Arkansas School Climate Policy

 

 

There are 261 school districts in Arkansas and 1,042 public K-12 schools. There were 473,861 students enrolled in the 2021-2022 school year. About 62% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. Arkansas has a policy that is explicitly about assessing school climate. Other school policies include addressing bullying prevention, safety plans, suicide prevention, providing social and emotional support and education for students, parental involvement, and increasing racial and ethnic sensitivity. Their policies concerning media and the internet don’t include any curriculum, but rather policies about school computer use, consequences if they are not followed and a requirement to install software that prevents misuse of public school computers. 

Safety

https://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Calendars/Attachment?committee=410&agenda=710&file=EX+D1+Safe+School+Commission+Preliminary+Report+.pdf

Arkansas Code 6-15-2108. School Rating System.

A multiple measure approach will be used to assess areas like, but not limited to;

  • Academic achievement on the annual statewide student assessment;
  • Student growth on the annual statewide student assessment;
  • School-level graduation rate or rates; and
  • English-learner progress or growth in acquiring English.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-15/subchapter-21/section-6-15-2108/


Who does this protect? Student, School Staff

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Arkansas Administrative Rules 005.15.11-003.

States that every school district’s board of directors will adopt policies to prevent bullying.

https://casetext.com/regulation/arkansas-administrative-code/agency-005-department-of-education/division-15-division-of-learning-services/rule-0051511-003-guidelines-for-the-development-review-and-revision-of-school-district-student-discipline-and-school-safety-policies

  • Arkansas Code Annotated §6-18-514. Anti-bullying policies.

Defines key terms like harassment, attribute, bullying, and electronic act. States that bullying of a public school student or employee is prohibited. If a report is received about an employee or student being bullied school principal or their designee needs to investigate this report. The School district shall provide training and compliance with anti-bullying policies. States the consequences of engaging in bullying behavior. 

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2018/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-18/subchapter-5/section-6-18-514/

  • Arkansas Code Title 6. Education § 6-5-201. Definition.

Defines the terms hazing, bullying, and harassment. States the behaviors that go under these terms. 

 https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-5-201.html

  • Arkansas Code Title 5. Criminal Offenses § 5-71-217. Cyberbullying.

Defines cyberbullying and underlines the behaviors that go under the definition of cyberbullying. Includes cyberbullying that occurs on- and off-school property. 

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-5-criminal-offenses/ar-code-sect-5-71-217.html

Arkansas Code Annotated §6-15-1303. Safe schools initiative act.

Develop a school safety plan and provide annual training for all of its employees and students, to the extent practicable, in preventing and responding to acts of violence, terrorism, natural disaster, and other emergencies. 

  • Delivering education to students and staff about sexual assault, bullying, and cyberbullying. 

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-15-1303.html


Who does this protect? Students, Employees, Minorities, LGBTQ

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Arkansas Code Annotated §6-15-1303. Safe schools initiative act.

Develop a school safety plan and provide annual training for all of its employees and students, to the extent practicable, in preventing and responding to acts of violence, terrorism, natural disaster, and other emergencies. 

  • Annual active shooter drills and school safety assessments
  • Emergency drills and panic button alert systems
  • Tornado safety drills
  • Preventing the possession of weapons by minors and responding to the threat of weapons at school. 

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-15-1303.html

Arkansas Code 5-73-119. Handguns — Possession by minors or possession of school property.

No one (except for a registered commissioned security guard acting in the course and scope of their duties) is allowed to carry a weapon on school property, school bus, or a designated bus stop.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2010/title-5/subtitle-6/chapter-73/subchapter-1/5-73-119/


Who does this protect? Anyone that’s on school property (i.e. parents, students, etc.)

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Suicide

  • Arkansas Code 6-18-111. School safety and crisis line.

Provide crisis intervention, including without limitation suicide prevention services, to students experiencing emotional or psychiatric distress.

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-18-111.html

  • Arkansas Code 6-18-2004. Comprehensive student services.

The school counselor will spend ninety percent of their time, during student contact days, providing direct and indirect services to students. In addition, direct and indirect services may be provided in collaboration with other school personnel. 

