Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum Updates - January 2024

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Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Office of Learning Services
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
Assistant Principal; Assistant Superintendent; Curriculum Coordinators; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Principals; School Counselors; Superintendents; Teachers

Primary Contact Information

Secondary Contact/s Information

Memo Text

Curriculum updates are provided to inform educators and stakeholders of opportunities, updates and resources related to teaching and learning.

Math: Mathematics Standards Resource Documents are now available. 

Contact: Kisa Morman at

Literacy: Elementary & Secondary Literacy Standards Resource Documents are now available.

Contact: Elementary K-5 contact: Sandy Shepard at

Contact: Secondary Literacy contact: Amber Pirnique at

The Writing Revolution:

The newest cohort for The Writing Revolution: Grades 3-12 Advancing Thinking Through Writing will begin in February. More information can be found here. Any district wishing to participate should complete the MOU - All content area teachers, including CTE, are encouraged to participate. For more information, please contact:  Amber Pirnique at The dates and times are provided below.

  • Session #1 - 2/6, 9am-11am
  • Session #2 - 2/13, 9am-11pm
  • Session #3 - 2/20, 9am-11am
  • Session #4 - 2/27, 9am-11am
  • Session #5 - 3/5, 9am-11am
  • Session #6 - 3/12, 9am-11am

Memo Reference - LS-23-070    

Contact: Amber Pirnique at

Disciplinary Literacy: Social Studies 

ACT 561 provides direction to the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education for updating the materials and resources for the teaching of historical contributions made by African Americans in the United States and in other countries prior to the establishment of the United States. The list of updated materials and resources for 2024 can be found linked on the Social Studies Resources page of the DESE website HERE. Updates include lessons and materials that can be used to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black History Month. Resources are organized into grade-level bands. Resources for Historical Contributions Made By African Americans (Act 561)

Contact: Ronda Smith at


Fundamental Content Documents are available to highlight essential content at each grade level.  For more information, review this Webinar and documents HERE . These newly created supplemental documents accompany the Arkansas K-12 Science standards, and clearly indicate the content that students should know by the end of each grade level or course K-12.  

The recorded webinar with information on the ATLAS science interims, is also available HERE.

Contact: Katie Chacon at

Project Lead the Way (PLTW):

The Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has been awarded a $2.98 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation to increase student interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This grant provides middle school students access to high-quality STEM curriculum that supports hands-on, real-world learning, from Project Lead the Way (PLTW). 

The purpose of the grant is to award Local Education Agencies (LEAs) competitive subgrants to implement PLTW curriculum in the 7th and 8th grades for the following courses: Design and Modeling (399120), Medical Detectives (399180), Automation & Robotics (399110), and Flight and Space (399250). 

Priority consideration for grant funds will be given to LEAs based on the following criteria:

Interested LEAs are highly encouraged to attend a school tour at a campus that is already implementing the PLTW curriculum prior to submitting an application. Approved applications will require a school tour before being awarded a PLTW Grant. A virtual tour date will posted on the DESE website for all future grant requests.  

Contact: Jason Bailey at

Memo Reference: LS-23-027

Fine Arts:

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts is accepting submissions for The 63rd Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition. Apply HERE by February 4, 2024. The Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition highlights the remarkable talent, creativity, and perspective of Arkansas students. Students from kindergarten through high school are represented in a wide range of media and techniques.

Contact: Sarah Burns at

Schools of Innovation

The Office of Innovation for Education is now accepting nominations for the Trailblazer Award. Consider nominating someone for being an innovative thinker who is blazing a trail to transform teaching and learning in Arkansas. Nominations are accepted now through March 1st and will be announced at the Education Innovation Rally held June 3rd-5th in Jonesboro, Arkansas. This year, winners will receive a CASH prize sponsored by Delta Medical. Submit nominations HERE

Contact: The office of Innovation for Education at

Student Support Services:

Play It Again Arkansas is accepting nominations for the 2024 Governor’s Award for Musical Excellence. Submit your nomination HERE by Friday, February 2, 2024. See the nomination form for additional details.

Note: One hundred (100) Governor’s Awards for Musical Excellence recognitions will be presented this year. 

Contact: Lupe Pena at or Sarah Burns at

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