented to the district to the contrary, all students’ education records are available for inspection and copying by the parent of his/her student who is under the age of eighteen (18). At the age of eighteen (18), the right to inspect and copy a student’s records transfers to the student. A student’s parent or the student, if over the age of 18, requesting to review the student’s education records will be allowed to do so within no more than forty five (45) days of the request. The district forwards education records, including disciplinary records, to schools that have requested them and in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer.

The district shall receive written permission before releasing education records to any agency or individual not authorized by law to receive and/or view the education records without prior parental permission. The District shall maintain a record of requests by such agencies or individuals for access to, and each disclosure of, personally identifiable information (PII) from the education records of each student. Disclosure of education records is authorized by law to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A personal record kept by a school staff member is not considered an education record if it meets the following tests.

  • it is in the sole possession of the individual who made it;
  • it is used only as a personal memory aid; and
  • information contained in it has never been revealed or made available to any other person, except the maker’s temporary substitute.

For the purposes of this policy a school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the school board; a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

For the purposes of this policy a school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility, contracted duty, or duty of elected office.

In addition to releasing PII to school officials without permission, the District may disclose PII from the education records of students in foster care placement to the student’s caseworker or to the caseworker’s representative without getting prior consent of the parent (or the student if the student is over eighteen (18)). For the District to release the student’s PII without getting permission:

  • The student must be in foster care;
  • The individual to whom the PII will be released must have legal access to the student’s case plan; and
  • The Arkansas Department of Human Services, or a sub-agency of the Department, must be legally responsible for the care and protection of the student.

The District discloses PII from an education record to appropriate parties, including parents, in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. The superintendent or designee shall determine who will have access to and the responsibility for disclosing information in emergency situations.

When deciding whether to release PII in a health or safety emergency, the District may take into account the totality of the circumstances pertaining to a threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals. If the District determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals, it may disclose information from education records to any person whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

For purposes of this policy, the Pulaski County Special School District does not distinguish between a custodial and noncustodial parent, or a non-parent such as a person acting in loco parentis or a foster parent with respect to gaining access to a student’s records. Unless a court order restricting such access has been presented to the district to the contrary, the fact of a person’s status as parent or guardian, alone, enables that parent or guardian to review and copy his child’s records.

If there exists a court order which directs that a parent not have access to a student or his/her records, the parent, guardian, person acting in loco parentis, or an agent of the Department of Human Services must present a file-marked copy of such order to the building principal and the superintendent. The school will make good-faith efforts to act in accordance with such court order, but the failure to do so does not impose legal liability upon the school. The actual responsibility for enforcement of such court orders rests with the parents or guardians, their attorneys and the court which issued the order.

A parent or guardian does not have the right to remove any material from a student’s records, but such parent or guardian may challenge the accuracy of a record. The right to challenge the accuracy of a record does not include the right to dispute a grade, disciplinary rulings, disability placements, or other such determinations, which must be done only through the appropriate teacher and/or administrator, the decision of whom is final. A challenge to the accuracy of material contained in a student’s file must be initiated with the building principal, with an appeal available to the Superintendent or his/her designee. The challenge shall clearly identify the part of the student’s record the parent wants changed and specify why he/she believes it is inaccurate or misleading. If the school determines not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the requesting parent or student of the decision and inform them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amending the record. The parent or eligible student will be provided information regarding the hearing procedure when notified of the right to a hearing.

Unless the parent or guardian of a student (or student, if above the age of eighteen [18]) objects, "directory information" about a student may be made available to the public, military recruiters, post-secondary educational institutions, prospective employers of those students, as well as school publications such as annual yearbooks and graduation announcements. “Directory information” includes, but is not limited to, a student’s name, address, telephone number, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, dates of attendance,5 his/her placement on the honor role (or the receipt of other types of honors), as well as his/her participation in school clubs and extracurricular activities, among others. If the student participates in inherently public activities (for example, basketball, football, or other interscholastic activities), the publication of such information will be beyond the control of the District. "Directory information" also includes a student identification (ID) number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by a student for purposes of

accessing or communicating in electronic systems and a student ID number or other unique personal identifier that is displayed on a student's ID badge, provided the ID cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user's identity, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user.

A student’s name and photograph will only be displayed on the district or school’s web page(s) after receiving the written permission from the student’s parent or student if over the age of 18.

The form for objecting to making directory information available is located in the back of the student handbook and must be completed and signed by the parent or age-eligible student and filed with the building principal’s office no later than ten (10) school days after the beginning of each school year or the date the student is enrolled for school. Failure to file an objection by that time is considered a specific grant of permission. The district is required to continue to honor any signed-opt out form for any student no longer in attendance at the district.

The right to opt out of the disclosure of directory information under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not prevent the District from disclosing or requiring a student to disclose the student's name, identifier, or institutional email address in a class in which the student is enrolled.

Parents and students over the age of 18 who believe the district has failed to comply with the requirements for the lawful release of student records may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) at

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202


Cross References:
Policy 4.34—Communicable Diseases and Parasites
Policy 5.20—District Web Site
Policy 5.20.1—Web Site Privacy Policy
Policy 5.20F1—Permission to Display Photo of Student on Web Site

Legal References:
A.C.A. § 9-298 -113(b)(6)
20 U.S.C. § 1232g
20 U.S.C. § 7908
34 CFR 99.3, 99.7, 99.21, 99.22, 99.30, 99.31, 99.32, 99.33, 99.34, 99.35, 99.36, 99.37, 99.63, 99.64

Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Last Revised: 06/2/15
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.13F Objection to Publication of Directory Information

(Not to be filed if the parent/student has no objection)

I, the undersigned, being a parent of a student, or a student eighteen (18) years of age or older, hereby note my objection to the disclosure or publication by the Pulaski County Special School District of directory information, as defined in Policy No. 4.13 (Privacy of Students’ Records), concerning the student named below. The district is required to continue to honor any signed opt-out form for any student no longer in attendance at the district.

I understand that the participation by the below-named student in any interscholastic activity, including athletics and school clubs, may make the publication of some directory information unavoidable, and the publication of such information in other forms, such as telephone directories, church directories, etc., is not within the control of the District.

I understand that this form must be filed with the office of the appropriate building principal within ten (10) school days from the beginning of the current school year or the date the student is enrolled for school in order for the District to be bound by this objection. Failure to file this form within that time is a specific grant of permission to publish such information.

I object and wish to deny the disclosure or publication of directory information as follows:

Deny disclosure to military recruiters ____

Deny disclosure to Institutions of postsecondary education ____

Deny disclosure to Potential employers ____

Deny disclosure to all public and school sources ____

Selecting this option will prohibit the release of directory information to the three categories listed above along with all other public sources (such as newspapers), AND result in the student’s directory information not being included in the school’s yearbook and other school publications.

Deny disclosure to all public sources ____

Selecting this option will prohibit the release of directory information to the first three categories listed above along with all other public sources (such as newspapers), but permit the student’s directory information to be included in the school’s yearbook and other school publications.

__________________________________________
Name of student (Printed)

_________________________________________
Signature of parent (or student, if 18 or older)

__________________________________________
Date form was filed (To be filled in by office personnel)


Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.15 Contact With Students While at School

CONTACT BY PARENTS

Parents wishing to speak to their children during the school day shall register first with the office.

CONTACT BY NON-CUSTODIAL PARENTS

If there is any question concerning the legal custody of the student, the custodial parent shall present documentation to the principal or the principal’s designee establishing the parent’s custody of the student. It shall be the responsibility of the custodial parent to make any court ordered “no contact” or other restrictions regarding the non-custodial parent known to the principal by presenting a copy of a file-marked court order. Without such a court order on file, the school will release the child to either of his/her parents. Non-custodial parents who file with the principal a date-stamped copy of current court orders granting unsupervised visitation may eat lunch, volunteer in their child’s classroom, or otherwise have contact with their child during school hours and the prior approval of the school’s principal. Such contact is subject to the limitations outlined in Policy 4.16, Policy 6.5, and any other policies that may apply.

Arkansas law provides that, in order to avoid continuing child custody controversies from involving school personnel and to avoid disruptions to the educational atmosphere in the District’s schools, the transfer of a child between his/her custodial parent and non-custodial parent, when both parents are present, shall not take place on the school’s property on normal school days during normal hours of school operation. The custodial or non-custodial parent may send to/drop off the student at school to be sent to/picked up by the other parent on predetermined days in accordance with any court order provided by the custodial parent or by a signed agreement between both the custodial and non-custodial parents that was witnessed by the student’s building principal. Unless a valid no-contact order has been filed with the student’s principal or the principal’s designee, district employees shall not become involved in disputes concerning whether or not that parent was supposed to pick up the student on any given day.

CONTACT BY LAW ENFORCEMENT, SOCIAL SERVICES, OR BY COURT ORDER

State Law requires that Department of Human Services employees, local law enforcement, or agents of the Crimes Against Children Division of the Department of Arkansas State Police may interview students without a court order for the purpose of investigating suspected child abuse. In instances where the interviewers deem it necessary, they may exercise a “72-hour hold” without first obtaining a court order. Except as provided below, other questioning of students by non-school personnel shall be granted only with a court order directing such questioning, with permission of the parents of a student (or the student if above eighteen (18) years of age), or in response to a subpoena or arrest warrant.

If the District makes a report to any law enforcement agency concerning student misconduct or if access to a student is granted to a law enforcement agency due to a court order, the principal or the principal’s designee shall make a good faith effort to contact the student’s parent, legal guardian, or other person having lawful control by court order, or person acting in loco parentis identified on student enrollment forms. The principal or the principal’s designee shall not attempt to make such contact if presented documentation by the investigator that notification is prohibited because a parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or person standing in loco parentis is named as an alleged offender of the suspected child maltreatment. This exception applies only to interview requests made by a law enforcement officer, an investigator of the Crimes Against Children Division of the Division of Arkansas State Police, or an investigator or employee of the Department of Human Services.

In instances other than those related to cases of suspected child abuse, principals must release a student to either a police officer who presents a subpoena for the student, or a warrant for arrest, or to an agent of state social services or an agent of a court with jurisdiction over a child with a court order signed by a judge. Upon release of the student, the principal or designee shall give the student’s parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or person standing in loco parentis notice that the student has been taken into custody by law enforcement personnel or a state’s social services agency. If the principal or designee is unable to reach the parent, he or she shall make a reasonable, good faith effort to get a message to the parent to call the principal or designee, and leave both a day and an after-hours telephone number.

Contact by Professional Licensure Standards Board Investigators

Investigators for the Professional Licensure Standards Board may meet with students during the school day to carry out the investigation of an ethics complaint.

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-18-513
  • A.C.A. § 9-13-104
  • A.C.A. § 12-18-609, 610, 613
  • A.C.A. § 12-18-1001, 1005

Date Adopted: 3/16/15
Revised: 10/16/17
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.16 Student Visitors

The board strongly believes that the purpose of school is for learning. Social visitors, generally, disrupt the classroom and interfere with learning that should be taking place. Therefore, visiting with students at school is strongly discouraged, unless approved by the principal and scheduled in advance. This includes visits made by former students, friends, and/or relatives of teachers or students. Any visitation to the classroom shall be allowed only with the permission of the school principal and all visitors must first register at the office.


Date Adopted: 3/16/15
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.17 Student Discipline

The Pulaski County Special School District Board of Education has a responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the District’s students and employees. To help maintain a safe environment conducive to high student achievement, the Board establishes policies necessary to regulate student behavior to promote an orderly school environment that is respectful of the rights of others and ensures the uniform enforcement of student discipline. Students are responsible for their conduct that occurs:

  • At any time on the school grounds;
  • Off school grounds at a school sponsored function, activity, or event; and
  • Going to and from school or a school activity.

The District’s administrators may also take disciplinary action against a student for off-campus conduct occurring at any time that would have a detrimental impact on school discipline, the educational environment, or the welfare of the students and/or staff. A student who has committed a criminal act while off campus and whose presence on campus could cause a substantial disruption to school or endanger the welfare of other students or staff is subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. Such acts could include, but are not limited to a felony or an act that would be considered a felony if committed by an adult, an assault or battery, drug law violations, or sexual misconduct of a serious nature. Any disciplinary action pursued by the District shall be in accordance with the student’s appropriate due process rights.

The District’s licensed personnel policy committees shall annually review the District’s student discipline policies, including State and District student discipline data, and may recommend changes in the policies to the Pulaski County Special School District School Board. The Board has the responsibility of determining whether to approve any recommended changes to student discipline policies.

The District’s student discipline policies shall be distributed to each student during the first week of school each year and to new students upon their enrollment. Each student’s parent, or legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or person standing in loco parentis shall sign and return to the school an acknowledgement form documenting that they have received the policies.

The District shall develop and provide programs, measures, or alternative means and methods for continued student engagement and educational access during periods of suspension or expulsion.

The superintendent is authorized to modify the penalties set forth in the District’s student discipline policies on a case-by-case basis.

The District’s student discipline policies shall be distributed to each student during the first week of school each year and to new students upon their enrollment. Each student’s parent or legal guardian shall sign and return to the school an acknowledgement form documenting that they have received the policies.

It is required by law that the principal or the person in charge report to the police any incidents the person has personal knowledge of or has received information leading to a reasonable belief that a person has committed or threatened to commit an act of violence or any crime involving a deadly weapon on school property or while under school supervision. If the person making the report is not the Superintendent, that person shall also inform the Superintendent of the incident. Additionally, the principal shall inform any school employee or other person who initially reported the incident that a report has been made to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The Superintendent or designee shall inform the Board of Directors of any such report made to law enforcement.

The superintendent shall make a report annually to the Board of Directors on student discipline data, which shall include, without limitation: the number of incidents of bullying reported and the actions taken regarding the reported incidents of bullying.

Manual Adoption: 9/11/84

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-18-502
  • A.C.A. § 6-17-113

Date Adopted: 3/8/83
Revised: 4/1/2015
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.18 Prohibited Conduct 

Students and staff require a safe and orderly learning environment that is conducive to high student achievement. Certain student behaviors are unacceptable in such an environment and are hereby prohibited by the Board. Prohibited behaviors include, but shall not be limited to the following:

  1. Disrespect for school employees and failing to comply with their reasonable directions or otherwise demonstrating insubordination;
  2. Disruptive behavior that interferes with orderly school operations;
  3. Willfully and intentionally assaulting or threatening to assault or physically abusing any student or school employee;
  4. Possession of any weapon that can reasonably be considered capable of causing bodily harm to another individual;
  5. Possession or use of tobacco in any form on any property owned or leased by any public school;
  6. Willfully or intentionally damaging, destroying, or stealing school property;
  7. Possession of any paging device, beeper, or similar electronic communication devices on the school campus during normal school hours unless specifically exempted by the administration for health or other compelling reasons;
  8. Possession, selling, distributing, or being under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, any illegal drug, unauthorized inhalants, or the inappropriate use or sharing of prescription or over the counter drugs, or other intoxicants, or anything represented to be a drug;
  9. Sharing, diverting, transferring, applying to others (such as needles or lancets), or in any way misusing medication or any medical supplies in their possession;
  10. Inappropriate public displays of affection;
  11. Cheating, copying, or claiming another person's work to be his/her own;
  12. Gambling;
  13. Inappropriate student dress;
  14. Use of vulgar, profane, or obscene language or gestures;
  15. Truancy;
  16. Excessive tardiness;
  17. Engaging in behavior designed to taunt, degrade, or ridicule another person on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability;
  18. Possess, view, distribute or electronically transmit sexually explicit or vulgar images or representations, whether electronically, on a data storage device, or in hard copy form;
  19. Hazing, or aiding in the hazing of another student;
  20. Gangs or gang-related activities, including belonging to secret societies of any kind, are forbidden on school property. Gang insignias, clothing, “throwing signs” or other gestures associated with gangs are prohibited;
  21. Sexual harassment;
  22. Bullying;
  23. Operating a vehicle on school grounds while using a wireless communication device.; and
  24. Theft of another individual’s personal property.

The Board directs each school in the District to develop implementation regulations for prohibited student conduct consistent with applicable Board policy, State and Federal laws, and judicial decisions.

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-5-201
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-1005
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-222
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-502
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-514
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-707
  • A.C.A. § 6-21-609
  • A.C.A. § 27-51-1602
  • A.C.A. § 27-51-1603
  • A.C.A. § 27-51-1609

Cross-References:

  • Prohibited Conduct #2— Policy # 4.20
  • Prohibited Conduct #3— Policy # 4.21, 4.26
  • Prohibited Conduct #4— Policy # 4.22
  • Prohibited Conduct #5— Policy # 4.23
  • Prohibited Conduct #7—Policy 4.47
  • Prohibited Conduct #8— Policy # 4.24
  • Prohibited Conduct # 13— Policy # 4.25
  • Prohibited Conduct # 14— Policy # 4.21
  • Prohibited Conduct # 15— Policy # 4.7
  • Prohibited Conduct # 16 — Policy # 4.9
  • Prohibited Conduct # 17— Policy # 4.43
  • Prohibited Conduct # 19— Policy # 4.12
  • Prohibited Conduct # 20— Policy # 4.26
  • Prohibited Conduct # 21—Policy # 4.27
  • Prohibited Conduct # 22— Policy # 4.43

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00
Date Adopted: 3/8/1966
Revised: 4/1/2015
Revised: 10/09/18
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.19 Conduct to and from School and Transportation Eligibility

School buses are operated by the Pulaski County Special School District as an accommodation to students and parents. Riding a bus is a privilege that must not be abused by daily bus riders or those only riding a bus for a field trip. The District’s Student Code of conduct applies to students while traveling to and from school or to and from a school activity to the same extent as if the students were on school grounds. Appropriate disciplinary actions may be taken against commuting students who violate the District’s Student Code of Conduct.

