Director's Memo SI-00-004, released on 7/15/99, contained the newly-adopted Rules and Regulations on professional development. School district officials wishing to apply for early release time and/or waiver days for additional approved professional development during the 1999-2000 year must submit applications to the Arkansas Department of Education not later than August 1, 1999, specifying how the days will be used.
Such requests will only be granted to accommodate professional development hours beyond those thirty (30) required in the Rules and Regulations.
Regular monitoring activities of these requirements shall occur annually when the Standards Assurance Unit directly monitors schools, and when the School Improvement/Instructional Support Section directly assists schools in the COE planning process.
Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a recommendation to the State Board of Education for loss of accreditation or other sanctions.
Please remember that only those activities that directly relate to the improvement of student achievement on state criterion-referenced examinations and other related indicators, as defined by the Arkansas Comprehensive Testing, Assessment and Accountability Program (ACTAAP), shall be approved as professional development under these Rules and Regulations. Administrative faculty meetings and administrative, organizational, or clerical work in the classroom or on school improvement activities shall NOT count as approved activities.
Further details and clarification of the above can be found in the Rules and Regulations referenced in the first paragraph of this communication.