Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Required Professional Development

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Learning Services
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Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Curriculum Coordinators

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Memo Text

Professional Development 2020-21 Cycle

As districts plan to be Ready for Learning in the coming School Year, professional development needs resulting from the public health emergency surrounding COVID-19 will be examined. Districts will most likely shift their focus to blended learning, high-quality instructional materials, and health and safety protocols. Topical PD requirements for the 20-21 school year are limited to Arkansas History for those educators currently teaching the course and Science of Reading PD. More detailed information about professional development requirements is outlined below.


Professional Development Requirements

Each year Arkansas licensed educators must obtain 36 hours of professional development for licensure renewal.  As part of the minimum annual requirement under the Rules Governing Professional Development and outlined in A.C.A. § 6-17-709, 2 hours of professional development in specific topical areas are required every four years.  The rotation schedule is as follows:

2019-20  Suicide Prevention and Awareness 

2020-21  Arkansas History 

2021-22  Child Maltreatment and Reporting

2022-23  Family and Community Engagement 

2023-24  Bullying and Suicide Prevention and Awareness 


Professional Development 2020-21 Cycle

The 2020-21 Professional Development Schedule requires 2 hours of Arkansas History for teachers who provide instruction in Arkansas History. The school district may provide this professional development by contracting with an education service cooperative or by using the state approved courses available on ArkansasIDEAS. 


  • The Men and Women of Distinction series
  • The Women’s Suffrage in Arkansas (will be release later this fall)


RISE Professional Development 

  • School districts shall provide professional development in scientific reading instruction for teachers employed at the elementary level or in special education. Districts are required to provide professional development to educators in one (1) of the prescribed pathways to obtain a proficiency credential.  
  • There are over 18 Pathways available to educators through the various educational service cooperatives, institutions of higher education, and private vendors. All pathways may be found on
  • The state is requesting a legislative revision to extend the timeline for teachers to demonstrate proficiency or awareness in the Science of Reading in the upcoming session.

Additional requirements:

Bullying - 2 hours of professional development in bullying and the recognition of the relationship between bullying and the risk of suicide is required.  

  • The first rotation combining bullying prevention and recognition of the relationship between bullying and suicide to meet this requirement will be in the 2023-24 school year.  
  • A new course on bullying prevention has been made available on ArkansasIDEAS and is recommended for teachers to complete prior to the required rotation. 
  • Bullying prevention course: Sit With Us.  

Human Trafficking 

·      A school district shall make available to licensed personnel thirty (30) minutes of professional development on recognizing and reporting human trafficking. To meet this requirement, courses are available to all educators in the state on ArkansasIDEAS. 


Requirements for Specific Licensure Areas

Educators working as an Administrator, Athletic Coach, Advanced Placement Teacher, or in Adult Education have specific professional development requirements outlined in the Rules Governing Professional Development. 

ADE Rules Governing Professional Development


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