The preceding paragraph also applies to student conduct while on school buses. Students shall be instructed in safe riding practices. The driver of a school bus shall not operate the school bus until every passenger is seated. Bus drivers have the responsibility for obeying all traffic laws and safety procedures, for supervising the behavior of students assigned to them, and for reporting to the school principal those acts of student conduct which are contrary to law, school regulations, or jeopardize the health and safety of persons riding the bus. Principals have the responsibility for acting promptly when acts of misconduct are reported by a bus driver and for proper notification to the student, parent and driver of his disposition of the case.

In addition to other disciplinary measures provided for violations of the District’s Student Code of Conduct, the student’s bus transportation privileges may be suspended or terminated for violations of the Student Code of Conduct related to bus behavior. The transportation to and from school of students who have lost their bus transportation privileges is the responsibility of the student’s parent or guardian. Remember: Parents will be held financially responsible for damage to the inside/outside of the school bus.

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 5-60-122
  • A.C.A. § 6-19-119 (b)
  • Ark. Division of Academic Facilities and Transportation Rules Governing Maintenance and Operations of Ark. Public School Buses and Physical Examinations of School Bus Drivers 4.0

Date Adopted: 3/8/83
Last Revised: 3/16/15
Revised: 6/26/19

4.20 Disruption of School

No student shall by the use of violence, force, noise, coercion, threat, intimidation, fear, passive resistance, or any other conduct, intentionally cause the disruption of any lawful mission, process, or function of the school, or engage in any such conduct for the purpose of causing disruption or obstruction of any lawful mission, process, or function. Nor shall any student encourage any other student to engage in such activities.

Disorderly activities by any student or group of students that adversely affect the school’s orderly educational environment shall not be tolerated at any time on school grounds. Teachers may remove from class and send to the principal or principal’s designee office a student whose behavior is so unruly, disruptive, or abusive that it seriously interferes with the teacher’s ability to teach the students, the class, or with the ability of the student’s classmates to learn. Students who refuse to leave the classroom voluntarily will be escorted from the classroom by the school administration.


Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-18-511
Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.21 Student Assault or Battery

A student shall not threaten, physically abuse, or attempt to physically abuse, or behave in such a way as to be perceived to threaten bodily harm to any other person (student, school employee, or school visitor). Any gestures, vulgar, abusive or insulting language, taunting, threatening, harassing, or intimidating remarks by a student toward another person that threatens their well-being is strictly forbidden. This includes, but is not limited to, fighting, racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual slurs.

Furthermore, it is unlawful, during regular school hours, and in a place where a public school employee is required to be in the course of his or her duties, for any person to address a public school employee using language which, in its common acceptation, is calculated to:

  1. Cause a breach of the peace;
  2. Materially and substantially interfere with the operation of the school; or
  3. Arouse the person to whom it is addressed to anger, to the extent likely to cause imminent retaliation.

Students guilty of such an offense may be subject to legal proceedings in addition to any student disciplinary measures.

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00
Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-17-106 (a)
Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Revised: 6/26/19

4.22 Weapons and Dangerous Instruments

Definitions

“Firearm" means any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or any device readily convertible to that use.

“Possession” means having a weapon on the student’s body or in an area under the student’s control.

“Weapon” means any:

  • Firearm;
  • Knife;
  • Razor;
  • Ice pick;
  • Dirk;
  • Box cutter;
  • Nunchucks;
  • Pepper spray, mace, or other noxious spray;
  • Explosive;
  • Taser or other instrument that uses electrical current to cause neuromuscular incapacitation; or
  • Any other instrument or substance capable of causing bodily harm.

No student, except for Military personnel (such as ROTC cadets) acting in the course of their official duties or as otherwise expressly permitted by this policy, shall possess a weapon, display what appears to be a weapon, or threaten to use a weapon before or after school while:

  • In a school building;
  • On or about school property;
  • At any school sponsored activity or event;
  • On route to or from school or any school sponsored activity; or
  • Off the school grounds at any school bus stop.

If, a student discovers, prior to any questioning or search by any school personnel, that he/she has accidentally brought a weapon, other than a firearm, to school on his/her person, in a book bag/purse or, in a vehicle on school grounds, and the student informs the principal or a staff person immediately, the student will not be considered to be in possession of a weapon unless it is a firearm. The weapon shall be confiscated and held in the office until such time as the student’s parent/legal guardian shall pick up the weapon from the school’s office. Repeated offenses are unacceptable and shall be grounds for disciplinary action against the student as otherwise provided for in this policy.

Except as permitted in this policy, students found to be in possession on the school campus of a firearm shall be recommended for expulsion for a period of not less than one (1) year. The superintendent shall have the discretion to modify such expulsion recommendation for a student on a case-by-case basis. Parents or legal guardians of students expelled under this policy shall be given a copy of the current laws regarding the possibility of parental responsibility for allowing a child to possess a firearm on school property. Parents or legal guardians shall sign a statement acknowledging that they have read and understand said laws prior to readmitting the student. Parents or legal guardians of a student enrolling from another school after the expiration of an expulsion period for a firearm policy violation shall also be given a copy of the current laws regarding the possibility of parental responsibility for allowing a child to possess a firearm on school property. The parents or legal guardians shall sign a statement acknowledging that they have read and understand said laws prior to the student being enrolled in school.

The mandatory expulsion requirement for possession of a firearm does not apply to a firearm brought to school for the purpose of participating in activities approved and authorized by the district that include the use of firearms. Such activities may include ROTC programs, hunting safety or military education, or before or after-school hunting or rifle clubs. Firearms brought to school for such purposes shall be brought to the school employee designated to receive such firearms. The designated employee shall store the firearms in a secure location until they are removed for use in the approved activity.

The district shall report any student who brings a firearm to school to the local law enforcement.

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 5-4-201
  • A.C.A. § 5-4-401
  • A.C.A. § 5-27-210
  • A.C.A. § 5-73-119(b)(e)(8)(9)(10)
  • A.C.A. § 5-73-133
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-502 (c) (2)(A)(B)
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-507 (e) (1)(2)
  • A.C.A. § 6-21-608
  • 20 USC § 7961

Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.23 Tobacco and Tobacco Products

Smoking or use of tobacco or products containing tobacco in any form (including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) in or on any real property owned or leased by a District school, including school buses owned or leased by the District, is prohibited. Students who violate this policy may be subject to legal proceedings in addition to student disciplinary measures.

With the exception of recognized tobacco cessation products, this policy’s prohibition includes any tobacco or nicotine delivery system or product. Specifically, the prohibition includes any product that is manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, or under any other name or descriptor.


Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-21-609

Date Adopted: 10/10/72

Last Revised: 4/12/83
Last Revised: 9/11/84
Last Revised: 11/13/87
Last Revised: 8/11/15

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.24 Drugs and Alcohol

An orderly and safe school environment that is conducive to promoting student achievement requires a student population free from the deleterious effects of alcohol and drugs. Their use is illegal, disruptive to the educational environment, and diminishes the capacity of students to learn and function properly in our schools.

Therefore, no student in the Pulaski County Special School District shall possess, attempt to possess, consume, use, distribute, sell, buy, attempt to sell, attempt to buy, give to any person, or be under the influence of any substance as defined in this policy, or what the student represents or believes to be any substance as defined in this policy. This policy applies to any student who: is on or about school property; is in attendance at school or any school sponsored activity; has left the school campus for any reason and returns to the campus; or is en route to or from school or any school sponsored activity.

Prohibited substances shall include, but are not limited to: alcohol, or any alcoholic beverage, inhalants or any ingestible matter that alter a student’s ability to act, think, or respond, LSD, or any other hallucinogen, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or any other narcotic drug, PCP, amphetamines, steroids, “designer drugs,” look-alike drugs, or any controlled substance.

The sale, distribution, or attempted sale or distribution of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, dietary supplement or other perceived health remedy not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, or prescription drugs is prohibited. The possession or use of OTC medications, dietary supplement or other perceived health remedy not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, or prescription drugs is prohibited except as permitted under Policy 4.35—Student Medications.

Cross Reference: 4.35 Student Medications
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00
Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Revised: 8/11/15
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.25 Student Dress/School Uniforms 

The general standards of appearance for students are that they be clean, neat and properly dressed. They are to observe modes of dress, styles of hair and standards of personal grooming which are in conformity with the studious atmosphere necessary in schools. It is the responsibility of each principal to see that no student’s dress is extreme to the point of creating a disturbance of the educational atmosphere. If the principal or the teacher determines that a student’s dress or grooming is unacceptable, adequate time will be allowed the student to make proper adjustments. However, if a student continues to ignore acceptable standards, he will be subject to disciplinary action.

A student will not practice a mode of dress that disrupts the educational process, calls attention to the individual, violates federal, state or local law, or affects the welfare and safety of students and teachers. Furthermore, students are prohibited from obscene, lewd or vulgar comments or designs and wearing clothing directed toward or intended to threaten, intimidate or demean an individual or group of individuals as well as items advertising alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs.

All students in the District grades K through five (5) will wear school uniforms, navy and khaki bottoms and solid color polo style shirts without emblems.

Exemptions: Parents may apply to building principal for full or partial exemptions or waivers for students due to handicapping condition or religious observation. New students to district schools will be given two weeks to comply with the Uniform Dress Code. Denied exemption requests may be appealed to the Assistant Superintendent for Equity and Pupil Services. Appeals from this level may be brought to the Board of Education following guidelines for student disciplinary appeal hearings. The Board directs the Superintendent to develop guidelines for District-specified student uniforms.


Legal References:
A.C.A. § 6-18-502(c)(1)
A.C.A. § 6-18-503(c)

Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Last Revised: 5/10/83
Last Revised: 9/11/84
Last Revised: 5/9/00
Last Revised: 7/10/07
Last Revised: 8/11/15

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.26 Gangs and Gang Activity

The Board is committed to ensuring a safe school environment conducive to promoting a learning environment where students and staff can excel. An orderly environment cannot exist where unlawful acts occur causing fear, intimidation, or physical harm to students or school staff. Gangs and their activities create such an atmosphere and shall not be allowed on school grounds or at school functions.

The following actions are prohibited by students on school property or at school functions:

  1. Wearing or possessing any clothing, bandanas, jewelry, symbol, or other sign associated with membership in, or representative of, any gang;
  2. Engaging in any verbal or nonverbal act such as throwing signs, gestures, or handshakes representative of membership in any gang;
  3. Recruiting, soliciting, or encouraging any person through duress or intimidation to become or remain a member of any gang; and/or
  4. Extorting payment from any individual in return for protection from harm from any gang.

Students found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Students arrested for gang related activities occurring off school grounds shall be subject to the same disciplinary actions as if they had occurred on school grounds.

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 5-74-201 et seq
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-1005(b)(2)

Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Revised: 6/26/19

4.27 Student Sexual Harassment

The Pulaski County School District is committed to providing an academic environment that treats all students with respect and dignity. Student achievement is best attained in an atmosphere of equal educational opportunity that is free of discrimination. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that undermines the integrity of the educational environment and will not be tolerated.

The District believes the best policy to create an educational environment free from sexual harassment is prevention; therefore, the District shall provide informational materials and training to students, parents/legal guardians/other responsible adults, and employees on sexual harassment. The informational materials and training on sexual harassment shall be age appropriate and, when necessary, provided in a language other than English or in an accessible format. The informational materials and training shall include, but are not limited to: the nature of sexual harassment; the District’s written grievance procedures for complaints of sexual harassment;1 that the district does not tolerate sexual harassment; that students can report inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature without fear of adverse consequences; the redress that is available to the victim of sexual harassment;2 and the potential discipline for perpetrating sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment” means conduct that is:

  1. Of a sexual nature, including, but not limited to:
    • Sexual advances;
    • Requests for sexual favors;
    • Sexual violence; or
    • Other personally offensive verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature;
  2. Unwelcome; and
  3. denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from any of the District’s educational programs or activities through any or all of the following methods:
    • Submission to the conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s education;
    • Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting that individual; and/or
    • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic environment.
  • The terms “intimidating,” “hostile,” and “offensive” include conduct of a sexual nature that has the effect of humiliation or embarrassment and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it limits the student’s ability to participate in, or benefit from, an educational program or activity.

Within the educational environment, sexual harassment is prohibited between any of the following: students; employees and students; and non-employees and students.

Actionable sexual harassment is generally established when an individual is exposed to a pattern of objectionable behaviors or when a single, serious act is committed. What is, or is not, sexual harassment will depend upon all of the surrounding circumstances and may occur regardless of the sex(es) of the individuals involved. Depending upon such circumstances, examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Making sexual propositions or pressuring for sexual activities;
  • Unwelcome touching;
  • Writing graffiti of a sexual nature;
  • Displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials;
  • Performing sexual gestures or touching oneself sexually in front of others;
  • Telling sexual or crude jokes;
  • Spreading rumors related to a person’s alleged sexual activities;
  • Discussions of sexual experiences;
  • Rating other students as to sexual activity or performance;
  • Circulating or showing e-mails or Web sites of a sexual nature;
  • Intimidation by words, actions, insults, or name calling; and
  • Teasing or name-calling related to sexual characteristics or the belief or perception that an individual is not conforming to expected gender roles or conduct or is homosexual, regardless of whether or not the student self-identifies as homosexual or transgender.

Students who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment, or the parent/legal guardian/other responsible adult of a student who believes their student has been subjected to sexual harassment, are encouraged to file a complaint by contacting a counselor, teacher, Title IX coordinator, or administrator who will provide assistance on the complaint process. Under no circumstances shall a student be required to first report allegations of sexual harassment to a school contact person if that person is the individual who is accused of the harassment.

Complaints will be treated in a confidential manner to the extent possible. Limited disclosure may be provided to: individuals who are responsible for handling the District’s investigation to the extent necessary to complete a thorough investigation; the extent necessary to submit a report to the child maltreatment hotline; the Professional Licensure Standards Board for complaints alleging sexual harassment by an employee towards a student; or the extent necessary to provide the individual accused in the complaint due process during the investigation and disciplinary processes. Individuals who file a complaint have the right to request that the individual accused of sexual harassment not be informed of the name of the accuser; however, individuals should be aware that making such a request may substantially limit the District’s ability to investigate the complaint and may make it impossible for the District to discipline the accused.3

Students, or the parents/legal guardians/ other responsible adult of a student, who file a complaint of sexual harassment shall not be subjected to retaliation or reprisal in any form, including threats, intimidation, coercion, or discrimination. The District shall take steps to prevent retaliation and shall take immediate action if any form of retaliation occurs regardless of whether the retaliatory acts are by District officials, students, or third parties.

Following the completion of an investigation of a complaint, the District will inform the parents/legal guardian/other responsible adult of the student, or the student if over the age of eighteen (18), who filed the complaint:

  • The final determination of the investigation;
  • Remedies the District will make available to the student; and
  • The sanctions, if any, imposed on the alleged harasser relevant to the student.

Following the completion of an investigation of a complaint, the District will inform the parents/legal guardian/other responsible adult of the student, or the student if over the age of eighteen (18), who was accused of sexual harassment in the complaint:

  • The final determination of the investigation; and
  • The sanctions, if any, the District intends to impose on the student.

It shall be a violation of this policy for any student to be subjected to, or to subject another person to, sexual harassment. Following an investigation, any student who is found by the evidence to more likely than not have engaged in sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action up to, and including, expulsion.

Students who knowingly fabricate allegations of sexual harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Individuals who withhold information, purposely provide inaccurate facts, or otherwise hinder an investigation of sexual harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.


Legal References:
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC 1681, et seq
34 CFR part 106
A.C.A. § 6-15-1005 (b) (1)

Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Manual Adoption: 2/8/11
Last revised: 2/19/18

4.28 Laser Pointers

Students shall not possess any hand held laser pointer while in school; on or about school property, before or after school; in attendance at school or any school-sponsored activity; en route to or from school or any school-sponsored activity; off the school grounds at any school bus stop or at any school-sponsored activity or event. School personnel shall seize any laser pointer from the student possessing it and the student may reclaim it at the close of the school year, or when the student is no longer enrolled in the District.

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00
Legal References: A.C.A. § 6-18-512
Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Revised: 6/26/19

4.30 Suspension From School

The Board of Education may expel a student for a period longer than ten (10) school days for violation of the District’s written discipline policies. The Superintendent may make a recommendation of expulsion to the Board of Education for student conduct: Deemed to be of such gravity that suspension would be inappropriate;

  • Where the student’s continued attendance at school would disrupt the orderly learning environment; or
  • Would pose an unreasonable danger to the welfare of other students or staff.

Expulsion shall not be used to discipline a student in kindergarten through fifth (5th) grade unless the student's behavior:

  1. Poses a physical risk to himself or herself or to others;
  2. Causes a serious disruption that cannot be addressed through other means; or
  3. Is the act of bringing a firearm on school campus.

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall give written notice to the parents, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis (mailed to the address reflected on the District’s records) that he/she will recommend to the Board of Education that the student be expelled for the specified length of time and state the reasons for the recommendation to expel. The notice shall give the date, hour, and place where the Board of Education will consider and dispose of the recommendation.

