ADE Director's Communication Memo Form


Memo Number : SI-00-064

Date Created : 01/25/2000

Attention:

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

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Yes
   
Section:   School Improvement and Professional Development - Ms. Janinne Riggs
Subject:
Spring 1999 Legislation

Regulatory Authority:

Contact Person:
Ray Lumpkin

Phone Number:
501-682-4557

E-mail:
rlumpkin@arkedu.k12.ar.us

The purpose of this memo is to emphasize specific 1999 legislation enacted by the Arkansas General Assembly.

ACT 214 TO CLARIFY THAT THE CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE SHALL BE PROVIDED NOTIFICATION OF SUSPECTED ABUSE OR NEGLECT

Any teacher, school official, school counselor, social worker, family service worker or day care center worker who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to maltreatment or that a child has died as a result of maltreatment or observes a child subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in maltreatment shall immediately notify the area child abuse hotline.

ACT 520 TO EXTEND THE DATE BY WHICH STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE CORE CURRICULUM WITH A MINIMUM GRADE POINT AVERAGE OF 2.0 TO QUALIFY FOR UNCONDITIONAL ADMISSION TO A PUBLIC INSTITUTION FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

Any student who graduates from a public high school after May 1, 2002, must have successfully completed the core curriculum recommended by the State Board of Higher Education in consultation with the State Board of Education with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, to be eligible for unconditional admission as an undergraduate to a public two-year or four-year institution of higher education. Nothing in this act prevents a student from enrolling for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate offered by a public two-year or four-year institution.

Beginning with the 1997-1998 academic year, conditional admissions standards for nontraditional students--defined as those who are home-schooled or who attended private or parochial secondary schools--shall be based on the student's score on the American College Test composite or its equivalent as defined by the Department of Higher Education.

ACT 1124 TO CLARIFY THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE REGULATION OF CORRESPONDENCE COURSES

Arkansas Code 6-11-119(c) is amended to apply to all schools or educational institutions offering correspondence courses whether the schools are located in this or some other state. These provisions do not apply to those schools or educational institutions regulated by the State Board of Private Career Education or the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Contact person: Dr. Gayle Potter, Arkansas Department of Education, 501-682-4558.

ACT 1149 TO MAKE PARENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALLOWING MINORS TO POSSESS FIREARMS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

When a parent--defined as parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or person in loco parentis or who has legal custody of a student and with whom the student resides--knows that the minor is in illegal possession of a firearm in or upon the premises of a public or private school or its buildings or facilities where school events are conducted or public park, playground or civic center, and fails to prevent the possession or to report the possession to the appropriate school or law enforcement authority, the parent shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

Firearm means any device designed, made or adapted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or any device readily convertible to that use, including such a device that is not loaded or lacks a clip or any components that can readily be assembled into such a device.

ACT 1282 TO PROHIBIT FIREARMS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY, SCHOOL BUSES, OR SCHOOL BUS STOPS

No person shall possess a firearm on public or private school property (K through 12) or in or upon any school bus or at a designated bus stop as identified on the route lists published by school districts each year.

ACT 1299 PERTAINING TO ALTERNATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

The Department of Education shall monitor, not less than every three years, each school district or cooperative to ensure the establishment of alternative learning environments that are conducive to learning and that provide intervention services to address individual needs of students.

Students who have received intervention services in an alternative environment and obtain a general education diploma shall not be identified in the annual school district report card as drop-outs.

ACT 1301 PERTAINING TO THE SCHOOL UNIFORM INITIATIVE ACT

The local school district board of directors shall create an advisory committee of parents and students to consider whether the district should adopt a uniform dress code for students. If the committee recommends adoption of a uniform dress code and the school board does not adopt such a code within 30 days prior to the filing deadline for the annual school election, the board shall refer the issue to voters during the 2000 annual school election. The issue may be placed before voters in any subsequent annual school election.

Provision for individuals to opt out of adopted uniform requirements must be adopted by a school district.

Any school district may implement a school uniform policy without submitting the issue to the electors of the district.

Each school district shall submit to the Department of Education within 60 days after the 2000 annual school election a letter setting forth the recommendation of the advisory committee, the action taken, and the results of any election regarding a uniform dress code.

The Department of Education shall compile a report of the information received from each school district and submit the report to the Senate Education Committee and the House Education Committee prior to January 15, 2001.

ACT 1408 TO PROHIBIT THE POSSESSION OF HAND-HELD LASER POINTERS BY MINORS

It is unlawful for persons under 18 years of age to possess a hand-held laser pointer without the supervision of a parent, guardian or teacher.

Each school district shall adopt a policy providing for hand-held laser pointers in the possession of students to be seized by school personnel.

ACT 1475 TO PROVIDE FOR STUDENT DISCIPLINE TRAINING AND GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOL EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS

School discipline policies shall state minimum and maximum penalties, including suspension or dismissal from school, for violation of practices prohibited by school discipline policies. School districts shall establish procedures for notice to students and parents of actions and proceedings applicable to the enforcement and administration of school discipline policies.

School districts shall provide for prevention, intervention and conflict resolution.

Appropriate student discipline training shall be provided to teachers, administrators, classified school employees and volunteers.

Every school district board of directors shall adopt and file with the Department of Education written policies concerning the violation of school standards such as disrespect for teachers and classified school employees, vandalism, and other undesirable behavioral patterns.

ACT 1494 TO AMEND THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR PERSONAL INJURY LAW

When a teacher is absent from duties in a public school as a result of personal injury caused by an assault or a criminal act committed against the teacher in the course of employment or while intervening in student fights, restraining a student or protecting a student from harm, the teacher shall be granted a leave of absence not to be charged to the teacher's sick leave from school with full pay for up to one year from the date of the injury.

A written policy shall be adopted by the board of directors of each school district and incorporated as part of the written personnel policies of the district.

Attachments:
    None

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