Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Attendance Records and Reports Waiver for SY 2020-2021

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Legal Services
Regulatory Authority
Ark. Code Ann. ยง 6-18-213
Response Required
Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Technology Coordinators; Test Coordinators; General Business Managers; Bookkeepers; School Counselors; Techstart Coordinators or Contact Name; Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND)

Primary Contact Information

Memo Reference

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Memo Text

On July 9, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that Arkansas public schools will delay their planned start date to the week of August 24, and that all schools will open either August 24, 25, or 26. This change of date applies to all K-12 Arkansas public schools, traditional and charter.


Consequently, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will ask the State Board of Education to rescind all previously granted early school start waivers for the 2020-2021 school year.    


Districts will need to modify their school calendars to reflect the new start date while still providing a minimum of 178 days of student-teacher interaction in accordance with the Standards for Accreditation, Standard 1-A.4.1 (S/P). Depending on how a district chooses to restructure its school calendar, it may need to petition DESE for a waiver of this section, pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-213(b)(2). Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-213(b)(1) requires the official reporting period for attendance to be quarterly, with the actual number of days counted in each period to be no less than 40 and no more than 50.


An example of a waiver request is attached to this memo.

Please submit the waiver request to Taylor Dugan at


Once the waiver is received it will be reviewed and the district will receive confirmation that the waiver has been received. If approved, the Commissioner will issue an approval letter stating that the waiver has been approved.

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