The hearing shall be conducted not later than ten (10) school days following the date of the notice, except that representatives of the Board and student may agree in writing to a date not conforming to this limitation.

The President of the Board, Board attorney, or other designated Board member shall preside at the hearing. The student may choose to be represented by legal counsel. Both the district administration and School Board also may be represented by legal counsel. The hearing shall be conducted in open session of the Board unless the parent, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis or student if age eighteen (18) or older, requests that the hearing be conducted in executive session. Any action taken by the Board shall be in open session.

During the hearing, the Superintendent, or designee, or representative will present evidence, including the calling of witnesses that gave rise to the recommendation of expulsion. The student, or his/her representative, may then present evidence including statements from persons with personal knowledge of the events or circumstances relevant to the charges against the student. Formal cross-examination will not be permitted; however, any member of the Board, the Superintendent, or designee, the student, or his/her representative may question anyone making a statement and/or the student. The presiding officer shall decide questions concerning the appropriateness or relevance of any questions asked during the hearing.

Except as permitted by policy 4.22, the Superintendent shall recommend the expulsion of any student for a period of not less than one (1) year for possession of any firearm prohibited on school campus by law. The Superintendent shall, however, have the discretion to modify the expulsion recommendation for a student on a case-by-case basis. Parents, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis of a student enrolling from another school after the expiration of an expulsion period for a weapons policy violation shall be given a copy of the current laws regarding the possibility of parental responsibility for allowing a child to possess a weapon on school property. The parents, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis shall sign a statement acknowledging that they have read and understand said laws prior to the student being enrolled in school.

The Superintendent and the Board of Education shall complete the expulsion process of any student that was initiated because the student possessed a firearm or other prohibited weapon on school property regardless of the enrollment status of the student.

The District shall establish programs, measures, or alternative means and methods to continue student engagement and access to education during a student’s period of expulsion. The District’s program shall include offering an expelled student an opportunity for enrollment in digital learning courses or other alternative educational courses that result in the receipt of academic credit that is at least equal to credit the expelled student may have received from the District if the student had not been expelled.

Cross Reference: Policy 4.22—Weapons and Dangerous Instruments

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-15-1406
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-502
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-507

Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Revised: 8/11/15
Revised: 10/16/17
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.31 Expulsion

The Board of Education may expel a student for a period longer than ten (10) school days for violation of the District’s written discipline policies. The Superintendent may make a recommendation of expulsion to the Board of Education for student conduct: Deemed to be of such gravity that suspension would be inappropriate;

  • Where the student’s continued attendance at school would disrupt the orderly learning environment; or
  • Would pose an unreasonable danger to the welfare of other students or staff.

Expulsion shall not be used to discipline a student in kindergarten through fifth (5th) grade unless the student's behavior:

  1. Poses a physical risk to himself or herself or to others;
  2. Causes a serious disruption that cannot be addressed through other means; or
  3. Is the act of bringing a firearm on school campus.

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall give written notice to the parents, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis (mailed to the address reflected on the District’s records) that he/she will recommend to the Board of Education that the student be expelled for the specified length of time and state the reasons for the recommendation to expel. The notice shall give the date, hour, and place where the Board of Education will consider and dispose of the recommendation.

The hearing shall be conducted not later than ten (10) school days following the date of the notice, except that representatives of the Board and student may agree in writing to a date not conforming to this limitation.

The President of the Board, Board attorney, or other designated Board member shall preside at the hearing. The student may choose to be represented by legal counsel. Both the district administration and School Board also may be represented by legal counsel. The hearing shall be conducted in open session of the Board unless the parent, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis or student if age eighteen (18) or older, requests that the hearing be conducted in executive session. Any action taken by the Board shall be in open session.

During the hearing, the Superintendent, or designee, or representative will present evidence, including the calling of witnesses that gave rise to the recommendation of expulsion. The student, or his/her representative, may then present evidence including statements from persons with personal knowledge of the events or circumstances relevant to the charges against the student. Formal cross-examination will not be permitted; however, any member of the Board, the Superintendent, or designee, the student, or his/her representative may question anyone making a statement and/or the student. The presiding officer shall decide questions concerning the appropriateness or relevance of any questions asked during the hearing.

Except as permitted by policy 4.22, the Superintendent shall recommend the expulsion of any student for a period of not less than one (1) year for possession of any firearm prohibited on school campus by law. The Superintendent shall, however, have the discretion to modify the expulsion recommendation for a student on a case-by-case basis. Parents, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis of a student enrolling from another school after the expiration of an expulsion period for a weapons policy violation shall be given a copy of the current laws regarding the possibility of parental responsibility for allowing a child to possess a weapon on school property. The parents, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of the student, or persons standing in loco parentis shall sign a statement acknowledging that they have read and understand said laws prior to the student being enrolled in school.

The Superintendent and the Board of Education shall complete the expulsion process of any student that was initiated because the student possessed a firearm or other prohibited weapon on school property regardless of the enrollment status of the student.

The District shall establish programs, measures, or alternative means and methods to continue student engagement and access to education during a student’s period of expulsion. The District’s program shall include offering an expelled student an opportunity for enrollment in digital learning courses or other alternative educational courses that result in the receipt of academic credit that is at least equal to credit the expelled student may have received from the District if the student had not been expelled.

Cross Reference: Policy 4.22—Weapons and Dangerous Instruments

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-15-1406
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-502
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-507

Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Revised: 8/11/15
Revised: 10/16/17
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.32 Search Seizure and Interrogations

The District respects the rights of its students against arbitrary intrusion of their person and property. At the same time, it is the responsibility of school officials to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all students enrolled in the District in order to promote an environment conducive to student learning. The Superintendent, principals, and their designees have the right to inspect and search school property and equipment. They may also search students and their personal property in which the student has a reasonable expectation of privacy, when there is reasonable and individualized suspicion to believe such student or property contains illegal items or other items in violation of Board policy or dangerous to the school community. School authorities may seize evidence found in the search and disciplinary action may be taken. Evidence found which appears to be in violation of the law shall be reported to the appropriate authority.

School property shall include, but not be limited to, lockers, desks, and parking lots, as well as personal effects left there by students. When possible, prior notice will be given and the student will be allowed to be present along with an adult witness; however, searches may be done at any time with or without notice or the student’s consent. A personal search must not be excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction.

The Superintendent, principals, and their designees may request the assistance of law enforcement officials to help conduct searches. Such searches may include the use of specially trained dogs.

A school official of the same sex shall conduct personal searches with an adult witness of the same sex present.

State Law requires that Department of Human Services employees, local law enforcement, or agents of the Crimes Against Children Division of the Division of Arkansas State Police, may interview students without a court order for the purpose of investigating suspected child abuse. In instances where the interviewers deem it necessary, they may exercise a “72-hour hold ” without first obtaining a court order. Other questioning of students by non-school personnel shall be granted only with a court order directing such questioning, with permission of the parents of a student (or the student if above eighteen [18] years of age), or in response to a subpoena or arrest warrant.

If the District makes a report to any law enforcement agency concerning student misconduct or if access to a student is granted to a law enforcement agency due to a court order, the principal or the principal’s designee shall make a good faith effort to contact the student’s parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or person standing in loco parentis. The principal or the principal's designee shall not attempt to make such contact if presented documentation by the investigator that notification is prohibited because a parent, guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or person standing in loco parentis is named as an alleged offender of the suspected child maltreatment. This exception applies only to interview requests made by a law enforcement officer, an investigator of the Crimes Against Children Division of the Division of Arkansas State Police, or an investigator or employee of the Department of Human Services.

In instances other than those related to cases of suspected child abuse, principals must release a student to either a police officer who presents a subpoena for the student, or a warrant for arrest, or to an agent of state social services or an agent of a court with jurisdiction over a child with a court order signed by a judge. Upon release of the student, the principal or designee shall give the student’s parent, legal guardian, or other person having lawful control of the student, or personstanding in loco parentis notice that the student has been taken into custody by law enforcement personnel or a state’s social services agency. If the principal or designee is unable to reach the parent, he or she shall make a reasonable, good faith effort to get a message to the parent to call the principal or designee, and leave both a day and an after-hours telephone number.

Students have the right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure by either state, federal or school officials.

School administrators have the responsibility to make a determination of the point at which the student’s right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure is in conflict with the administrator’s official duty to maintain a safe, orderly and efficient school. Search and seizure by the administrator or his designee may occur when reasonable suspicion exists.

A student’s person and/or personal effects may be searched whenever a school authority has reasonable and individualized suspicion to believe that the student is in possession of illegal or unauthorized materials. Parents must pick up confiscated possessions such as, but not limited to radios, tape/CD players, pagers, cell phones, or other electronic communication devices by the end of each semester.

If a pat-down search of a student’s person is conducted, it shall be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex in the presence of an adult witness of the same sex.

Search and seizure by law enforcement officials will occur only when probable cause exists. School administrators have the responsibility to make students aware of search and seizure procedures involving school property or person.

Metal detectors will be used for general scanning in all schools. General scans will be defined as the use of metal detectors to search all students who are present at school on the day of the search.

School employees who are not wearing ID badges and patrons may be subject to scanning when entering a school building during the day.

All individuals may be subject to general scanning when entering buildings, gymnasiums and stadiums for events and activities scheduled outside the school day.

If weapons or illegal substances are found during the process of scanning, District policy, local, state and federal laws will be followed.

Procedures for scanning are as follows:

  1. Each secondary principal will have a prepared plan for general scanning in their buildings.
    These plans will be on file in the office of the Executive Director of Operations or his designee.
    Said plan will include details related to:
    • The number of teachers to be used in the scanning process
    • Staff assignment
    • Procedures for search of the grounds and buses
    • Procedures for securing the building so that when general student population scanning takes place, students may not enter or leave except through designated exits/entrances
    • Provisions for locker searches
  2. Within 48 hours of either a random or a general scan, a written report using the form available for this purpose will be submitted to the Executive Director of Operations or his designee.
    Any teacher/school employee who observes scanning will initial form when scanning is complete.
  3. The scanner will be available for elementary schools provided a building-level plan has been established and students’ parents/guardians have been notified.
  4. The conduct of scan searches will follow these listed procedures:
    • The metal detector will be passed over the student on each side, front and back.
    • If any metal is registered, the student may be:
    • instructed to empty his pockets;
    • instructed to pull up his pant leg so that socks and shoes may be checked;
    • asked to take off jackets to be hand searched;
    • asked to submit purses/book bags for search;
    • asked to turn a belt buckle over to expose the backside in order to ensure that no weapon is concealed.
  5. Once the object that caused the alarm is located, and the alarm does not sound when passed over the student, the search will stop.
  6. If after completing these procedures there is still a reasonable belief that the student is concealing a weapon on his person based on the sounds produced by the metal detector, the student may be asked to accompany an administrator to the office.
    In the privacy of an office and with a teacher of the same sex present as a witness, the student will be asked to produce any weapon or metal items on his person. At no time will a strip search be conducted. If a pat-down search of a student’s person is conducted, it will be performed by a school official or a certified employee of the same sex who has volunteered to conduct the search. If the proposed designee should refuse to participate, that refusal will not be reflected on the employee’s record. The search will be conducted in private and in the presence of an adult witness of the same sex.
    If the above measures do not yield the object that is causing the detector to indicate the presence of an object, then the student’s parent/guardian will be contacted and the student will be detained until the parent/guardian comes to school. If the parent/guardian will not or cannot aid in locating the object that is present, the parent/guardian will be informed that the police will be contacted for assistance.
    Arkansas Statute 5-73-122 and School Law of Arkansas 6-21-608 give ample justification for police assistance in that reasonable cause has been established that the student is secreting an illegal object on his person that is believed to be a weapon.
  7. The media will not be present during scanning activities, nor will pictures be taken of students who are being scanned.

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-18-513
  • A.C.A. § 9-13-104
  • A.C.A. § 12-18-608, 609, 610, 613
  • A.C.A. § 12-18-1001, 1005

Date Adopted: 4/10/18
Revised: 6/26/19

4.33 Students' Vehicles 

A student who has presented a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance to the appropriate office personnel, may drive his/her vehicle to school. Vehicles driven to school shall be parked in the area designated for student parking. Parking on school property is a privilege which may be denied to a student for any disciplinary violation, at the discretion of the student's building principal.

Students are not permitted to loiter in parking areas and are not to return to their vehicles during the school day for any reason unless given permission to do so by school personnel.

It is understood that there is no expectation of privacy in vehicles in parking areas. Drivers of vehicles parked on a school campus will be held accountable for illegal substances or any other item prohibited by District policy found in their vehicle. The act of a student parking a vehicle on campus is a grant of permission for school or law enforcement authorities to search that vehicle.


Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Last Revised: 7/13/82
Last Revised: 5/10/83
Last Revised: 8/11/15
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.34 Communicable Diseases and Parasites

Students with communicable diseases or with human host parasites that are transmittable in a school environment shall demonstrate respect for other students by not attending school while they are capable of transmitting their condition to others. Students whom the school nurse determines are unwell or unfit for school attendance or who are believed to have a communicable disease or condition will be required to be picked up by their parent or guardian. Specific examples include, but are not limited to: chicken pox, measles, scabies, conjunctivitis (Pink Eye), impetigo/MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), streptococcal and staphylococcal infections, ringworm, mononucleosis, Hepatitis A, B, or C, mumps, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever (100.4 F when taken orally). A student who has been sent home by the school nurse will be subsequently readmitted, at the discretion of the school nurse, when the student is no longer a transmission risk. In some instances, a letter from a health care provider may be required prior to the student being readmitted to the school.

To help control the possible spread of communicable diseases, school personnel shall follow the District's exposure control plan when dealing with any bloodborne, foodborne, and airborne pathogens exposures. Standard precautions shall be followed relating to the handling, disposal, and cleanup of blood and other potentially infectious materials such as all body fluids, secretions and excretions (except sweat).

The District shall maintain a copy of each student's immunization record and a list of individuals with exemptions from immunization which shall be education records as defined in policy 4.13. That policy provides that an education record may be disclosed to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

A student enrolled in the District who has an immunization exemption may be removed from school at the discretion of the Arkansas Department of Health during an outbreak of the disease for which the student is not vaccinated. The student may not return to the school until the outbreak has been resolved and the student's return to school is approved by the Arkansas Department of Health.

The parents or legal guardians of students found to have live human host parasites that are transmittable in a school environment will be asked to pick their child up at the end of the school day. The parents or legal guardians will be given information concerning the eradication and control of human host parasites. A student may be readmitted after the school nurse or designee has determined the student no longer has live human host parasites that are transmittable in a school environment.

Each school may conduct screenings of students for human host parasites that are transmittable in a school environment as needed. The screenings shall be conducted in a manner that respects the privacy and confidentiality of each student.

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

Cross References:

  • 4.2 Entrance Requirements
  • 4.13 Privacy of Students’ Records/ Directory Information

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-18-702
  • Arkansas State Board of Health Rules Pertaining To Immunization Requirements
  • Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Rules Governing Kindergarten Through 12th Grade Immunization Requirements

Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Revised: 6/26/19

4.35 Student Medications

Prior to the administration of any medication, including any dietary supplement or other perceived health remedy not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, to any student under the age of eighteen (18), written parental consent is required. The consent form shall include authorization to administer the medication and relieve the Board and its employees of civil liability for damages or injuries resulting from the administration of medication to students in accordance with this policy. All signed medication consent forms are to be maintained by the school nurse.

Unless authorized to self-administer or otherwise authorized by this policy, students are not allowed to carry any medications, including over-the-counter (OTC) medications or any dietary supplement or other perceived health remedy not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration while at school. The parent or legal guardian shall bring the student’s medication to the school nurse. The student may bring the medication if accompanied by a written authorization from the parent or legal guardian. When medications are brought to the school nurse, the nurse shall document, in the presence of the parent, the quantity of the medication(s). If the medications are brought by a student, the school nurse shall ask another school employee to verify, in the presence of the student, the quantity of the medication(s). Each person present shall sign a form verifying the quantity of the medication(s).

Medications, including those for self-administration, must be in the original container and be properly labeled with the student’s name, the ordering provider’s name, the name of the medication, the dosage, frequency, and instructions for the administration of the medication (including times). Additional information accompanying the medication shall state the purpose for the medication, its possible side effects, and any other pertinent instructions (such as special storage requirements) or warnings. Schedule II medications that are permitted by this policy to be brought to school shall be stored in a double locked cabinet.

Students with an individualized health plan (IHP) may be given OTC medications to the extent giving such medications are included in the student's IHP.

The district’s supervising registered nurse is responsible for creating procedures for the administration of medications on and off campus.

The school shall not keep outdated medications or any medications past the end of the school year. Parents shall be notified in writing ten (10) days in advance of the school’s intention to dispose of any medication. If there is no response from the parent, the nurse must follow up via phone until the parent is reached. Medications not picked up by the parents or legal guardians within the ten (10) day period shall be disposed of by the school nurse in accordance with current law and rules.

Schedule II Medications

The only Schedule II medications that shall be allowed to be brought to the school are methylphenidate (e.g. Ritalin or closely related medications as determined by the school nurse), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), and amphetamine sulfate (e.g. Adderall or closely related medications as determined by the school nurse).

For the student's safety, no student will be allowed to attend school if the student is currently taking any other Schedule II medication than permitted by this policy. Students who are taking Schedule II medications which are not allowed to be brought to school shall be eligible for homebound instruction if provided for in their IEP or 504 plans.

