Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education RISE School Awards for 2023

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Learning Services
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Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Curriculum Coordinators

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The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) developed the RISE School Awards to recognize school districts that demonstrate exemplary instructional practices in literacy aligned to the science of reading. 

RISE Award winning schools demonstrate successful implementation of the Science of Reading and exhibit substantial evidence of meeting the goals of RISE Arkansas, which include the following:

  1. Building a Culture of Reading
  2. Collaboration with State and Community Partners
  3. Strengthening Instruction Around the Science of Reading

Applications should be sent electronically to LaToya Macon at and copied to Sandy Shepard at 

The deadline for electronic applications is February 10, 2023.  

Minimum requirements for schools to be considered for the 2023 RISE School Award:

  • More than 90% of teachers in the building must have completed a Phase 1 Proficiency Pathway.
  • The principal is a certified Science of Reading Assessor.
  • A letter of recommendation from your Co-op, RISE Trainer, or State Literacy Specialist is included.
  • Fewer than 40% of your students scored In Need of Support on the '21-'22 state assessment.

When 2023 RISE School Award Applications are received, they will be rubric scored using the attached Application Score Sheet.  Each criteria must score at least 3 points for the application to move to the next phase of the process, which is a face-to-face visit from Science of Reading specialists.  

During the face-to-face visit, the attached school visit rubric will be used to score a set of instructional criteria.  A visited school that receives a minimum score of 27 points (out of 36 possible points) on this rubric will receive a RISE School Award.

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