    • Providing social and emotional skills designed to support students
    • Address age-appropriate suicide awareness and prevention

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-18-2004.html

  • Arizona Revised Statutes 15-120.

Suicide prevention training; approved materials; posting; immunity; spending classification.

https://www.azleg.gov/ars/15/00120.htm

  • Arkansas Code 6-17-708. Teen suicide awareness and prevention professional development

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-17/subchapter-7/section-6-17-708/

Mental Health Services for students involved in bullying incidents

  • Arkansas Code 6-18-2004. Comprehensive student services. 
    • Training programs for school employees on how to recognize bullying behaviors
    • Protocols for responding to bullying that occurs in school
    • Strategies to support students who are being bullied
    • Strategies that help a bystander speak out again bullying

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-18-2004.html

  • Arkansas Code Annotated §6-18-514. Anti-bullying policies.

Licensed administrator or their designee that investigated the report of bullying may recommend counseling for any of the parties involved in the bullying incident.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2018/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-18/subchapter-5/section-6-18-514/

SEL/ Character development

  • Arkansas Code 6-18-2003. Comprehensive school counseling program and plan framework.

Guide students in academic pursuits, career planning, and social and emotional learning.

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-18-2003.html

  • Arkansas Code 6-18-2004. Comprehensive student services.
    • Direct and indirect services may be provided in collaboration with other school personnel and services include;
      • Promote cultural and social awareness, positive communication and relationship skills, collaboration with others, and responsible decision-making.
      • Improve culture and climate in school so that all students feel they are in a safe and supportive environment.
      • Develop conflict-resolution skills.

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-18-2004.html


Who does this protect? Students, Staff

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Teaching/Learning

SEL/ Character development

  • Arkansas Code 6-18-2003. Comprehensive school counseling program and plan framework.

Guide students in academic pursuits, career planning, and social and emotional learning.

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-18-2003.html

  • Arkansas Code 6-18-2004. Comprehensive student services.
    • Direct and indirect services may be provided in collaboration with other school personnel and services include;
      • Promote cultural and social awareness, positive communication and relationship skills, collaboration with others, and responsible decision-making.
      • Improve culture and climate in school so that all students feel they are in a safe and supportive environment.
      • Develop conflict-resolution skills.

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-18-2004.html

Supporting learning through community service

  • Arkansas Code 6-16-120. Academic credit for community service. Alternative Education

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-16/subchapter-1/section-6-16-120/

  • Arkansas Administrative Rules 005.15.022. Guidelines for the development, review, and revision of school district student discipline and school safety policies.

Placement of a student with disciplinary, socially dysfunctional, or behavioral problems not associated with a handicapping condition in an alternative learning environment provided by the district.

http://170.94.37.152/REGS/005.15.11-003F-12838.pdf

  •  Arkansas Code 6-48-101. Alternative Learning Environments Definitions

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-3/chapter-48/section-6-48-101/

  • Arkansas Code 6-48-103. Assessment and intervention services

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-3/chapter-48/section-6-48-103/

 


Who does this protect? Students, Students reading impairments

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Supporting learning through community service

  • Arkansas Code 6-16-120. Academic credit for community service. 

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-16/subchapter-1/section-6-16-120/

Partnerships 

  • Arkansas Code 6-15-1005. Safe equitable and accountable public schools.

Schools will work with parents, families, and business and community members to incorporate responsibility, character, self-discipline, civic responsibility, and positive work habits into adult contact with students and to promote student demonstration of these behaviors.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-15/subchapter-10/section-6-15-1005/

  • Arkansas Code 6-15-1702. Parental Involvement Plan. 

In collaboration with parents, public schools will develop a parental involvement plan that establishes the district’s expectations for parental involvement, and that includes programs and practices that enhance parental involvement and reflect the specific needs of students and their families. 

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-15/subchapter-17/section-6-15-1702/


Who does this protect? 9th grade to 12th grade, all students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Interpersonal relationships

Arkansas Code 6-17-110. Program to increase racial and ethnic sensitivity.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-17/subchapter-1/section-6-17-110/

Arkansas Administrative Rules 005.22.017 Professional development.