Self-Administration of Medication

Students who have written permission from their parent or guardian and a licensed health care practitioner on file with the District may:

  1. Self-administer either a rescue inhaler or auto-injectable epinephrine;
  2. Perform his/her own blood glucose checks;
  3. Administer insulin through the insulin delivery system the student uses;
  4. Treat the student’s own hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia; or
  5. Possess on his or her person:
    1. A rescue inhaler or auto-injectable epinephrine; or
    2. the necessary supplies and equipment to perform his/her own diabetes monitoring and treatment functions.

Students who have a current consent form on file shall be allowed to carry and self-administer such medication while:

  • In school;
  • At an on-site school sponsored activity;
  • While traveling to or from school; or
  • At an off-site school sponsored activity.

A student is prohibited from sharing, transferring, or in any way diverting his/her medications to any other person. The fact that a student with a completed consent form on file is allowed to carry a rescue inhaler, auto-injectable epinephrine, diabetes medication, or combination does not require him/her to have such on his/her person. The parent or guardian of a student who qualifies under this policy to self-carry a rescue inhaler, auto-injectable epinephrine, diabetes medication, or any combination on his/her person shall provide the school with the appropriate medication, which shall be immediately available to the student in an emergency.

Students may possess and use a topical sunscreen that is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for OTC use to avoid overexposure to the sun without written authorization from a parent, legal guardian, or healthcare professional while the student is on school property or at a school-related event or activity. The parent or guardian of a student may provide written documentation authorizing designated District personnel previously trained by the school nurse, in addition to the school nurse, to assist a student in the application of sunscreen. The District employee(s) named in the parent or legal guardian’s written authorization shall not be required to assist the student in the application of sunscreen.

Emergency Administration of Glucagon and Insulin

Students may be administered Glucagon, insulin, or both in emergency situations by the school nurse provided the student has:

  1. An IHP that provides for the administration of Glucagon, insulin, or both in emergency situations; and
  2. A current, valid consent form on file from their parent or guardian.

A student shall have access to a private area to perform diabetes monitoring and treatment functions as outlined in the student’s IHP.

Emergency Administration of Epinephrine

The school nurse or other school employees designated by the school nurse as a care provider who have been trained and certified by a licensed physician may administer an epinephrine auto-injector in emergency situations to students who have an IHP that provides for the administration of an epinephrine auto-injector in emergency situations.

The parent of a student who has an authorizing IHP, or the student if over the age of eighteen (18), shall annually complete and sign a written consent form provided by the student's school nurse authorizing the nurse or other school employee(s) certified to administer auto-injector epinephrine to administer auto-injector epinephrine to the student when the employee believes the student is having a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.

Students with an order from a licensed health care provider to self-administer auto-injectable epinephrine and who have written permission from their parent or guardian shall provide the school nurse an epinephrine auto-injector. This epinephrine will be used in the event the school nurse, or other school employee certified to administer auto-injector epinephrine, in good faith professionally believes the student is having a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction and the student is either not self-carrying his/her /epinephrine auto-injector or the nurse is unable to locate it.

The school nurse for each District school shall keep epinephrine auto-injectors on hand that are suitable for the students the school serves. The school nurse or other school employee designated by the school nurse as a care provider who has been trained and certified by a licensed physician may administer auto-injector epinephrine to those students who the school nurse, or other school employee certified to administer auto-injector epinephrine, in good faith professionally believes is having a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.

Emergency Administration of Albuterol

The school nurse may administer albuterol in emergency situations to students who have an IHP that provides for the administration of albuterol in emergency situations. The parent of a student who has an authorizing IHP, or the student if over the age of eighteen (18), shall annually complete and sign a written consent form provided by the student's school nurse authorizing the nurse to administer albuterol to administer albuterol to the student when the employee believes the student is in perceived respiratory distress. The school nurse may also administer albuterol to those students without an IHP who the school nurse, in good faith, professionally believes is in perceived respiratory distress.

Emergency Administration of Anti-opioid

The school nurse for each District school shall keep anti-opioid injectors on hand. The school nurse, another school employee, volunteer, or student may administer anti-opioid in accordance with the District’s procedures to a student who the school nurse, or other observer, in good faith believes is having an opioid overdose.

Legal References:

  • Ark. State Board of Nursing: School Nurse Roles and Responsibilities
  • Division of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Arkansas State Board of Nursing
  • Rules Governing the Administration of Insulin and Glucagon to Arkansas Public School Students with Diabetes
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-701
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-707
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-711
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-714
  • A.C.A. § 17-87-103 (11)
  • A.C.A. § 20-13-405

Date Adopted: 4/10/18
Last Revised: 8/13/19

4.36 Student Illness/Accident

If a student becomes too ill to remain in class and/or could be contagious to other students, the principal or designee will attempt to notify the student’s parent or legal guardian. The student will remain in the school’s health room or a place where he/she can be supervised until the end of the school day or until the parent/legal guardian can check the student out of school.

If a student becomes seriously ill or is injured while at school and the parent/legal guardian cannot be contacted, the failure to make such contact shall not unreasonably delay the school’s expeditious transport of the student to an appropriate medical care facility. The school assumes no responsibility for treatment of the student. When available, current, and applicable, the student’s emergency contact numbers and medical information will be utilized. Parents are strongly encouraged to keep this information up to date.


Date Adopted: 7/10/07
Last Revised: 8/11/15
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.37 Emergency Drills

All schools in the District shall conduct fire drills at least monthly. Tornado drills shall also be conducted no fewer than three (3) times per year with at least one each in the months of September, January, and February. Students who ride school buses, shall also participate in emergency evacuation drills at least twice each school year.

The District shall annually conduct an active shooter drill and school safety assessment for all District schools in collaboration with local law enforcement and emergency management personnel. Students will be included in the drills to the extent that is developmentally appropriate for the age of both the students and grade configuration of the school.

Drills may be conducted during the instructional day or during non-instructional time periods.

Other types of emergency drills may also be conducted to test the implementation of the District's emergency plans in the event of an earthquake or terrorist attack that might include the use of biological or chemical agents. Students shall be included in the drills to the extent practicable.


Legal References:
A.C.A. § 12-13-109
A.C.A. § 6-10-110
A.C.A. § 6-10-121
A.C.A. § 6-15-1302
A.C.A. § 6-15-1303
Ark. Division of Academic Facilities and Transportation Rules Governing Maintenance and Operations of Ark. Public School Buses and Physical Examinations of School Bus Drivers 4.03.1

Date Adopted: 10/10/72
Last Revised: 8/11/15
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.38 Permanent Records

Permanent school records, as required by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), shall be maintained for each student enrolled in the District until the student receives a high school diploma or its equivalent or is beyond the age of compulsory school attendance. A copy of the student’s permanent record shall be provided to the receiving school district within ten (10) school days after the date a request from the receiving school district is received2.

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00
Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-18-901
  • DESE Rule Student Permanent Records

Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Revised: 6/26/19

4.39 Corporal Punishment

The Pulaski County Special School Board prohibits the use of corporal punishment by any employee of the District against any student.

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00
Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-18-503 (b)
Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Revised: 6/11/15
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.40 Homeless Students

The Pulaski County Special School District will afford the same services and educational opportunities to homeless children as are afforded to non-homeless children. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall appoint an appropriate staff person to be the local educational agency (LEA) liaison for homeless children and youth whose responsibilities shall include, but are not limited to:

  • Receive appropriate time and training in order to carry out the duties required by law and this policy;
  • Coordinate and collaborate with the State Coordinator, community, and school personnel responsible for education and related services to homeless children and youths;
  • Ensure that school personnel receive Professional development and other support regarding their duties and responsibilities for homeless youths;
  • Ensure that unaccompanied homeless youths:
  • Are enrolled in school;
  • Have opportunities to meet the same challenging State academic standards as other children and youths; and
  • Are informed of their status as independent students under the Higher Education Act of 1965 and that they may obtain assistance from the LEA liaison to receive verification of such status for purposes of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid;
  • Ensure that public notice of the educational rights of the homeless children and youths is disseminated in locations frequented by parents or guardians of such youth, and unaccompanied homeless youths, including schools, shelters, public libraries, and soup kitchens, in a manner and form that is easily understandable.

To the extent possible, the LEA liaison and the building principal shall work together to ensure no homeless child or youth is harmed due to conflicts with District policies solely because of the homeless child or youth’s living situation; this is especially true for District policies governing fees, fines, and absences.

Notwithstanding Policy 4.1, homeless students living in the district are entitled to enroll in the district’s school that non-homeless students who live in the same attendance area are eligible to attend. If there is a question concerning the enrollment of a homeless child due to a conflict with Policy 4.1 or 4.2, the child shall be immediately admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought pending resolution of the dispute, including all appeals. It is the responsibility of the District’s LEA liaison for homeless children and youth to carry out the dispute resolution process.

For the purposes of this policy “school of origin” means:

  • The school that a child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled, including a preschool; and
  • The designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools when the child completes the final grade provided by the school of origin.

The District shall do one of the following according to what is in the best interests of a homeless child:

  • Continue the child's or youth's education in the school of origin for the duration of homelessness:
  • In any case in which a family becomes homeless between academic years or during an academic year; and
  • For the remainder of the academic year, if the child or youth becomes permanently housed during an academic year; or
  • Enroll the child or youth in any public school that nonhomeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living are eligible to attend.

In determining the best interest of the child or youth, the District shall:

  • Presume that keeping the child or youth in the school of origin is in the child's or youth's best interest, except when doing so is contrary to the request of the child's or youth's parent or guardian, or (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth;
  • Consider student-centered factors related to the child's or youth's best interest, including factors related to the impact of mobility on achievement, education, health, and safety of homeless children and youth, giving priority to the request of the child's or youth's parent or guardian or (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth.

If the District determines that it is not in the child's or youth's best interest to attend the school of origin or the school requested by the parent or guardian, or (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth, the District shall provide the child's or youth's parent or guardian or the unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of the reasons for its determination, in a manner and form understandable to such parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth, including information regarding the right to appeal. For an unaccompanied youth, the District shall ensure that the LEA liaison assists in placement or enrollment decisions, gives priority to the views of such unaccompanied youth, and provides notice to such youth of the right to appeal.

The homeless child or youth must be immediately enrolled in the selected school regardless of whether application or enrollment deadlines were missed during the period of homelessness.

The District shall be responsible for providing transportation for a homeless child, at the request of the parent or guardian (or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the LEA Liaison), to and from the child’s school of origin.

For the purposes of this policy, students shall be considered homeless if they lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and:

  1. Are:
    • Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
    • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
    • Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
    • Abandoned in hospitals; or
  1. Have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  2. Are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  3. Are migratory children who are living in circumstances described in clauses (a) through (c).

In accordance with Federal law, information on a homeless child or youth’s living situation is part of the student’s education record and shall not be considered, or added, to the list of directory information in Policy 4.13.


Legal References:

  • 42 U.S.C. § 11431 (2)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(1)(H)(I)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 11432 (g)(1)(J)(i), (ii), (iii), (iii)(I), (iii)(II)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 11432 (g)(3)(A), (A)(i), (A)(i)(I), (A)(i)(II), (A)(ii)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 11432 (g)(3)(B)(i), (ii), (iii)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 11432 (g)(3)(C)(i), (ii), (iii)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 11432 (g)(3)(E)(i), (ii), (iii)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 11432 (g)(3)(G)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 11432 (g)(4) (A), (B), (C), (D), (E)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 11434a
  • Commissioner’s Memo COM-18-044

Date Adopted: 11/08/2005
Last Revised: 2/19/18
Manual Adoption: 2/8/11

4.43 Bullying

Definitions

“Attribute” means an actual or perceived personal characteristics including without limitation race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, socioeconomic status, academic status, disability, gender, gender identity, physical appearance, health condition, or sexual orientation;

“Bullying” means the intentional harassment, intimidation, humiliation, ridicule, defamation, or threat or incitement of violence by a student against another student or public school employee by a written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that may address an attribute of the other student, public school employee, or person with whom the other student or public school employee is associated and that causes or creates actual or reasonably foreseeable:

  • Physical harm to a public school employee or student or damage to the public school employee's or student's property;
  • Substantial interference with a student's education or with a public school employee's role in education;
  • A hostile educational environment for one (1) or more students or public school employees due to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the act; or
  • Substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment;

Examples of "Bullying" include, but are not limited to, a pattern of behavior involving one or more of the following:

  1. Cyberbullying;
  2. Sarcastic comments "compliments" about another student’s personal appearance or actual or perceived attributes,
  3. Pointed questions intended to embarrass or humiliate,
  4. Mocking, taunting or belittling,
  5. Non-verbal threats and/or intimidation such as “fronting” or “chesting” a person,
  6. Demeaning humor relating to a student’s actual or perceived attributes,
  7. Blackmail, extortion, demands for protection money or other involuntary donations or loans,
  8. Blocking access to school property or facilities,
  9. Deliberate physical contact or injury to person or property,
  10. Stealing or hiding books or belongings,
  11. Threats of harm to student(s), possessions, or others,
  12. Sexual harassment, as governed by policy 4.27, is also a form of bullying, and/or
  13. Teasing or name-calling related to sexual characteristics or the belief or perception that an individual is not conforming to expected gender roles or conduct or is homosexual, regardless of whether the student self-identifies as homosexual or transgender (Examples: “Slut”, “You are so gay.”, “Fag”, “Queer”).

"Cyberbullying" means any form of communication by electronic act that is sent with the purpose to:

  • Harass, intimidate, humiliate, ridicule, defame, or threaten a student, school employee, or person with whom the other student or school employee is associated; or
  • Incite violence towards a student, school employee, or person with whom the other student or school employee is associated.

Cyberbullying of School Employees includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Building a fake profile or website of the employee;
  2. Posting or encouraging others to post on the Internet private, personal, or sexual information pertaining to a school employee;
  3. Posting an original or edited image of the school employee on the Internet;
  4. Accessing, altering, or erasing any computer network, computer data program, or computer software, including breaking into a password-protected account or stealing or otherwise accessing passwords of a school employee;
  5. Making repeated, continuing, or sustained electronic communications, including electronic mail or transmission, to a school employee;
  6. Making, or causing to be made, and disseminating an unauthorized copy of data pertaining to a school employee in any form, including without limitation the printed or electronic form of computer data, computer programs, or computer software residing in, communicated by, or produced by a computer or computer network;
  7. Signing up a school employee for a pornographic Internet site; or
  8. Without authorization of the school employee, signing up a school employee for electronic mailing lists or to receive junk electronic messages and instant messages.

Cyberbullying is prohibited whether or not the cyberbullying originated on school property or with school equipment, if the cyberbullying results in the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment or is directed specifically at students or school personnel and maliciously intended for the purpose of disrupting school and has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose.

“Harassment” means a pattern of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct relating to another person's constitutionally or statutorily protected status that causes, or reasonably should be expected to cause, substantial interference with the other's performance in the school environment; and

“Substantial disruption” means without limitation that any one or more of the following occur as a result of the bullying:

  • Necessary cessation of instruction or educational activities;
  • Inability of students or educational staff to focus on learning or function as an educational unit because of a hostile environment;
  • Severe or repetitive disciplinary measures are needed in the classroom or during educational activities; or
  • Exhibition of other behaviors by students or educational staff that substantially interfere with the learning environment.

Respect for the dignity of others is a cornerstone of civil society. Bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, robs a person of his/her dignity, detracts from the safe environment necessary to promote student learning, and will not be tolerated by the Board of Directors. Students who bully another person shall be held accountable for their actions whether they occur on school equipment or property; off school property at a school sponsored or approved function, activity, or event; going to or from school or a school activity in a school vehicle or school bus; or at designated school bus stops.

Students are encouraged to report behavior they consider to be bullying, including a single action which if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, to their teacher or the building principal. The report may be made anonymously. Teachers and other school employees who have witnessed, or are reliably informed that a student has been a victim of behavior they consider to be bullying, including a single action which if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, shall report the incident(s) to the building principal, or designee, as soon as possible. Parents or legal guardians may submit written reports of incidents they feel constitute bullying, or if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, to the building principal, or designee.

The person or persons reporting behavior they consider to be bullying shall not be subject to retaliation or reprisal in any form.

A building principal, or designee, who receives a credible report or complaint of bullying shall:

  1. As soon as reasonably practicable, but by no later than the end of the school day following the receipt of the credible report of bullying:
    1. Report to a parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of a student, or person standing in loco parentis of a student that their student is the victim in a credible report of bullying; and
    2. Prepare a written report of the alleged incident of bullying;
  2. Promptly investigate the credible report or complaint of bullying, which shall be completed by no later than the fifth (5th) school day following the completion of the written report.
  3. Notify within five (5) days following the completion of the investigation the parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of a student, or person standing in loco parentis of a student who was the alleged victim in a credible report of bullying whether the investigation found the credible report or complaint of bullying to be true and the availability of counseling and other intervention services.
  4. Notify within five (5) days following the completion of the investigation the parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or person acting in loco parentis of the student who is alleged to have been the perpetrator of the incident of bullying:
    1. That a credible report or complaint of bullying against their student exists;
    2. Whether the investigation found the credible report or complaint of bullying to be true;
    3. Whether action was taken against their student upon the conclusion of the investigation of the alleged incident of bullying; and
    4. Information regarding the reporting of another alleged incident of bullying, including potential consequences of continued incidents of bullying;
  5. Make a written record of the investigation, which shall include:
    1. A detailed description of the alleged incident of bullying, including without limitation a detailed summary of the statements from all material witnesses to the alleged incident of bullying;
    2. Any action taken as a result of the investigation; and
  6. Discuss, as appropriate, the availability of counseling and other intervention services with students involved in the incident of bullying.

