This Commissioner’s Memo is intended to provide Arkansas educators with updates to the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Computer Science facilitated Arkansas K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Bonus Program, which provides K-8 teachers with a one-time $2000.00 bonus.
The changes to this program, are that:
- applications will only be accepted August 15th through September 30th and February 1st through March 15th of each school year in accordance with Commissioner's Memo (COM-22-001),
- partial criteria applications will no longer be accepted (all applications must be for the full $2000 bonus available), and
- the attestation form has been updated and will be available at http://bit.ly/39DDR5N, once the application window opens.
For a K-8 Lead Teacher bonus in the amount of $2000 an Arkansas educator must:
- attend and complete the required 5-day (30-hour) K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Training sessions approved by the ADE Office of Computer Science
- score at or above the state board approved cut score on the Praxis 5652 exam,
- add the 528 Computer Science Endorsement on their Arkansas Educator's License, and
- provide/lead at least two of the following trainings over K-8 Computer Science concepts and/or teaching strategies:
- fifty (50) hours of documented one-on-one support to educators at your school (educators groups of no larger than 5 other educators at a time),
- thirty (30) additional hours of documented one-on-one support to any Arkansas K-8 educators (educators groups of no larger than 5 other educators at a time),'
- four (4) hours of school wide (with more than 70% of certified staff attending) professional development at your school,
- twenty-four (24) hours of PD for 20 or more K-8 Arkansas educators, or
- twenty-four (24) hours of other K-8 Computer Science Support approved by the Arkansas Director of Computer Science or an Arkansas Computer Science Specialist
To sign up for the K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Bonus and Training Program, educators must register for a 5-day (30-hour) K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Training Session, which will be posted at http://bit.ly/CSforARPD as scheduled. Available spots will be assigned on a first-to-register basis.
The application for earned bonuses can be accessed at: http://bit.ly/K8CSforARBonus
Educators seeking the $2000 Bonus must submit a completed “K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Endorsement and Instruction Bonus Program Attestation” with their application. The 2021-2022 school year attestation template will be available at http://bit.ly/39DDR5N, once the application window opens.
Disbursements of bonuses will be made in accordance with Commissioner's Memo (COM-22-001).
Arkansas educators that have received or anticipate receiving a bonus for gaining the 528 Computer Science endorsement under any other state funded program or grant, including the High School Computer Science Educator Bonus Program or previous K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Bonus cycles, are not eligible for the K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Bonus program.
Educators in the 2021-2022 school year program cycle, must complete all requirements and submit an application, with all required paperwork, for bonuses by March 15, 2022. If an educator does not complete the requirements within this time frame, that educator will be required to repeat the completion of the (30-hour) K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Training prior to being eligible for any bonuses not already awarded under the program.
All educators who completed the (30-hour) K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Training prior to December 31, 2020, still seeking bonuses after June 30, 2021, will be required to repeat the completion of the (30-hour) K-8 Computer Science Lead Teacher Training prior to being eligible for any bonuses not already awarded under the program.
Educators receiving any of these bonuses are not disqualified from 5652 PRAXIS reimbursement.
Funding for this bonus program is provided by the ADE as part of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Computer Science and Computing Initiative. The bonus program is subject to the availability of funding and allowable appropriation of funds. This bonus program may be canceled, and amounts awarded under the program are subject to change, with or without advanced notice at the discretion of ADE.