May provide educators with knowledge and skills needed to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students.

https://statepolicies.nasbe.org/health/categories/social-emotional-climate/professional-development-for-cultural-competency/arkansas


Who does this protect? Minority Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Arkansas Code 6-17-709. Professional development schedule.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2018/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-17/subchapter-7/section-6-17-709/

Arkansas Code 6-17-708. Teen suicide awareness and prevention professional development

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-17/subchapter-7/section-6-17-708/

Arkansas Code 6-17-711. Bullying prevention — Professional development.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2019/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-17/subchapter-7/section-6-17-711/

Arkansas Code 6-17-110. Program to increase racial and ethnic sensitivity.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-17/subchapter-1/section-6-17-110/

Arkansas Administrative Rules 005.22.017 Professional development.

May provide educators with the knowledge and skills needed to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students.

https://statepolicies.nasbe.org/health/categories/social-emotional-climate/professional-development-for-cultural-competency/arkansas


Who does this protect? Students, Teachers, Staff

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

School Counseling

  • Arkansas Code 6-18-2003. Comprehensive school counseling program and plan framework.

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-18-2003.html

  • Arkansas Code 6-18-2004. Comprehensive student services.

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-18-2004.html

Arkansas Code 6-17-110. Program to increase racial and ethnic sensitivity.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-17/subchapter-1/section-6-17-110/


Who does this protect? Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Institutional Environment

SEL/ Character development

  • Arkansas Code 6-18-2004. Comprehensive student services.
    • Direct and indirect services may be provided in collaboration with other school personnel and services include;
      • Promote cultural and social awareness, positive communication and relationship skills, collaboration with others, and responsible decision-making
      • Improve culture and climate in school so that all students feel they are in a safe and supportive environment
      • Develop conflict-resolution skills 

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-18-2004.html

Arkansas Code 6-15-1005. Safe equitable and accountable public schools.

Schools will work with parents, families, and business and community members to incorporate responsibility, character, self-discipline, civic responsibility, and positive work habits into adult contact with students and to promote student demonstration of these behaviors.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-15/subchapter-10/section-6-15-1005/

Arkansas Code 6-15-1702. Parental Involvement Plan.

 In collaboration with parents, public schools will develop a parental involvement plan that establishes the district’s expectations for parental involvement, and that includes programs and practices that enhance parental involvement and reflect the specific needs of students and their families.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-15/subchapter-17/section-6-15-1702/


Who does this protect? Students, Parents

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Arkansas Code Annotated §6-15-1303. Safe schools initiative act.

Develop a school safety plan and provide annual training for all of its employees and students, to the extent practicable, in preventing and responding to acts of violence, terrorism, natural disaster, and other emergencies. 

  • Annual active shooter drills and school safety assessments.
  • Emergency drills and panic button alert systems.
  • Tornado safety drills.
  • Preventing the possession of weapons by minors and responding to the threat of weapons at school. 

https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-6-education/ar-code-sect-6-15-1303.html

Arkansas Code 5-73-119. Handguns — Possession by minors or possession of school property.

No one (except for a registered commissioned security guard acting in the course and scope of their duties) is allowed to carry a weapon on school property, school bus, or a designated bus stop.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2010/title-5/subtitle-6/chapter-73/subchapter-1/5-73-119/

 


Who does this protect? Anyone that’s on school property (i.e. parents, students, etc.)

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Arkansas Code 6-17-110. Program to increase racial and ethnic sensitivity.

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2017/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-17/subchapter-1/section-6-17-110/


Who does this protect? Minority Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Social Media

Arkansas Code 6-21-107. Official computer use policy — Definitions.

Each school district will develop and adopt a written policy concerning student and staff use of computers owned by the school district.  This policy will also include consequences for students who violate this policy. 

https://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2019/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-21/subchapter-1/section-6-21-107/


Who does this protect? Students, Teachers

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

There is currently no policy surrounding Leadership in Arkansas. For more information on school climate please visit us at Services – National School

There is currently no policy surrounding Professional Relationships  in Arkansas. For more information on school climate please visit us at Services – National School

Sources include: nasbe.org and childtrends.org