Children of military families are a special population with particular needs. Ark. Code Ann. 6-28-116 requires school districts with 20 or more children of military families, or 3,000 students total, to designate a staff member to serve as District Military Education Coordinator (DMEC). The statute requires that the DMEC must have knowledge of the needs of children of military families and the obstacles they face in obtaining an education. Act 638 of 2023 amends 6-28-116 to require that the DMEC be involved in the establishment and adoption of the district's parent and family engagement plan. A list of school districts that meet one or both criteria to appoint a DMEC as of July 21, 2023, is attached.
Newly appointed DMECs should use this link to report their appointment to DESE.
DESE is offering training for DMECs. This online training provides a base of knowledge on the needs of those students, the obstacles they often face in their education, and resources available to assist children of military families and the educators who work with them. Legislative updates from the 2023 session will be covered. Each session is approximately one hour long, and one hour of profession development credit may be awarded by the school district to persons who complete this training. It is not necessary to attend more than one session.
Receiving this training meets one of the requirements for schools and districts wishing to apply for Purple Star School status as set forth in Commissioner's Memo COM-23-098. Schools wishing to apply for Purple Star School status must appoint a School Military Liaison (SML) to serve as the point of contact for military families at the school level. Please note that while the appointment of an SML is not required by state law, it is a requirement for Purple Star School status per the rules established by the Arkansas Council for Military Children, which operates the Purple Star School program under authority of Ark. Code Ann. 6-28-204. Information on the requirements to become a Purple Star School and the application process are available at this link.
Persons who wish to attend the training may register online for any of the following sessions.
August 2, 2023, 10:00 AM
August 7, 2023, 11:00 AM
August 9, 2023, 2:00 PM
August 10, 2023, 1:00 PM
September 6, 2023, 10:00 AM
September 14, 2023, 2:00 PM
September 26, 2023. 9:00 AM