Students found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, consideration may be given to other violations of the student handbook which may have simultaneously occurred. In addition to any disciplinary actions, the District shall take appropriate steps to remedy the effects resulting from bullying.

Notice of what constitutes bullying, the District’s prohibition against bullying, and the consequences for students who bully shall be conspicuously posted in every classroom, cafeteria, restroom, gymnasium, auditorium, and school bus. Parents, legal guardians, person having lawful control of a student, persons standing in loco parentis, students, school volunteers, and employees shall be given copies of the notice annually.

The superintendent shall make a report annually to the Board of Directors on student discipline data, which shall include, without limitation, the number of incidents of bullying reported and the actions taken regarding the reported incidents of bullying.

Copies of this policy shall be available upon request.

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 5-71-217
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-514

Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Revised: 2/1/18
Last Revised: 7/9/19

4.44 Attendance Requirements For Students In Grades 9 –12

Students in grades nine through twelve (9-12) are required to schedule and attend at least 350 minutes of regularly scheduled class time daily. Part of this requirement may be met by students taking post-secondary courses. Eligible students’ enrollment and attendance at a post-secondary institution shall count toward the required weekly time of school attendance. Each credit hour shall count as three (3) hours of attendance time. This means a three (3) hour course shall count as nine (9) hours of the weekly required time of attendance.

Study Halls

Students may be assigned to no more than one (1) class period each day for a study hall that the student shall be required to attend and participate in for the full period. Such study halls are to be used for the purposes of self-study or for organized tutoring which is to take place in the school building.

Extracurricular Classes

Students may be assigned to no more than one (1) class period each day for organized and scheduled student extracurricular classes that the student shall be required to attend and participate in for the full class period. Extracurricular classes related to a seasonal activity shall meet for an entire semester whether or not the season ends prior to the end of the semester. Students must attend and participate in the class for the entire semester in order to receive credit for the course. For the purpose of this policy, “extracurricular classes” is defined as school sponsored activities which are not an Arkansas Department of Education approved course counting toward graduation requirements or classes that have not been approved by the Arkansas Department of Education for academic credit. Such classes may include special interest, fine arts, technical, scholastic, intramural, and interscholastic opportunities.

Course Enrollment Outside of District

Enrollment and attendance in vocational-educational training courses, college courses, school work programs, and other department-sanctioned educational programs may be used to satisfy the student attendance requirement even if the programs are not located at the public schools. Attendance in such alternative programs must be pre-approved by the school’s administration. The district shall strive to assign students who have been dropped from a course of study or removed from a school work program job during the semester into another placement or course of study. In the instances where a subsequent placement is unable to be made, the district may grant a waiver for the student for the duration of the semester in which the placement is unable to be made.

In rare instances, students may be granted waivers from the mandatory attendance requirement if they would experience a proven financial hardship if required to attend a full day of school. For the purpose of this policy, “proven financial hardship” is defined as harm or suffering caused by a student's inability to obtain or provide basic life necessities of food, clothing, and shelter for the student or the student's family. The superintendent or designee shall have the authority to grant such a waiver, on a case-by-case basis, only when convinced the student meets the definition of proven financial hardship.

In any instance where a provision of a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) conflicts with a portion(s) of this policy, the IEP shall prevail.


Legal References:
A.C.A. § 6-18-210, 211 & ACC-04-025, 9/26/03
Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing the Mandatory Attendance Requirements for Students in Grades Nine through Twelve

Adopted: 11/19/07 (formally IIE)
Last Revised: 3/15/2016
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.45: Smart Core Curriculum and Graduation Requirements for the Class 2020

All students are required to participate in the Smart Core curriculum unless their parents or guardians, or the students if they are eighteen (18) years of age or older, sign a Smart Core Waiver Form to not participate. While Smart Core is the default option, a Smart Core Information Sheet and a Smart Core Waiver Form will be sent home with students prior to their enrolling in seventh (7th) grade, or when a seventh (7th) through twelfth (12th) grade student enrolls in the district for the first time and there is not a signed waiver form in the student’s permanent record. This policy is to be included in student handbooks for grades six (6) through twelve (12) and both students and parents must sign an acknowledgment they have received the policy. Those students not participating in the Smart Core curriculum will be required to fulfill the Core curriculum or the requirements of their IEP (when applicable) to be eligible for graduation.

While there are similarities between the two curriculums, following the Core curriculum may not qualify students for some scholarships and admission to certain colleges could be jeopardized. Students initially choosing the Core curriculum may subsequently change to the Smart Core curriculum providing they would be able to complete the required course of study by the end of their senior year. Students wishing to change their choice of curriculums must consult with their counselor to determine the feasibility of changing paths.

Parents and students are informed of the Smart Core curriculum and course of study for graduation during the registration process beginning with the sixth-grade level and continuing each year. Additionally, parents and students may review Smart Core information during orientation, parent/teacher conferences, career conferences, open house, and individual student conferences. Teachers, administrators, and counselors are trained each year regarding this policy.

This policy, the Smart Core curriculum, and the courses necessary for graduation shall be reviewed by staff, students, and parents as part of the annual school district support plan development process to determine if changes need to be made to better serve the needs of the district’s students. The superintendent, or his/her designee, shall select the composition of the review panel.

Sufficient information relating to Smart Core and the district’s graduation requirements shall be communicated to parents and students to ensure their informed understanding of each. This may be accomplished through any or all of the following means:

  • Inclusion in the student handbook of the Smart Core curriculum and graduation requirements;
  • Discussion of the Smart Core curriculum and graduation requirements at the school’s annual public meeting, PTA meetings, or a meeting held specifically for the purpose of informing the public on this matter;
  • Discussions held by the school’s counselors with students and their parents; and/or
  • Distribution of a newsletter(s) to parents or guardians of the district’s students.

Administrators, or their designees, shall train newly hired employees, required to be licensed as a condition of their employment, regarding this policy.

To the best of its ability, the District shall follow the requirements covering the transfer of course credit and graduation set forth in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children for all students who meet the definition of “eligible child” in Policy 4.2 Entrance Requirements including the waiving of specific courses that are required for graduation if similar coursework has been satisfactorily completed.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

The number of units students must earn to be eligible for high school graduation is to be earned from the categories listed below. A minimum of twenty-two (22) units is required for graduation for a student participating in either the Smart Core or Core curriculum. There are some distinctions made between Smart Core units and Graduation units. Not all units earned toward graduation necessarily apply to Smart Core requirements.

Arkansas Civics Exams
All students must receive a passing score on the Arkansas Civics Exam in order to graduate. A student may be excluded based on their IEP if the IEP team determines there are not sufficient accommodations for the student to access the assessment. If a homeschooled or private schooled student transfers into the school district, the student will need a passing score on the Arkansas Civics Exam to receive a high school diploma.

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Students shall be trained in quality psychomotor skill bases in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators in order to graduate.

Digital Learning Courses
The District shall offer one or more digital learning course(s) through one or more District approved provider(s) as either a primary or supplementary method of instruction. The courses may be in a blended learning, online-based, or other technology-based format. In addition to the other graduation requirements contained in this policy, students are required to take at least one (1) digital learning course for credit while in high school.

SMART CORE: Sixteen (16) units

English: four (4) units – 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th

Oral Communications: one-half (½) unit

Mathematics: four (4) units (all students under Smart Core must take a mathematics course in grade 11 or 12 and complete Algebra II.)

  1. Algebra I or Algebra A & B* which may be taken in grades 7-8 or 8-9;
  2. Geometry or Geometry A & B* which may be taken in grades 8-9 or 9-10;
    * A two-year algebra equivalent or a two-year geometry equivalent may each be counted as two units of the four-unit requirement for the purpose of meeting the graduation requirement, but only serve as one unit each toward fulfilling the Smart Core requirement.
  3. Algebra II; and
  4. The fourth unit may be either:
    • A math unit approved by DESE beyond Algebra II; or
    • A computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a fourth math credit.

Natural Science: three (3) units

  1. DESE approved biology – 1 credit;
  2. DESE approved physical science – 1 credit; and
  3. A third unit that is either:
    • An additional science credit approved by DESE; or
    • A computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a third science credit.

Social Studies: three (3) units

  • Civics - one-half (½) unit
  • World History - one unit
  • American History - one unit
  • Other social studies – one-half (½) Unit

Physical Education: one-half (½) unit

Note: While one-half (½) unit is required for graduation, no more than one (1) unit may be applied toward fulfilling the necessary units to graduate.

Health and Safety: one-half (½) unit

Economics – one half (½) unit – dependent upon the licensure of the teacher teaching the course, this can count toward the required three (3) social studies credits or the six (6) required Career Focus elective credits.

Fine Arts: one-half (½) unit

CAREER FOCUS: - Six (6) units

All career focus unit requirements shall be established through guidance and counseling based on the student’s contemplated work aspirations. Career focus courses shall conform to the curriculum policy of the district and reflect state curriculum frameworks through course sequencing and career course concentrations where appropriate.

A student who enlists in a branch of the United States Armed Forces or the National Guard through the military delayed entry program, the National Guard Split Training Option, or other similar early entry program and completes basic training before graduating from high school shall receive two (2) units of the Career Focus graduation requirements.

A student who completes at least seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) at any certified service agency or a part of a service-learning school program shall receive one (1) Career Focus credit.

CORE: Sixteen (16) units

English: four (4) units – 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th

Oral Communications: one-half (½) unit

Mathematics: four (4) units

  • Algebra or its equivalent* - 1 unit
  • Geometry or its equivalent* - 1 unit
  • All math units must build on the base of algebra and geometry knowledge and skills.
  • (Comparable concurrent credit college courses may be substituted where applicable)
  • A computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a math credit beyond Algebra I and Geometry

* A two-year algebra equivalent or a two-year geometry equivalent may each be counted as two units of the four (4) unit requirement.

Science: three (3) units

  1. DESE approved biology – 1 credit;
  2. DESE approved physical science – 1 credit; and
  3. A third unit that is either:
    • An additional science credit approved by DESE; or
    • A computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a third science credit.

Social Studies: three (3) units

  • Civics one-half (½) unit
  • World history, one (1) unit
  • American History, one (1) unit
  • Other social studies – one-half (½) unit

Physical Education: one-half (½) unit

Note: While one-half (½) unit is required for graduation, no more than one (1) unit may be applied toward fulfilling the necessary units to graduate.

Health and Safety: one-half (½) unit

Economics – one half (½) unit – dependent upon the licensure of the teacher teaching the course, this can count toward the required three (3) social studies credits or the six (6) required Career Focus elective credits.

Fine Arts: one-half (½) unit

CAREER FOCUS: - Six (6) units

All career focus unit requirements shall be established through guidance and counseling based on the student’s contemplated work aspirations. Career focus courses shall conform to the curriculum policy of the district and reflect state curriculum frameworks through course sequencing and career course concentrations where appropriate.

A student who enlists in a branch of the United States Armed Forces or the National Guard through the military delayed entry program, the National Guard Split Training Option, or other similar early entry program and completes basic training before graduating from high school shall receive two (2) units of the Career Focus graduation requirements.

A student who completes at least seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) at any certified service agency or a part of a service-learning school program shall receive one (1) Career Focus credit.

Cross References:

  • 4.55—Student Promotion and Retention
  • 5.2—Planning for Educational Improvement
  • 5.11—Digital Learning Courses
  • 5.12—Computer Science Internships and Independent Studies
  • 5.16—Computer Science Course Prerequisites and Progression

Legal References:

  • Standards for Accreditation 1-C.2, 1-C.2.1, 1-C.2.2, 1-C.2.3
  • DESE Guidelines for the Development of Smart Core Curriculum Policy
  • DESE Rules Governing Distance and Digital Learning
  • Smart Core Information Sheet
  • Smart Core Waiver Form
  • Commissioner’s Memo LS-18-082
  • A.C.A. § 6-4-302
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-122
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-143
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-149
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-150
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-1406
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-107

Date Adopted: 10/16/17
Revised: 7/9/19

4.451: Smart Core Curriculum and Graduation Requirements for the Classes of 2021 and Thereafter

All students are required to participate in the Smart Core curriculum unless their parents or guardians, or the students if they are eighteen (18) years of age or older, sign a Smart Core Waiver Form to not participate. While Smart Core is the default option, both a Smart Core Informed Consent Form and a Smart Core Waiver Form will be sent home with students prior to their enrolling in seventh (7th) grade, or when a seventh (7th) through twelfth (12th) grade student enrolls in the district for the first time and there is not a signed form in the student’s permanent record. Parents must sign one of the forms and return it to the school so it can be placed in the students’ permanent record. This policy is to be included in student handbooks for grades six (6) through twelve (12) and both students and parents must sign an acknowledgement they have received the policy. Those students not participating in the Smart Core curriculum will be required to fulfill the Core curriculum or the requirements of their IEP (when applicable) to be eligible for graduation. Counseling by trained personnel shall be available to students and their parents or legal guardians prior to the time they are required to sign the consent forms.

While there are similarities between the two curriculums, following the Core curriculum may not qualify students for some scholarships and admission to certain colleges could be jeopardized. Students initially choosing the Core curriculum may subsequently change to the Smart Core curriculum providing they would be able to complete the required course of study by the end of their senior year. Students wishing to change their choice of curriculums must consult with their counselor to determine the feasibility of changing paths.

This policy, the Smart Core curriculum, and the courses necessary for graduation shall be reviewed by staff, students, and parents as part of the annual school district support plan development process to determine if changes need to be made to better serve the needs of the district’s students. The superintendent, or his/her designee, shall select the composition of the review panel.

Sufficient information relating to Smart Core and the district’s graduation requirements shall be communicated to parents and students to ensure their informed understanding of each. This may be accomplished through any or all of the following means:

  • Inclusion in the student handbook of the Smart Core curriculum and graduation requirements;
  • Discussion of the Smart Core curriculum and graduation requirements at the school’s annual public meeting, PTA meetings, or a meeting held specifically for the purpose of informing the public on this matter;
  • Discussions held by the school’s counselors with students and their parents; and/or
  • Distribution of a newsletter(s) to parents or guardians of the district’s students.

Administrators, or their designees, shall train newly hired employees, required to be licensed as a condition of their employment, regarding this policy. The district’s annual professional development shall include the training required by this paragraph.

To the best of its ability, the District shall follow the requirements covering the transfer of course credit and graduation set forth in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children for all students who meet the definition of “eligible child” in Policy 4.2—ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

The number of units students must earn to be eligible for high school graduation is to be earned from the categories listed below. A minimum of twenty-two (22) units is required for graduation for a student participating in either the Smart Core or Core curriculum. The additional required units may be taken from any electives offered by the district. There are some distinctions made between Smart Core units and Graduation units. Not all units earned toward graduation necessarily apply to Smart Core requirements.

All students must receive a passing score on the Arkansas Civics Exam in order to graduate.

Digital Learning Courses

The District shall offer one or more digital learning course(s) through one or more District approved provider(s) as either a primary or supplementary method of instruction. The courses may be in a blended learning, online-based, or other technology-based format. In addition to the other graduation requirements contained in this policy, students are required to take at least one (1) digital learning course for credit while in high school.

Personal and Family Finance

In tenth (10th), eleventh (11th), or twelfth (12th) grade, all students shall receive credit in a course covering the Personal and Family Finance Standards by receiving credit for:

SMART CORE: Sixteen (16) units

English: four (4) units – 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th

Oral Communications: one-half (½) unit

Mathematics: four (4) units (all students under Smart Core must take a mathematics course in grade 11 or 12 and complete Algebra II.)

  1. Algebra I or Algebra A & B* which may be taken in grades 7-8 or 8-9;
  2. Geometry or Investigating Geometry or Geometry A & B* which may be taken in grades 8-9 or 9-10;

*A two-year algebra equivalent or a two-year geometry equivalent may each be counted as two units of the four-unit requirement for the purpose of meeting the graduation requirement, but only serve as one unit each toward fulfilling the Smart Core requirement.

  1. Algebra II; and
  2. The fourth unit may be either:
  • A math unit approved by ADE beyond Algebra II: this can include Pre-Calculus, Calculus, AP Statistics, Algebra III, Advanced Topic and Modeling in Mathematics, Mathematical Applications and Algorithms, Linear Systems and Statistics, or any of several IB or Advanced Placement math courses (Comparable concurrent credit college courses may be substituted where applicable); or
  • A computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a fourth math credit.

Natural Science: a total of three (3) units with lab experience chosen from

One unit of Biology; and either:

Two units chosen from the following three categories (there are acceptable options listed by the ADE for each):

  • Physical Science;
  • Chemistry;
  • Physics or Principles of Technology I & II or PIC Physics; or
  • One unit from the three categories above and a computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a third science credit.

Social Studies: three (3) units

  • Civics one-half (½) unit
  • World History - one unit
  • American History - one unit
  • Other social studies – one-half (½) unit

Physical Education: one-half (½) unit

Note: While one-half (½) unit is required for graduation, no more than one (1) unit may be applied toward fulfilling the necessary units to graduate.

Health and Safety: one-half (½) unit

Economics – one half (½) unit – dependent upon the licensure of the teacher teaching the course, this can count toward the required three (3) social studies credits or the six (6) required Career Focus elective credits.

