covid19 update

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- The Arkansas Department of Education, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education sent out the following clarification on several recent provisions. Included in this update were clarifications for seniors on graduation, coursework/good standing and concurrent credit.

Clarification About Seniors

The decision from DESE related to seniors meeting graduation requirements is regarding the statutory requirements for graduation. The intent is to relieve questions and concerns that have been voiced to us about whether seniors would be required to participate in extended make-up days or summer school should there be any further delays to the school year.  It is not our position that seniors are automatically finished, since there are other considerations, such as concurrent credit courses, CTE industry certifications, ACT prep, and also determinations as to whether a senior is on track.  Whether a senior is “on track to graduate and in good standing as of the 3rd nine weeks,” is a local school district decision that will be made by school administration. This determination should be made based on a review of student data including, but not limited to, grades and credits earned. Districts may have additional requirements for specific designations upon graduation or opportunities for seniors to continue engagement for the remainder of the school year. Districts must also continue to provide the services and supports included in a student’s IEP or 504 plan necessary to provide FAPE as part of any continued academic engagement or other opportunities.

Concurrent Credit

Students, including graduating seniors, must meet the objectives of concurrent courses to receive college credit.  Students taking online concurrent courses will continue as usual to receive college credit. Districts should contact their college liaisons to determine the most feasible means to arrange completion of face to face concurrent courses.  Examples may include migrating students into online sections or completing the courses via correspondence.  ADHE encourages colleges to provide flexible and innovative approaches in assisting students and districts with the completion of concurrent courses while maintaining academic integrity and quality learning experiences.

Advanced Placement

The AP College Board will be supporting students to provide access to AP content and AP exams.  Details will be coming soon on how the AP Program can support your students by providing live and on-demand AP courses for free and developing a new at-home testing option. We realize that some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh, other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates. The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing information will be available by April 3.  The exams can still be taken for a higher education qualifying score, even if it is necessary for them to be taken from home.