Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education School of Innovation Application Process

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Learning Services
Regulatory Authority
Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2801
Response Required
Assistant Principal; Assistant Superintendent; Curriculum Coordinators; District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster); Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin); Federal Programs; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators; Principals; School Counselors; Superintendents; Teachers; Technology Coordinators

Primary Contact Information

Office of Innovation for Education
Phone Number

Secondary Contact/s Information

Memo Text

Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2801 states that a School of Innovation (SOI) is a school that "transforms teaching and learning" and defines innovation as "a new or creative alternative to the existing instructional and administrative practices." SOI designated schools are engaged in practices intended to improve academic performance and learning for all students. For more information on Schools of Innovation, please visit the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Schools of Innovation web page


The SOI process allows schools the flexibility to try different approaches, experiment with innovative ideas that challenge the status quo, and explore waiver possibilities that will expand access to new learning opportunities. Join a cohort of over 40 Arkansas schools designing systems to implement ideas and strategies that address all learners' needs in a changing world!


New applicants to School of Innovation are invited to join DESE and the Office of Innovation for Education (OIE) for a Virtual Zoom session on either Thursday, August 24th (10:00-11:30 a.m.) or Wednesday, September 6th (1:00-2:30 p.m.) for an overview of the SOI application process and responses to any questions.  


Please use the link below to register in advance for one of the upcoming sessions:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the virtual meeting.


Schools interested in submitting an application to become a School of Innovation should complete and submit the “Intent to Apply” form by Friday, September 22nd, 2023. The Intent to Apply form is on the Office of Innovation Application Portal SOI Application, Designation & Renewal (  


See attachment for an overview of the application timeline.

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