Fine Arts: one-half (½) unit

CAREER FOCUS: - Six (6) units

All career focus unit requirements shall be established through guidance and counseling based on the student’s contemplated work aspirations. Career focus courses shall conform to the curriculum policy of the district and reflect state curriculum frameworks through course sequencing and career course concentrations where appropriate.

A student who enlists in a branch of the United States Armed Forces or the National Guard through the military delayed entry program, the National Guard Split Training Option, or other similar early entry program and completes basic training before graduating from high school shall receive two (2) units of the Career Focus graduation requirements.

A student who completes at least seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) at any certified service agency or a part of a service-learning school program shall receive one (1) Career Focus credit.9

CORE: Sixteen (16) units

English: four (4) units – 9th 10th 11th and 12th

Oral Communications: one-half (½) unit

Mathematics: four (4) units

  • Algebra or its equivalent* - 1 unit
  • Geometry or its equivalent* - 1 unit
  • All math units must build on the base of algebra and geometry knowledge and skills.
  • (Comparable concurrent credit college courses may be substituted where applicable)
  • A computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a math credit beyond Algebra I and Geometry

*A two-year algebra equivalent or a two-year geometry equivalent may each be counted as two units of the four (4) unit requirement.

Science: three (3) units

  • at least one (1) unit of biology or its equivalent; and

Two units chosen from the following three categories:

  • Physical Science;
  • Chemistry;
  • Physics; or

One unit from the three categories above and a computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a third science credit.

Social Studies: three (3) units

  • Civics one-half (½) unit
  • World history, one (1) unit
  • American History, one (1) unit
  • Other social studies – one-half (½) unit

Physical Education: one-half (½) unit

Note: While one-half (½) unit is required for graduation, no more than one (1) unit may be applied toward fulfilling the necessary units to graduate.

Health and Safety: one-half (½) unit

Economics – one half (½) unit – dependent upon the licensure of the teacher teaching the course, this can count toward the required three (3) social studies credits or the six (6) required Career Focus elective credits.

Fine Arts: one-half (½) unit

CAREER FOCUS: - Six (6) units

All career focus unit requirements shall be established through guidance and counseling based on the student’s contemplated work aspirations. Career focus courses shall conform to the curriculum policy of the district and reflect state curriculum frameworks through course sequencing and career course concentrations where appropriate.

A student who enlists in a branch of the United States Armed Forces or the National Guard through the military delayed entry program, the National Guard Split Training Option, or other similar early entry program and completes basic training before graduating from high school shall receive two (2) units of the Career Focus graduation requirements.

A student who completes at least seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) at any certified service agency or a part of a service-learning school program shall receive one (1) Career Focus credit.

Cross References:

  • 4.55—Student Promotion and Retention
  • 5.2—Planning for Educational Improvement
  • 5.11—Digital Learning Courses
  • 5.12—Computer Science Internships and Independent Studies
  • 5.16—Computer Science Course Prerequisites and Progression

Legal References:

  • Standards for Accreditation 9.03 – 9.03.1.9, 14.02
  • ADE Guidelines for the Development of Smart Core Curriculum Policy
  • ADE Rules Governing Distance and Digital Learning
  • Smart Core Informed Consent Form 2018
  • Smart Core Waiver Form 2016
  • Commissioner’s Memo LS-18-082
  • A.C.A. § 6-4-302
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-149
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-150
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-1406

Date Adopted: 10/16/17

4.45.1: Smart Core Curriculum and Graduation Requirements for the Classes of 2023 and Thereafter

All students are required to participate in the Smart Core curriculum unless their parents or guardians, or the students if they are eighteen (18) years of age or older, sign a Smart Core Waiver Form to not participate. While Smart Core is the default option, a Smart Core Information Sheet and a Smart Core Waiver Form will be sent home with students prior to their enrolling in seventh (7th) grade, or when a seventh (7th) through twelfth (12th) grade student enrolls in the district for the first time and there is not a signed waiver form in the student’s permanent record. This policy is to be included in student handbooks for grades six (6) through twelve (12) and both students and parents must sign an acknowledgment they have received the policy. Those students not participating in the Smart Core curriculum will be required to fulfill the Core curriculum to be eligible for graduation.

Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, incoming freshman with IEPs who are not participating in Smart Core must either meet the requirements for the core pathway or alternate pathway in order to graduate with a regular diploma. To pursue the Alternate Pathway to Graduation, the student must have a significant cognitive disability and meet the criteria for and participate in the state’s alternate assessment. Students with IEPs who do not fulfill the Smart Core, Core or Alternate Pathway requirements for graduation may receive either a certificate of attendance or a certificate of completion. Alternate pathway to graduation align with the general pathway to graduation. For each current graduation requirement, the alternate pathway will have a requirement that is similar but appropriate for this group of students. (See chart) If appropriate, students on the alternate pathway to graduation may attend school through the school year the student turns 21 years of age. IEP teams will decide if a student is eligible for the alternate pathway to graduation and should determine the most appropriate route or course of study that will lead to graduation. The course of study should be based on student interests, strengths, and needs. Beginning with the class of 2023, students who do not fulfill the alternate pathway or general graduation requirements will not be eligible for an Arkansas diploma. Students are eligible to receive a certificate of completion or attendance.

While there are similarities between the two curriculums, following the Core curriculum may not qualify students for some scholarships and admission to certain colleges could be jeopardized. Students initially choosing the Core curriculum may subsequently change to the Smart Core curriculum providing they would be able to complete the required course of study by the end of their senior year. Students wishing to change their choice of curriculums must consult with their counselor to determine the feasibility of changing paths.

Parents and students are informed of the Smart Core curriculum and course of study for graduation during the registration process beginning with the sixth-grade level and continuing each year. Additionally, parents and students may review Smart Core information during orientation, parent/teacher conferences, career conferences, open house, and individual student conferences. Teachers, administrators, and counselors are trained each year regarding this policy.

This policy, the Smart Core curriculum, and the courses necessary for graduation shall be reviewed by staff, students, and parents as part of the annual school district support plan development process to determine if changes need to be made to better serve the needs of the district’s students. The superintendent, or his/her designee, shall select the composition of the review panel.

Sufficient information relating to Smart Core and the district’s graduation requirements shall be communicated to parents and students to ensure their informed understanding of each. This may be accomplished through any or all of the following means:

  • Inclusion in the student handbook of the Smart Core curriculum and graduation requirements;
  • Discussion of the Smart Core curriculum and graduation requirements at the school’s annual public meeting, PTA meetings, or a meeting held specifically for the purpose of informing the public on this matter;
  • Discussions held by the school’s counselors with students and their parents; and/or
  • Distribution of a newsletter(s) to parents or guardians of the district’s students.

Administrators, or their designees, shall train newly hired employees, required to be licensed as a condition of their employment, regarding this policy.

To the best of its ability, the District shall follow the requirements covering the transfer of course credit and graduation set forth in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children for all students who meet the definition of “eligible child” in Policy 4.2 Entrance Requirements including the waiving of specific courses that are required for graduation if similar coursework has been satisfactorily completed.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

The number of units students must earn to be eligible for high school graduation is to be earned from the categories listed below. A minimum of twenty-two (22) units is required for graduation for a student participating in either the Smart Core or Core curriculum. There are some distinctions made between Smart Core units and Graduation units. Not all units earned toward graduation necessarily apply to Smart Core requirements.

Arkansas Civics Exams
All students must receive a passing score on the Arkansas Civics Exam in order to graduate. A student may be excluded based on their IEP if the IEP team determines there are not sufficient accommodations for the student to access the assessment. If a homeschooled or private schooled student transfers into the school district, the student will need a passing score on the Arkansas Civics Exam to receive a high school diploma.

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Students shall be trained in quality psychomotor skill bases in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators in order to graduate.

Digital Learning Courses
The District shall offer one or more digital learning course(s) through one or more District approved provider(s) as either a primary or supplementary method of instruction. The courses may be in a blended learning, online-based, or other technology-based format. In addition to the other graduation requirements contained in this policy, students are required to take at least one (1) digital learning course for credit while in high school.

Personal and Family Finance
All students shall receive credit in a course covering the Personal and Family Finance Standards in order to graduate.

SMART CORE: Sixteen (16) units

English: four (4) units – 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th

Oral Communications: one-half (½) unit

Mathematics: four (4) units (all students under Smart Core must take a mathematics course in grade 11 or 12 and complete Algebra II.)

  1. Algebra I or Algebra A & B* which may be taken in grades 7-8 or 8-9;
  2. Geometry or Geometry A & B* which may be taken in grades 8-9 or 9-10;
    * A two-year algebra equivalent or a two-year geometry equivalent may each be counted as two units of the four-unit requirement for the purpose of meeting the graduation requirement, but only serve as one unit each toward fulfilling the Smart Core requirement.
  3. Algebra II; and
  4. The fourth unit may be either:
    • A math unit approved by DESE beyond Algebra II; or
    • A computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a fourth math credit.

Natural Science: a total of three (3) units

DESE approved biology – 1 credit;

  1. DESE approved physical science – 1 credit; and
  2. A third unit that is either:
    • An additional science credit approved by DESE; or
    • A computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a third science credit.

Social Studies: three (3) units

  • Civics - one-half (½) unit
  • World History - one unit
  • American History - one unit
  • Other social studies – one-half (½) Unit

Physical Education: one-half (½) unit

Note: While one-half (½) unit is required for graduation, no more than one (1) unit may be applied toward fulfilling the necessary units to graduate.

Health and Safety: one-half (½) unit

Economics – one half (½) unit – dependent upon the licensure of the teacher teaching the course, this can count toward the required three (3) social studies credits or the six (6) required Career Focus elective credits.8

Fine Arts: one-half (½) unit

CAREER FOCUS: - Six (6) units

All career focus unit requirements shall be established through guidance and counseling based on the student’s contemplated work aspirations. Career focus courses shall conform to the curriculum policy of the district and reflect state curriculum frameworks through course sequencing and career course concentrations where appropriate.

A student who enlists in a branch of the United States Armed Forces or the National Guard through the military delayed entry program, the National Guard Split Training Option, or other similar early entry program and completes basic training before graduating from high school shall receive two (2) units of the Career Focus graduation requirements.

A student who completes at least seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) at any certified service agency or a part of a service-learning school program shall receive one (1) Career Focus credit.9

CORE: Sixteen (16) units

English: four (4) units – 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th

Oral Communications: one-half (½) unit

Mathematics: four (4) units

  • Algebra or its equivalent* - 1 unit
  • Geometry or its equivalent* - 1 unit
  • All math units must build on the base of algebra and geometry knowledge and skills.
  • (Comparable concurrent credit college courses may be substituted where applicable)
  • A computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a math credit beyond Algebra I and Geometry

* A two-year algebra equivalent or a two-year geometry equivalent may each be counted as two units of the four (4) unit requirement.

Science: three (3) units

  1. DESE approved biology – 1 credit;
  2. DESE approved physical science – 1 credit; and
  3. A third unit that is either:
    • An additional science credit approved by DESE; or
    • A computer science flex credit may be taken in the place of a third science credit.

Social Studies: three (3) units

  • Civics one-half (½) unit
  • World history, one (1) unit
  • American History, one (1) unit
  • Other social studies – one-half (½) unit

Physical Education: one-half (½) unit

Note: While one-half (½) unit is required for graduation, no more than one (1) unit may be applied toward fulfilling the necessary units to graduate.

Health and Safety: one-half (½) unit

Economics – one half (½) unit – dependent upon the licensure of the teacher teaching the course, this can count toward the required three (3) social studies credits or the six (6) required Career Focus elective credits.

Fine Arts: one-half (½) unit

CAREER FOCUS: - Six (6) units

All career focus unit requirements shall be established through guidance and counseling based on the student’s contemplated work aspirations. Career focus courses shall conform to the curriculum policy of the district and reflect state curriculum frameworks through course sequencing and career course concentrations where appropriate.

A student who enlists in a branch of the United States Armed Forces or the National Guard through the military delayed entry program, the National Guard Split Training Option, or other similar early entry program and completes basic training before graduating from high school shall receive two (2) units of the Career Focus graduation requirements.

A student who completes at least seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) at any certified service agency or a part of a service-learning school program shall receive one (1) Career Focus credit.

The Arkansas Alternate Pathway to Graduation

Cross References:

  • 4.55—Student Promotion and Retention
  • 5.2—Planning for Educational Improvement
  • 5.11—Digital Learning Courses
  • 5.12—Computer Science Internships and Independent Studies
  • 5.16—Computer Science Course Prerequisites and Progression

Legal References:

  • Standards for Accreditation 1-C.2, 1-C.2.1, 1-C.2.2, 1-C.2.3
  • DESE Guidelines for The Development of Smart Core Curriculum Policy
  • DESE Rules Governing Distance and Digital Learning
  • Smart Core Information Sheet
  • Smart Core Waiver Form
  • Commissioner’s Memo Ls-18-082
  • A.C.A. § 6-4-302
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-122
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-143
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-149
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-150
  • A.C.A. § 6-16-1406
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-107

Date Adopted: 10/16/17
Last Revised: 7/9/19

4.47 Possession and use of Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices

Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that respects the rights of others. Possession and use of any electronic device, whether district or student owned, that interferes with a positive, orderly classroom environment does not respect the rights of others and is expressly forbidden.

To protect the security of statewide assessments, no electronic device, as defined in this policy, shall be accessible by a student at any time during assessment administration unless specifically permitted by a student's individualized education program (IEP) or individual health plan; this means that when a student is taking an AESAA assessment, the student shall not have his/her electronic device in his/her possession. Any student violating this provision shall be subject to this policy's disciplinary provisions.

As used in this policy, “electronic devices” means anything that can be used to transmit or capture images, sound, or data.

Misuse of electronic devices includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Using electronic devices during class time in any manner other than specifically permitted by the classroom instructor;
  2. Permitting any audible sound to come from the device when not being used for reason #1 above;
  3. Engaging in academic dishonesty, including cheating, intentionally plagiarizing, wrongfully giving or receiving help during an academic examination, or wrongfully obtaining test copies or scores;
  4. Using the device to record audio or video or to take photographs in areas where a general expectation of personal privacy exists, including, but not limited to locker rooms and bathrooms;
  5. Creating, sending, sharing, viewing, receiving, or possessing an indecent visual depiction of oneself or another person.

Use of an electronic device is permitted to the extent it is approved in a student’s (IEP) or it is needed in an emergency that threatens the safety of students, staff, or other individuals.

Before and after normal school hours, possession of electronic devices is permitted on the school campus. The use of such devices at school sponsored functions outside the regular school day is permitted to the extent and within the limitations allowed by the event or activity the student is attending.

A parent shall obtain approval from the student’s building principal before operating a student-tracking safety device at school or at a school-sponsored event if the device has recording or listen-in capability. The District requires the device’s recording and listen-in technology to be disabled while the device is on the campus or at the school-sponsored event because of student privacy concerns. The District prohibits unauthorized audio or visual recordings or transmission of audio or images of other students. The student’s parent shall agree in writing to the requirement for the device’s recording and listening-in technology to be disabled and that the District may prohibit future use of the device on campus or at a school-sponsored activity if it is determined that the device’s recording or listening-in capabilities were used in violation of this policy before the student safety tracking device may be on campus or at a school-sponsored event.

The student and/or the student’s parents or guardians expressly assume any risk associated with students owning or possessing electronic devices. Students misusing electronic devices shall have them confiscated. Confiscated devices may be picked up at the school’s administration office by the student’s parents or guardians. Students have no right of privacy as to the content contained on any electronic devices that have been confiscated. A search of a confiscated device shall meet the reasonable individualized suspicion requirements of Policy 4.32—Search, Seizure, and Interrogations.

Students who use school issued cell phones and/or computers for non-school purposes, except as permitted by the district’s Internet/computer use policy, shall be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension or expulsion. Students are forbidden from using school issued cell phones while driving any vehicle at any time. Violation may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

No student shall use any wireless communication device for the purposes of browsing the internet; composing or reading emails and text messages; or making or answering phone calls while driving a motor vehicle that is in motion and on school property. Violation may result in disciplinary action up to and including suspension.

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2907
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-515
  • A.C.A. § 27-51-1602
  • A.C.A. § 27-51-1603
  • A.C.A. § 27-51-1609
  • DESE Test Administration Manual

Date Adopted: 6/01/14
Revised: 8/11/15
Revised: 10/16/17
Revised: 10/09/18
Last Revised: 7/9/19

4.48: Video Surveillance and Other Student Monitoring

The Board of Directors has a responsibility to maintain discipline, protect the safety, security, and welfare of its students, staff, and visitors while at the same time safeguarding district facilities, vehicles, and equipment. As part of fulfilling this responsibility, the board authorizes the use of video/audio surveillance cameras, automatic identification technology, data compilation devices, and technology capable of tracking the physical location of district equipment, students, and/or personnel.

The placement of video/audio surveillance cameras shall be based on the presumption and belief that students, staff and visitors have no reasonable expectation of privacy anywhere on or near school property, facilities, vehicles, or equipment, with the exception of places such as rest rooms or dressing areas where an expectation of bodily privacy is reasonable and customary.

Signs shall be posted on campus buildings and in district vehicles to notify students, staff, and visitors that video cameras may be in use. Parents and students shall also be notified through the student handbook that cameras may be in use in school buildings, on school grounds and in school vehicles. Students will be held responsible for any violations of school discipline rules caught by the cameras and other technologies authorized in this policy.

