Unsafe School Choice Option
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires each state that receives Title I funds to establish and implement a statewide policy which provides that a student who attends a persistently dangerous elementary or secondary school or who becomes a victim of a violent criminal offense while in school or on the school grounds, will be allowed to attend a safe public elementary or secondary school within the local education agency, including a public charter school, if the parent so desires.
Please see Ark. Code Ann. §6-18-320 Unsafe School Choice Program:
(a) Any student who becomes the victim of a violent criminal offense while in or on the grounds of an Arkansas public elementary, secondary, or public charter school or who is attending a persistently dangerous public school shall be allowed to attend a safe public school within the local educational agency under rules established by the State Board of Education.
Pilot for Persistently Dangerous School Extended
The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) established 2019-2020 as a pilot year to collect data to inform designations of Persistently Dangerous Schools (see Memo COM-20-024). DESE is extending the pilot into school years 2020-2023 to continue to collect data to inform designations of Persistently Dangerous Schools.
Schools are required to report violations to the Safe School Environment data under the current definition in Statewide Information System (SIS) as part of the Cycle 7 submission. The pilot years data will be collected under ID SC0880 - SC0887 as shown in the screenshot below.
Accuracy in reporting is of paramount importance because the pilot years of data reported will be used to determine the designation of Persistently Dangerous Schools in future school years. Recommendation for determining counts for the different types of violations:
1. Run an APSCN Discipline Records with Police Action (report from Cognos)
Team Content (tab)
Student Management System
APSCN Discipline Records with Police Action (report)
2. Count the violations that meet the criteria for SC0881-SC0887. The violation does not need to be charged or adjudicated to be included in the count. If the violation was noted in eSchool and the police were called, then the violation should be included in the count.
“Violent criminal offenses” as used in this guidance means the following criminal offenses against a person when they occur on a school campus or at a school-sanctioned event:
Aggravated Assault as defined in Ark. Code Ann. § 5-13-204;
Assault in the first degree as defined in Ark. Code Ann. § 5-13-205;
Battery in the first or second degree as defined in Ark. Code Ann. § 5-13-201 and 202;
Homicide as defined in Ark. Code Ann. § 5-10-101—103;
Possession or concealment of a gun as defined in Ark. Code Ann. § 6-21- 608;
Rape as defined in Ark. Code Ann. § 5-14-103; and
Robbery as defined in Ark. Code Ann. § 5-12-101 et. seq.
The attached guidance provides more information on the extended pilot, including proposed definitions and requirements.
DESE is requesting feedback concerning the implementation of this guidance. Please submit public comments to Tiffani Grayer at Tiffani.Grayer@ade.arkansas.gov