ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : COM-09-177

Date Created : 05/15/2009


Co-op Directors
Elementary Principals
Middle School Principals
High School Principals

Type of Memo: Regulatory
Response Required: Yes
Section:   Accountability - Dr. Charity Smith, Assistant Commissioner
Rating System--School Recognition Program Awards Dist

Regulatory Authority:
Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2101 et seq.

Contact Person:
Dr. Charity Smith, Assistant Commissioner

Phone Number:


Annual School Rating System -- Arkansas School Recognition Program
Awards Distribution

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) is pleased to present the Arkansas School Recognition Program for the Annual School Rating System. In accordance with Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2101 et seq., of Act 35 of the Second Extraordinary Session of 2003, the General Assembly has created the Arkansas School Recognition Program. This program will provide performance-based incentives to outstanding public schools, including charter schools in two designated category levels.

The Arkansas School Recognition Program will provide financial incentives for (1) Annual Improvement Category Levels (Gains) (Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2102) and (2) School Annual Performance Category Levels (Status) (Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2103).

Initially, for the 2008-2009 school year, the Arkansas School Recognition Program will only disburse awards for the Annual Improvement Category Levels (Gains) for grades
3-8 in the following category:

• A Category Level of Level 5 or Level 4 school pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2102.

Each school meeting the above requirements shall receive performance-based funding in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per student who participated in the school’s augmented, criterion-referenced assessment program in grades 3-8.

Schools that qualify for performance-based funding are identified on the Arkansas School Performance On-line Report Card. To access this report click on the following:

Schools are identified by rating and amount of funds to be awarded.

Schools that receive an annual performance category level of Level 5 or Level 4 are eligible for school recognition awards and performance-based funding. In accordance with the Arkansas Department of Education, Rules Governing the Arkansas Comprehensive Testing, Assessment and Accountability Program (ACTAAP) and Academic Distress Program, Section 9.22.1, “any school or district that is involved in substantiated test security violations will not be eligible for the “school of excellence” performance rating.” According to Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2103 (c)(1), for all schools that have received an annual performance category level of Level 1 for two (2) consecutive years, the students in the schools shall be offered the opportunity of public school choice option with transportation provided pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-227 et seq.

Each school that receives performance-based funding for the Annual Improvement Category (Gains) shall submit a proposal for spending to the Arkansas Department of Education prior to August 3, 2009. The Office of Academic Accountability, along with staff from the School Improvement Division and the Finance Division, will review and approve each proposal, and approve spending of performance-based funding for those academic expenses listed in the “Award Allocation and Use” section below.

Proposals must be typed in Microsoft Word and sent as an email attachment to Follow the format of the Arkansas School Recognition Program Proposal Form attached. After emailing the proposal, print a hard copy with the signatures of the proposer(s) and principal and send to the attention of Dr. Charity Smith, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Academic Accountability, Department of Education, Four Capitol Mall, Room 104-A, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201.

District superintendents will be notified that funds shall be distributed to the school’s fiscal agent by September 15, 2009, and placed in the school’s account and shall be used as determined by a committee established by the local school. The committee members will include the following individuals:

• The Principal;
• A Teacher, elected by the faculty; and
• A Parent representative selected by the local Parent Teacher Association or some other local parent involvement group

The Local District Award Committee shall make its determination as to the expenditure of the performance-based funds by December 15 of each applicable year. The performance-based funds must be spent for the purposes listed in the “Award Allocation and Use” section below.

School recognition awards shall be used for the following:

• Nonrecurring bonuses to the faculty and staff;
• Nonrecurring expenditures for educational equipment or materials to assist in maintaining and improving student performance; or
• Temporary personnel for the school to assist in maintaining and improving student performance.

Direct questions to Dr. Charity Smith at or Kimberly Millins at or call 501-682-2259.


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