The district shall retain copies of video recordings until they are erased which may be accomplished by either deletion or copying over with a new recording. Other than video recordings being retained under the provisions of this policy’s following paragraph, the district’s video recordings may be erased any time greater than 15 days after they were created.

Videos, automatic identification, or data compilations containing evidence of a violation of student conduct rules and/or state or federal law shall be retained until the issue of the misconduct is no longer subject to review or appeal as determined by board policy or student handbook any release or viewing of such records shall be in accordance with current law.

Students who vandalize, damage, disable, or render inoperable (temporarily or permanently) surveillance cameras and equipment, automatic identification, or data compilation devices shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action and referral to appropriate law enforcement authorities.

All requests to view on-campus surveillance footage, involving disciplinary infractions, should be forwarded to the Director of Pupil Services. Surveillance footage may be viewed at the discretion of the Director of Pupil Services. Copies of surveillance footage will not be released, unless subpoenaed by the Court.


Legal References:
20 USC 1232g
20 U.S.C. 7115
34 CFR 99.3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 31

Date Adopted: 8/15/15
Last Revised:

4.49 Special Education

The district shall provide a free appropriate public education and necessary related services to all children with disabilities residing within the district, required under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and Arkansas Statutes.

It is the intent of the district to ensure that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are identified, evaluated and provided with appropriate educational services. Students may be disabled within the meaning of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act even though they do not require services pursuant to the IDEA.

For students eligible for services under IDEA, the District shall follow procedures for identification, evaluation, placement, and delivery of services to children with disabilities provided in state and federal statutes which govern special education. Implementation of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in accordance with the IDEA satisfies the district's obligation to provide a free and appropriate education under Section 504.

The Board directs the superintendent to ensure procedures are in place for the implementation of special education services and that programs are developed to conform to the requirements of state and federal legislation. The superintendent is responsible for appointing a district director for overseeing district fulfillment of its responsibilities regarding handicapped students. Among the director’s responsibilities shall be ensuring district enforcement of the due process rights of handicapped students and their parents.


Legal References:
34 C.F.R. 300 et seq.
42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq. American with Disabilities Act
29 U.S.C. § 794 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504,
20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act,
P.L. 108-446 The 2004 Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act
A.C.A. § 6-41-201 et seq.

Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.49P1: Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for Children with Disabilities under the IDEA

General Information

A free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) must be available to all children residing in the State between the ages of 3 and 21, inclusive, including children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school, as provided for in 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 300.530(d). See 20 U.S.C. 1412(a) (1) (A); 34 C.F.R. § 300.101(a); Arkansas Code Annotated (A.C.A.) 6-41-201, et seq.

Arkansas Code Annotated § 6-18-202 states: Age and residence for attending public schools.

(a.) The public schools of any school district in this state shall be open and free through completion of the secondary program to all persons in this state between the ages of five (5) and twenty-one (21) years whose parents, legal guardians, or other persons having lawful control of the person under an order of a court reside within the school district and to all persons between those ages who have been legally transferred to the district for education purposes.

Arkansas Attorney General’s Opinion No. 98-185 makes the following statement:

"Although local school districts have wide discretion in establishing their own internal policies . . . they cannot establish policies that contradict state law. The requirement of A.C.A. § 6-18-202(a) that school districts be open to persons through age twenty-one is stated in mandatory terms. Moreover, it does not state any exceptions or conditions.”

District Policy

The Pulaski County Special School District (hereafter, the District) adheres to requirements set forth in the IDEA and its implementing regulations that an eligible child with a disability between the ages of 3 and 21, inclusive, shall have available a free appropriate public education (FAPE), including children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school, as provided for in 34 C.F.R. § 300.530(d). The age range for making FAPE available is consistent with Arkansas state law addressing public school attendance.

For purposes of this policy, the following definition applies:

1. Free appropriate public education or FAPE means special education and related services that-

a. Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;

b. Meet the standards of the State Education Agency, including the requirements of IDEA;

c. Include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the District; and

d. Are provided in conformity with a child’s individualized education program (IEP) that meets the requirements of IDEA as noted in 34 C.F.R. §§ 300.320 through 300.324. [Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1401(9)]

Termination of FAPE eligibility

A child’s right to FAPE under the IDEA is terminated when the child’s eligibility ends due to graduation from secondary school with a regular diploma or due to exceeding the age eligibility for FAPE under State law. [34 C.F.R. §300.305 (e)(2)]


Legal References

20 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1412 (a)(1)
34 Code of Federal Regulation (C.F.R.), Sections 300.103 - 300.107
Arkansas Code Annotated (A.C.A.) 6-41-201, et seq.
Arkansas Department of Education Special Education Procedural Regulations, Section 5.00

Date Adopted: 09/21/16

4.49P2: Independent Educational Evaluation

General Information

An Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) is an activity conducted pursuant to federal and state laws and regulations which establish certain procedures to ensure that children with disabilities and their parents are provided procedural safeguards with respect to the provision of a free appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). See 20 U.S.C. §1415(b) (1) and (d) (2) (A); 34 C.F.R. § 300.502; A.C.A. 6-41-201, et seq.

District Policy

The Pulaski County Special School District (hereafter, the District) adheres to requirements set forth in the IDEA and its implementing regulations that a parent/legal guardian of a child suspected of having or having a disability has the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation of the child subject to provisions of the IDEA and this policy.

For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Independent Educational Evaluation means an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the district responsible for the education of the child in question (in this case, the PCSSD).
  2. Public expense means that the District either pays for the full cost of the evaluation or evaluation component(s) or ensures that the evaluation or evaluation component(s) are otherwise provided at no cost to the parent/legal guardian.

Evaluation at Public Expense

  1. A parent/legal guardian has the right to an IEE at public expense if he/she disagrees with an evaluation or components of an evaluation completed or obtained by the District, subject to conditions set forth in the IDEA. The IEE must arise from a parent’s/legal guardian’s disagreement with the District’s most recent evaluation or re-evaluation of the child. If the parent/legal guardian refuses to consent to a proposed evaluation initiated by the District, an IEE at public expense is not available because there is no public evaluation with which the parent/legal guardian can disagree.
  2. If the District has not conducted or obtained its own evaluation, the parent/legal guardian does not have a right to an IEE within the meaning of this policy until such time as the District performs its own evaluation and the parent/legal guardian disagrees with the District’s evaluation.
  3. A parent/legal guardian is not required to notify the District prior to obtaining an IEE. If a parent/legal guardian requests an IEE, the District may ask for the reason why he/she objects to the District’s evaluation. However, the District may not require the parent/legal guardian to provide an explanation and may not unreasonably delay either providing the parent/legal guardian the IEE or filing a special education due process complaint to request a due process hearing to defend the District’s evaluation. There is no requirement that the parent/legal guardian specify areas of disagreement with the District’s evaluation as a prior condition to obtaining the IEE.
  4. If a parent/legal guardian requests an IEE at the District’s expense, the district will, without unnecessary delay:
    1. Provide the parent/legal guardian with a copy of this policy and the District’s IEE procedures;
    2. Provide information to the parent/legal guardian about where an IEE may be obtained and the District’s criteria applicable to an IEE; and
    3. Either:
      1. Initiate a special education due process hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate, or
      2. Ensure an IEE is provided at the District’s expense.
  5. If the District initiates a due process hearing and the final decision supports the appropriateness of the District’s evaluation, the parent/legal guardian still has the right to an IEE but not at public expense.
  6. A parent/legal guardian is entitled to only one (1) IEE at the District’s expense each time the district conducts or obtains an evaluation with which the parent/legal guardian disagrees.
  7. If the parent’s/legal guardian’s request falls within the scope of the IDEA’s provisions for an IEE and the District determines it will not provide an IEE at public expense, the District will initiate a special education due process hearing without unnecessary delay to show that its evaluation is appropriate. If the final decision of the hearing is that the District’s evaluation is appropriate, the parent/legal guardian still has a right to an IEE, but not at the District’s expense.
  8. An IEE, whether at public or private expense, will be considered by the District, if it meets the District’s criteria, in any decision made with respect to the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the child. The IEE may be presented as evidence at a special education due process hearing regarding the child.
  9. If an IEE is obtained at the District’s expense, the criteria under which the evaluation is obtained, including the geographic location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, must be the same as the criteria which the District uses when it initiates an evaluation. Cost limitations may be set forth based on reasonable and customary assessment rates in the geographic region and those incurred by the District for its evaluations. The Director of Special Education shall maintain a list of qualified independent evaluators in each of the various disciplines commonly relied upon to provide education-related evaluations and assessments and shall make that list available to any parent/legal guardian who requests it.
  10. Except for the criteria described in this policy, the District shall impose no other conditions related to obtaining an independent educational evaluation at District expense.

District Criteria for an Independent Educational Evaluation

The following criteria must be met in order for reimbursement to be provided for an IEE within the meaning of the IDEA. Arrangements can also be made to make payment directly to the evaluator(s).

  1. Locations Limitation for Evaluators. The office of the independent evaluator must be within the same geographic area that the District would use for its independent evaluation, should it request one. The evaluation itself must include observations in a natural setting (e.g., local classroom, or home/preschool for a preschool child). The location requirements may be waived or modified in special circumstances when unique diagnostic expertise is warranted, providing the parent/legal guardian can demonstrate the necessity of using an evaluator outside the specified geographic area.
  2. Qualifications of the Evaluator. A list of qualified independent evaluators who meet the minimum qualifications will be available from the District Special Education office. The evaluation must be conducted by an evaluator that meets State and District requirements for licensure and/or certification for conducting the type of IEE being requested.
  3. Cost Limitations. Reasonable and customary rates for the type of evaluation sought may be established by the District based upon services currently provided by evaluators in the geographic region. Residents of Pulaski County who are patrons of the District should not incur lodging expenses in order to obtain an IEE within the geographic area. Reasonable travel and meal costs may be reimbursable if deemed appropriate and necessary.

    Costs above customary amounts will be approved only if the parent can demonstrate that the costs reflect a reasonable and customary rate for such evaluative services or if the parents can demonstrate that there are other factors that make the extraordinary costs necessary.

  4. Approved Assessment Instruments. All evaluation instruments must be administered by the qualified evaluator, be age appropriate for the child, and be administered and scored in conformance with the publisher’s instructions. The evaluation instruments must be standardized and, to the extent practicable, norm-referenced and meet standards of the American Psychological Association (APA). The evaluation instruments are to be chosen on the basis of their relevancy to the educational questions to be addressed by the evaluation and sufficient in scope to diagnose the presence or absence of a clinical impairment. This means that the instruments should be those which are commonly known to, and used by, public school professionals.
  5. The independent evaluator must be allowed to conduct in-class observations if the District’s evaluator observed the child as part of his/her assessment, or as a required component of the evaluation. The evaluator must be permitted to directly communicate and share information with District staff, as necessary to the completion of the IEE.
  6. Conflict of Interest. The independent evaluator must be free of any conflict of interest, and the subsequent IEE must not be of benefit to any particular public, non-public, or private school, agency or institution.
  7. Release of Assessment Results. As part of the contracted IEE, the independent evaluator must agree to release the assessment information and results directly to the District prior to the receipt of payment for services. Independent evaluators must agree to make all test protocols available to District staff for review when requested. Payment will not be made until it is determined that the IEE meets the same criteria as that required of the District in conducting an evaluation.
  8. Written Report. The independent evaluator must provide a complete written report containing all test results, findings/conclusions and recommendations for the District’s consideration. Test interpretations and conclusions stated in the written report must be directly and clearly supported by the test data. Recommendations made as a result of the evaluation must be educationally relevant and realistic relative to implementation within an educational setting.

IEE PROCEDURES

Parent Request for an IEE

  1. The parent/guardian of the child must present his/her request for an IEE in writing to the District. The written request must be forwarded immediately to the Director of Special Education.
  2. Upon receipt of the written request, the Director of Special Education may ask that the parent/legal guardian state his/her reason(s) for disagreement with the evaluation conducted by the District. However, the District cannot require the parent/legal guardian to do so, and the refusal of the parent/legal guardian shall not delay the process required by this policy.
  3. When the parent/legal guardian requests an IEE, the Director of Special Education will, without unreasonable delay, provide the parent/legal guardian a copy of this policy and procedures, as well as information about where an IEE may be obtained and the District’s criteria applicable to an IEE.
  4. When the District receives a request from the parent/legal guardian for an IEE, the District will, without unreasonable delay and not later than ten (10) school days of receipt of the request for an IEE in writing from a parent/legal guardian, inform the parent/legal guardian that the District:
    1. Will pay for the requested evaluation subject to the requirements of this policy, or
    2. Will initiate due process to defend the District’s evaluation.
  5. If the District decides that it will initiate due process to defend its evaluation, then it will follow the process required by State Special Education rules relative to parent/legal guardian and Arkansas Department of Education notification of that decision and request for a due process hearing.
  6. If the District decides that it will not initiate due process, then the District must inform the parent/legal guardian in writing that an IEE will be provided at public expense. The written correspondence will contain the following information:
    1. Assurance that the District will pay for an IEE as long as the evaluation meets all of the requirements of an appropriate evaluation and is in compliance with this policy.
    2. A statement that the independent evaluator must be permitted to directly communicate and share information with District staff.
    3. Prior to conducting the evaluation, the parent/legal guardian must provide the evaluator with a signed release form that will authorize the evaluator to release to the District all testing data, reports, copies of test protocols (including parent, teacher and student surveys), billing records and any other information generated, used or considered by the evaluator during the IEE process. A District parental consent for third-party release of information request form specifying the requested information will be provided to the parent/legal guardian with the correspondence for this purpose.
    4. A statement that the district will not pay for the evaluation until it receives directly from the independent evaluator a complete copy of a written report of the evaluation and determines that the evaluation is in compliance with this policy.
    5. Direction that the parent/legal guardian is responsible for arranging for the evaluation and ensuring that the independent evaluator contacts the Director of Special Education to provide the District with required information and forms to arrange for direct payment of the IEE.

Parent Request for Payment for Previously Completed IEE

  1. The parent/legal guardian of a child may obtain an IEE without notification to the District and then request payment for that evaluation.
  2. If the parent/legal guardian is requesting payment for an IEE already completed, the parent/ legal guardian must notify the District in writing of that request. The written request must be forwarded immediately to the Director of Special Education.
  3. Within a reasonable time of the receipt of the request, the District will, without unreasonable delay and not later than ten (10) school days of receipt of the request, notify the parent/ legal guardian as to whether the District will initiate due process to establish the appropriateness of its evaluation or pay for the IEE obtained at parent/legal guardian expense.
  4. If the District decides to pay for the IEE, the Director of Special Education shall issue correspondence advising the parent/legal guardian that the District will not reimburse the parent/legal guardian for the evaluation until:
    1. It receives a complete and unredacted copy of the report of evaluation and determines that the evaluation is in compliance with this policy.
    2. It requires documentation from the parent/legal guardian substantiating that he/she paid for or incurred the obligation to pay for the evaluation without receiving reimbursement from a public or private source of insurance or other reimbursement.

      A copy of the District’s IEE policy and procedures must be enclosed with the correspondence. The correspondence will be sent by certified mail or by other independently verifiable means of conveyance.

  5. If the District decides to pay for the IEE, the District’s criteria, including the geographic location of the evaluator(s), the minimum qualifications of the evaluator(s), the cost of the evaluation, and the use of approved assessment instruments must be met. If the cost of the IEE exceeds the District’s cost limitations, the District will inform the parent that the District will pay the portion of the cost that is within the District’s limitations, if the District determines that an appropriate IEE could have been obtained with the cost limitations.

Requests for Evaluations by Hearing Officers

If a hearing officer in a special education due process hearing orders an independent educational evaluation as part of a hearing on a due process complaint, the cost of the evaluation must be at public expense.

4.50 School Meal Modifications

The district only provides modified meal components on menus to accommodate students with a disability. A parent/guardian wishing to request dietary accommodations for their student with a disability must submit to the district’s Director of Child Nutrition a medical statement completed by a State licensed healthcare professional, which includes:

  • Physicians, including those licensed by:
    • The Arkansas State Medical Board;
    • The Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners (Chiropractors);
    • The Arkansas Board of Podiatric Medicine (Podiatrists);
  • Nurse Practitioners (APRNs in family or pediatric practice with prescriptive authority);
  • Physician Assistants (PAs who work in collaborative practice with a physician); and
  • Dentists.

The medical statement should include:

  1. A description of the student’s disability that is sufficient to understand how the disability restricts the student’s diet;
  2. An explanation of what must be done to accommodate the disability, which may include:
  1. Food(s) to avoid or restrict;
  2. Food(s) to substitute;
  3. Caloric modifications; or
  4. The substitution of a liquid nutritive formula.

If the information provided in the medical statement is unclear, or lacks sufficient detail, the district’s Director of Child Nutrition shall request additional information so that a proper and safe meal can be provided.

When choosing an appropriate approach to accommodate a student’s disability, the District will consider the expense and efficiency of the requested accommodations. The District will offer a reasonable modification that effectively accommodates the child’s disability and provides equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from the program, which may include a generic version of a product.

Parents may file a grievance regarding the request for acommodations with the District’s 504 Coordinator, who will schedule a hearing on the grievance to be held as soon as possible. The 504 coordinator shall provide a copy of the procedures governing the hearing, including that the parent has the right to be accompanied by counsel, and the appeal process upon request.

The district will not prepare meals outside the normal menu to accommodate a family’s religious or personal health beliefs.

