Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Constitution Day and Celebrate Freedom Week

Memo Information

Memo Number
LS-23-017
Memo Date
9/12/2022
Memo Type
Informational
Unit
Learning Services
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
NO
Attention
Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Teachers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; School Counselors

Primary Contact Information

Memo Reference

Memo Text

Constitution Day

The United States Department of Education has announced that, pursuant to legislation passed by Congress, educational institutions receiving federal funds for a fiscal year are required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students, commemorating the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. For purposes of the U.S. Department of Education’s implementation of this requirement, “educational institutions” includes, but is not limited to, “local educational agencies” and “institutions of higher education” receiving federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education. 

Celebrate Freedom Week

Pursuant to Act 682 of 2003 and Ark. Code Ann. § 6-16-101, Arkansas public schools must observe Celebrate Freedom Week during the last full week of classes in September (September 26 – September 30). This law was created to educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom and the values on which this country was founded. During Celebrate Freedom Week, all social studies classes shall include instruction to help students focus on the freedoms offered in the United States of America. Suggested topics of study are included in the text of Act 682, but the curriculum is left up to individual school districts.

Arkansas law and resources, which may assist educators in preparing for Constitution Day and Celebrate Freedom Week, are contained in the attachments and are also available on the Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website. Attachments include valuable resources and links to support schools and educators implementing these requirements.

U.S. Constitution Tour at Crystal Bridges is Underway

DESE is proud to announce the U.S. Constitution Tour. Crystal Bridges Museum has an original copy of the U.S. Constitution as well as other important historical U.S. documents on display until January 2, 2023. Tickets to this event are free, but visitors must reserve seats on the Crystal Bridges website. DESE will help to commemorate this momentous occasion by providing Arkansas teachers, students, and community members with resources to support engagement around this opportunity.

DESE is inviting each school or district to signal their commitment to promote and celebrate this momentous event by completing this form. Information provided will ensure schools receive the most up to date information from DESE regarding the U.S. Constitution Tour.

By completing this form, your district/school commits to the following:

o Celebrate Constitution Day and Freedom Week during the month of September with planned activities (A.C.A. § 6-16-101)

o Promote the U.S. Constitution Tour by providing information to families and community members

o Integrate lessons supporting the acquisition of knowledge about the U.S. Constitution across all grade levels

o Showcase Constitution Day activities using #ARConstitutionTour

 

Based on this agreement to lead the U.S. Constitution Tour, DESE commits to the following:

o Donate a copy of A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know: An Infographic Guide to American Government by Carissa Lytle and Jara Kern to elementary libraries

o Donate a poster copy of the U.S. Constitution to high schools

o Develop and provide promotional materials to highlight events for schools and communities

o Provide professional learning opportunities to support teachers

o Provide information about opportunities for field trips to Crystal Bridges to see the U.S. Constitution and virtual field trips through William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum’s partnership with the National Archives

The DESE has also developed a website with resources for schools, teachers, families, and communities. These resources will include information on visiting the exhibit, interactive websites, book lists, and classroom and community resources. DESE looks forward to students and families across the state taking advantage of this incredible opportunity! 

 

 

 

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