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.
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
An example of a waiver
request is attached to this memo.
Please submit the waiver
request to Taylor Dugan at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.