Legal References:

  • Commissioner’s Memo FIN-09-044
  • Commissioner’s Memo FIN-15-122
  • Commissioner’s Memo CNU-17-051
  • Commissioner’s Memo CNU-18-008
  • Commissioner’s Memo CNU-18-023
  • Commissioner’s Memo CNU-18-025
  • 7 CFR 210.10(g)

Date Adopted: 08/11/15
Last Revised: 2/1/18

4.51 Food Service Prepayment

Meal Charges

The district does not provide credit for students to charge for meals, a la carte, or other food and beverage items available for purchase in the school food service areas. Meals, a la carte, or other food and beverage items may be purchased by either providing payment for the items at the time of receipt or by having a prepaid account with the District that may be charged for the items. Parents, or students choosing to do so, may pay in advance for meals, a la carte, or other food and beverage items through any of the following methods:

  • Submitting cash or check payment at the local school;;
  • Depositing funds through MyPaymentsPlus.com

A student’s parents will be contacted by authorized District personnel regarding a student’s prepaid account balance at the following times:

Unpaid Meal Access

In accordance with Arkansas law, the District allows students whose accounts do not have enough funds to purchase a meal to receive an unpaid reimbursable meal at no charge. TheDistrict will notify a student’s parents:

  • When the student’s prepaid account balance has dropped to the point that the student will begin receiving unpaid meals;
  • Each time the student receives the first unpaid meal after money has been deposited into the student’s prepaid account; and
  • After the student has received five (5) unpaid meals.

Students who have submitted proper documentation to receive a meal modification in accordance with Policy 4.50—School Meal Modifications shall receive the same type of modification for an unpaid meal.

Legal References:

  • Commissioner’s Memo CNU-17-003
  • Commissioner’s Memo CNU-17-024

Date Adopted: 6/01/13
Last Revised: 8/11/15
Revised: 10/16/17
Last Revised: 7/9/19

4.52 Students who are Foster Children

The District will afford the same services and educational opportunities to foster children that are afforded other children and youth. The District shall work with the Department of Human Services (“DHS”), the Division Elementary Secondary Education (DESE), and individuals involved with each foster child to ensure that the foster child is able to maintain his/her continuity of educational services to the fullest extent that is practical and reasonable.

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall appoint an appropriate staff person to be the local educational liaison for foster children and youth whose responsibilities shall include ensuring the timely school enrollment of each foster child and assisting foster children who transfer between schools by expediting the transfer of relevant educational records.

The District, working with other individuals and agencies shall, unless the presiding court rules otherwise or DHS grants a request to transfer under Foster Child School Choice, ensure that the foster child remains in his/her school of origin, even if a change in the foster child’s placement results in a residency that is outside the district. In such a situation, the District will work with DHS to arrange for transportation to and from school for the foster child to the extent it is reasonable and practical.

Upon notification to the District’s foster care liaison by a foster child’s case worker that a foster child’s school enrollment is being changed to one of the District’s schools, the school receiving the child must immediately enroll him/her. Immediate enrollment is required even if a child lacks the required clothing, academic or medical records, or proof of residency.

A foster child’s grades shall not be lowered due to absence from school that is caused by a change in the child’s school enrollment, the child’s attendance at dependency-neglect court proceedings, or other court-ordered counseling or treatment.

Any course work completed by the foster child prior to a school enrollment change shall be accepted as academic credit so long as the child has satisfactorily completed the appropriate academic placement assessment.

If a foster child was enrolled in a District school immediately prior to completing his/her graduation requirements while detained in a juvenile detention facility or while committed to the Division of Youth Services of DHS, the District shall issue the child a diploma.

Foster Child School Choice

If DHS approves a request from a foster parent, or the foster child if the foster child is eighteen (18) years of age, to transfer to another school in the District or into the district as being in the best interest of the foster child, the District shall allow the foster child to transfer to another school in the District or into the District if the foster parent, or the foster child if the foster child is eighteen (18) years of age, submits a request to transfer on a form approved by DESE that is postmarked by no later than May 1 of the year the student seeks to begin the fall semester at another school in the District or in the District.

By July 1 of the school year in which the student seeks to transfer under this section, the superintendent shall notify the foster parent, or the foster child if the foster child is eighteen (18) years of age, in writing whether the application has been accepted or rejected. If the application is accepted, the superintendent shall state in the notification letter a reasonable deadline for the foster child to enroll in the new school or the District and that failure to enroll by the date shall void the school choice acceptance. If the application is rejected, the superintendent shall state in the notification letter the reason for the rejection and that the foster parent, or the foster child if the foster child is eighteen (18) years of age, may submit a written appeal of the rejection to the State board within ten (10) days of receiving the notification letter.

The District shall only reject a Foster Child School Choice application if:

  1. The public school or District has reached the maximum student-to-teacher ratio allowed under federal law, state law, rules for standards of accreditation, or other applicable rule or regulation; or
  2. Approving the transfer would conflict with a provision of an enforceable desegregation court order or a public school district’s court-approved desegregation plan regarding the effects of past racial segregation in student assignment.

A foster child whose application is rejected by the District may submit a written request within ten (10) days following the receipt of the rejection letter from the superintendent to the State Board of Education for the State Board to reconsider the transfer.

  • A Foster Child School Choice transfer shall remain in effect until the foster child:
  • Graduates from high school; or
  • Transfers to another school or school district under:
    • The Foster Child School Choice Act;
    • Opportunity Public School Choice Act of 2004;
    • The Public School Choice Act of 2015; or
    • Any other law that allows a transfer.

The District shall accept credits toward graduation that were awarded by another public school district.

When a foster child transfers from the foster child’s school of origin to another school in the District or into the District, the foster child or the foster parent is responsible for the foster child’s transportation to and from the school the foster child transferred to. The District and the foster parent, or the foster child if the foster child is eighteen (18) years of age, may enter into a written agreement for the District to provide transportation to and from the school the foster child transferred to.

Cross References:

  • 4.1 Residence Requirements
  • 4.2 Entrance Requirements
  • 4.5 School Choice
  • 4.7 Absences

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-18-233
  • A.C.A. § 9-28-113

Date Adopted: 04/01/15
Revised: 10/16/17
Last Revised: 6/26/19

4.55P Student Promotion and Retention 

A disservice is done to students through social promotion and is prohibited by state law. The District shall, at a minimum, evaluate each student annually in an effort to help each student who is not performing at grade level. Parents, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of a student, or persons standing in loco parentis shall be kept informed concerning the progress of their student(s). Notice of a student’s possible retention or required retaking of a course shall be included with the student’s grades sent home to each parent/guardian or the student if 18 or older. Parent-teacher conferences are encouraged and may be held as necessary in an effort to improve a student’s academic success.

At least once each semester, the parents, legal guardians, persons having lawful control of a student, or persons standing in loco parentis, and teacher(s) of a student in kindergarten through eighth (8th) grade shall be notified in writing of the student’s independent grade-level-equivalency in reading.

Any grades, course credits, and/or promotions received by a student while enrolled in the Division of Youth Services system of education shall be considered transferable in the same manner as those grades, course credits, and promotions from other accredited Arkansas public educational entities.

Students graduating in 2011 through the 2022 graduating class will meet the following requirements: A student in grade (9) must have a minimum of five (5) academic

credits at the beginning of the fall semester to be promoted to grade ten (10). A student must have (10) academic credits at the beginning of the fall semester to be promoted to grade eleven (11), and fifteen (15) academic credits at the beginning of the fall semester to be promoted to grade twelve (12). Beginning with the 2019-2020 freshman class, a student in grade (9) must have a minimum of five and one half (5.5) academic credits at the beginning of the fall semester to be promoted to grade ten (10). A student must have eleven (11) academic credits at the beginning of the fall semester to be promoted to grade eleven (11), and sixteen and one half (16.5) academic credits at the beginning of the fall semester to be promoted to grade twelve (12).

At the middle school level, a student is expected to progress annually from grade to grade. A student that has not passed both semesters of language arts and math, and does not have two or more passing semester grades in either science and/or social studies shall be referred to the retention committee. However, if in the judgment of the professional staff, a student is at risk of not reaching proficiency in sufficient basic skills to be potentially successful at the next grade level, the local school retention committee will be convened.

This committee will look at all available data and determine the grade placement that is in the best educational interest of the student. Data examined will include but not be limited to: teacher recommendation, medical history, grades, work samples, prior educational history, age and attendance.

The committee decision will be explained by the principal and teacher to parents of the students. A modification plan, attached to the student success plan (SSP), will be created for each retained student that is reviewed by the retention committee.

At the elementary school level, the school shall, at a minimum, evaluate each student annually in an effort to help students who are not performing at grade level. Parents or guardians shall be kept informed concerning the progress of their student(s).

Parent-teacher conferences are encouraged and may be held as necessary in an effort to improve a student’s academic success. If a student is to be retained in a grade, notice of retention and reason will be communicated promptly. Each elementary/middle school shall have a biracial retention committee composed of:

  • Counselor assigned to student
  • Principal or assistant principal
  • Classroom teacher(s) who currently work with the student or core team
  • Additional teachers (for example one on the student’s grade level and one from the next grade level)
  • Instructional Coaches in the school (Math, Literacy)
  • A 504/special education representative (if applicable)
  • The student’s parent(s), legal guardian(s), persons having lawful control of a student, or persons standing in loco parentis.

In order to determine promotion or retention of a student, the retention school-based committee shall meet with the parents/guardians, teachers, principal, and other pertinent personnel. The committee conference shall be held at a time and place that best accommodates those participating in the conference. The school shall document participation or non-participation in required conferences. Promotion or retention, as discussed by the committee, shall be primarily based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement
  • School attendance
  • Achievement test scores (CRT)
  • Physical maturity and age
  • Social and emotional maturity
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Light’s Retention Scale instrument
  • Medical history
  • Work samples
  • Prior educational history

If the conference attendees fail to agree concerning the student’s placement, the final decision to promote or retain shall rest with the building principal. Parents or guardians may appeal the promotion/retention by requesting a hearing with the building level principal. The building level decision to promote/retain may be appealed to the Director of Elementary or Secondary Education.

Each student, 8th grade and above, shall have a student success plan (SSP) developed by school personnel in collaboration with the student’s parents and the student that is reviewed and updated annually. A student’s SSP shall use multiple academic measures to personalize learning in order for students to achieve their grade-level expectations and individual growth. The SSP will identify if the student is in need of additional support or acceleration. Academic measures to be used in creating and updating a student’s SSP shall include, but are not limited to:

  • Statewide student assessment results;
  • Subject grades;
  • Student work samples; and
  • Local assessment scores.

By the end of grade eight (8), the student’s SSP shall:

  • Guide the student along pathways to graduation;
  • Address accelerated learning opportunities;
  • Address academic deficits and interventions; and
  • Include college and career planning components.

Based on a student’s score on the college and career assessment:

  • The student’s SSP will be updated in order to assist the student with college and career readiness skills, course selection in high school, and improved academic achievement; and
  • Provide a basis for counseling concerning postsecondary preparatory programs.

An SSP shall be created:

  1. By no later than the end of the school year for a student in grade eight (8) who is enrolled in the District, enrolls in the District during the school year; or
  2. As soon as reasonably possible for a student in grade nine (9) or above who enrolls in the District at the beginning or during the school year.

A student’s individualized education program (IEP) may act in the place of the student’s SSP if the IEP addresses academic deficits and interventions for the student’s failure to meet standards-based academic goals at an expected rate or level and includes a transition plan that addresses college and career planning components.

Students who either refuse to sit for a Statewide assessment or attempt to boycott a Statewide assessment by failing to put forth a good faith effort on the assessment as determined by the assessment administrator/proctor, or whose parents do not send their student to school on the dates the assessments are originally administered or scheduled as make-up days shall not be permitted to participate in any non-curriculum related extracurricular activity, including school dances, prom, homecoming, senior events, and may be prevented from walking or participating in graduation exercises. The student shall remain ineligible to participate until the student takes the same or a following Statewide assessment, as applicable. The Superintendent or designee may waive this paragraph's provisions when the student’s failure was due to exceptional or extraordinary circumstances. Students falling under the provisions of this paragraph shall be permitted to attend curriculum related field trips occurring during the school day.

Cross References:

  • 3.30—Parent-teacher Communication
  • 4.56—Extracurricular Activities - Secondary Schools
  • 4.56.1—Extracurricular Activities - Elementary

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2001
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2005
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2006
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2907
  • A.C.A. § 6-15-2911
  • A.C.A. § 9-28-205
  • DESE Rules Governing the Arkansas Educational Support and Accountability Act
  • Murphy v. State of Ark., 852 F.2d 1039 (8th Cir. 1988)

Date Adopted: 3/08/66
Revised: 10/10/72
Revised: 3/13/84
Revised: 11/11/86
Revised: 7/10/90
Revised: 3/10/98
Revised: 3/12/02
Revised: 8/12/03
Revised: 6/13/06
Revised: 1/09/07
Revised: 3/10/09
Revised: 4/19/11
Revised: 2/05/13
Revised: 1/12/16
Revised: 10/16/17
Last Revised: 6/11/19

4.58 Food Sharing and its Removal From Food Service Area

Food Sharing Table

The District has no food sharing system for food items other than milk and juice.2 Students who do not intend to drink milk or juice received as part of a meal may place the milk/juice in a designated ice-filled cooler located at the end of the service line where another student may retrieve it at no charge. Milk and juice may not be taken by another student unless the carton is unopened and was completely covered by ice while in the cooler. A student may not return to the cooler to place for sharing or retrieve an item after the student has left the service line.

At all times, the cooler will be under the supervision of the food service staff. Remaining items should be discarded at the end of the meal period, and no item is to remain in the cooler for longer than four (4) hours.

Removing Food Items From the Food Service Area

At the end of the meal period, a student may leave the cafeteria with up to 4 school provided whole fruit or whole vegetable food items. Students may not remove from the cafeteria milk, juice, or any other item requiring a temperature controlled environment.

Except for food service workers as required by their job duties, District employees may only remove school provided food items from the food service area when required by a 504 plan or a student’s IEP.


Legal References:
Commissioner’s Memo FIN 08-076
Commissioner’s Memo FIN 15-052

Date Adopted: 8/11/15
Last Revised: 8/30/16
Manual Adoption: 2/8/00

4.59P Academic Course Attendance by Private School and Home School Students

The District allows private school and home schooled students whose parents, legal guardians, or other responsible adult with whom the student resides are residents of the District to attend academic courses offered by the District . The District will place a list of courses that a private school or home school student may request to attend on its website by:

  1. June 1 for courses to be offered during the Fall semester; and
  2. November 1 for courses to be offered during the Spring semester.

A private school or home schooled student who desires to attend one or more of the available academic courses shall submit a written request to attend the academic course to the superintendent, or designee, no later than:

  1. August 1 for Fall semester courses; or
  2. December 1 for Spring semester courses.

The superintendent, or designee, is authorized to waive the application deadline on a case by case basis.

The District permits a private school or home schooled student to attend a maximum of six (6) courses per semester.

The District may reject a private school or home school student’s request for attendance if the District’s acceptance would:

  • Require the addition of staff or classrooms;
  • Exceed the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or school building;
  • Cost the District more for the student to attend the academic course than the District receives for the student’s attendance;
  • Cause the District to provide educational services the District does not currently provide at a financial burden to the District;; or
  • Cause the District to be out of compliance with applicable laws and regulations regarding desegregation.

Requests to attend an academic course will be granted in the order the requests are received. Upon the receipt of a private or home schooled student’s request to attend academic course(s), the District will date and time stamp the request for attendance. If a private school or home schooled student is denied attendance based on a lack of capacity and an opening in the requested course occurs prior to the start of the course, the District will use the date and time stamp on the request for attendance to determine the private school or home schooled student who will be notified of an opening in the requested course.

As part of the request to attend academic courses in the District, a private school or home schooled student shall:

  • Indicate the course(s) the private school or home schooled student is interested in attending;
  • If the course(s) the private school or home schooled student is interested in attending is being offered by the District in both a physical and a digital format, whether the private school or home schooled student intends to attend the physical course or the digital course;
  • Submit, along with the student’s application, a copy of the student’s transcript indicating that the student has received credit for the course(s), or equivalent course(s), that are a prerequisite to the course(s) the student desires to attend at the District;
  • Agree to follow the District’s discipline policies; and
  • Submit immunization documentation required by Policy 4.57 Immunizations.

A private school or home school student who fails to attend an academic course by the eleventh (11) day of class or who is absent without excuse for eleven (11) consecutive days during the semester shall be dropped from the course.; however, a private school or home schooled student shall not be considered truant for unexcused absences from the course(s) the student is attending at the District.

Private school or home schooled students shall receive a final grade and transcript for each academic course the student completes.

The responsibility for transportation of any private school or home schooled student attending academic courses in the District shall be borne by the student or the student’s parents.

The District follows Arkansas Athletics’ Association rules and regulations regarding eligibility requires for Home-schooled students.

Cross References:

  • 4.6—Home-schooling
  • 4.57-- Immunizations

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-15-509
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-232
  • A.C.A. § 6-18-702
  • A.C.A. § 6-47-401 et seq.
  • ACT 1469 of 2013 Participation of Home-schooled Students in Interscholastic Activities (Tim Tebow Law)
  • DESE Rules Governing Distance and Digital Learning
  • DESE Rules Governing Kindergarten Through 12th Grade Immunization Requirements in Arkansas Public Schools
  • Commissioner’s Memo COM-19-021

Date Adopted: 12/13/17
Revised: 7/9/19