The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is offering districts that did not submit a Digital Learning Plan (DLP) through the expedited process over the summer an additional opportunity to submit a DLP. Since it is not feasible to review the DLPs prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year, DESE will support districts in requesting limited contingency Act 1240 waivers to allow districts a temporary virtual option while their DLP is being reviewed. To take advantage of this opportunity, the attached form must be returned to DESE at Quarnicia.Smith@ade.arkansas.gov by 9:00 a.m. on August 2, 2021. DESE will present these contingency waivers to the State Board of Education at the Board’s next meeting on August 12, 2021. All contingency virtual learning must follow mandated class sizes, teaching load, and instructional time. Each school district must agree to submit a full DLP to DESE LEA Insights by 5:00 p.m. on September 1, 2021.
If a plan is not received by the deadline, waivers granted under this request will expire immediately. If a plan is received by the deadline, waivers granted under this request will stay in place until the DLP is reviewed by the State Board. If the State Board approves the DLP, the waivers requested in the DLP will replace waivers granted under this contingency request. If the State Board does not approve the DLP, the Board will decide what happens to the waivers granted under this request. Districts that previously had a digital plan approved for specific grade bands, but want to expand to include other grades will need to participate in this contingency waiver for those grades. DESE Support Staff will assist the district with an addendum to their existing DLP.
Districts may also work with educational cooperatives that established a digital learning consortium. It is still the responsibility of the district to submit a satisfactory DLP to DESE by August 2nd with the cooperative to be considered by SBE on August 12th.
Additional information may be found on the DESE website as well as the following linked presentations.