Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 12/1/2010
Contact us with corrections or additions Arkansas Last Updated: 8/4/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 11/17/2013

Mandate: The Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools (2009) detail the course requirements for students: in grades K-8 all students must receive instruction in health and safety (the amount is not specified), and students in grades 9-12 must complete a unit course for graduation.

Curriculum Content:
 Arkansas has not formally adopted state standards for health education. However, the state does require schools to follow the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework and Health and Wellness Curriculum for grades 9-12(2011), the health portion of which is based on the National Health Education Standards and includes detailed student learning expectations.

State Assessment Requirement:
None.

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Mandate: Act 317 (2007) requires 60 minutes per calendar week of physical education training and instruction for students in grades K-6 and for grades 5-8 for schools organized to teach these grades. The statute requires 90 minutes of additional physical activity per week for grades K-6, which may include physical education in addition to the previous requirement, daily recess, or intramural sports. Code 20-7-135 (2003) calls the State Board of Education to promulgate rules and regulations to ensure physical activity standards are implemented to provide students with the skills, opportunity, and encouragement to adopt healthy lifestyles.  The Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012) include the time requirements of Act 317 (2007), and allow local districts to require physical education or activity in excess of these requirements.

The Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools (2009) detail the course requirements for students: in grades K-8 all students must receive instruction in physical education (the amount is not specified), and students in grades 9-12 must complete a 1/2 unit course for graduation.

Exemptions: Exemptions: Code 6-16-132  (2003) states that a student may only be exempt from physical education and physical activity requirements by presenting a statement by his/her physician indicating that participation will jeopardize his/her health and well-being; OR by showing that attending physical education classes will violate a student's religious beliefs and must be a member of a recognized religious faction that object to participation of its official doctrine or creed to the local board.

Curriculum ContentArkansas has not formally adopted state standards for physical education; however, the state does require schools to follow the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework and Physical Education and Leisure Curriculum Framework for grades 9-12 (2011).

Physical Fitness Assessment
The Department of Education requires students to participate in a national recognized fitness assessment. The requirements can be found in the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework and Physical Education and Leisure Curriculum Framework for grades 9-12.
Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006

Not specifically required.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 11/17/2013

The K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework and Health and Wellness Curriculum for grades 9-12 (2011) includes requirements for students to develop responsible personal and social behaviors, with skills to enhance relationships and promote wellness, and skills to manage emotional and mental health. Code 6-15-1505 (2003) further requires local districts to align each class and subject area according to the curriculum framework adopted by the state board of education.

Character Education
:
No state policy.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 11/17/2013

Mandate: Mandate: The Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework for K-8  and Health and Safety Curriculum for grades 9-12 includes requirements for HIV/STI and teen pregnancy prevention education.

Curriculum Content: The curriculum requirements are outlined in Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework for K-8 and Health and Wellness Curriculum Framework for 9-12. Code 6-18-703 (1993) states schools that offer sex education in school-based health clinics shall include instruction in sexual abstinence, and no funds shall be utilized for abortion referral.

Parental Approval
: No state policy.

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 3/22/2013

Code 20-7-135 (2003) calls the State Board of Education to promulgate rules and regulations to ensure nutrition standards are implemented to provide students with the skills, opportunity, and encouragement to adopt healthy lifestyles. The State Board adopted Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012). The rules require the Department of Education to promote grade-appropriate nutrition education as a part of an integrated health education curriculum.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 11/17/2013

Alcohol: Standard 10 of the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework  (2011) requires students to comprehend substance use, abuse, and the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health and includes alcohol as a topic. Standard 11 requires students to learn how to practice health risks. 

Tobacco: Standard 10 of the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework requires students to comprehend substance use, abuse, and the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health and includes tobacco among other drugs in K-4 and as a topic in grades 5-8. Standard 11 requires students to learn how to practice health-enhancing behaviors to reduce health risks.

Drugs: Standard 10 of the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework  requires students to comprehend substance use, abuse, and the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health. Various drug categories are addressed. Standard 11 requires students to learn how to practice health-enhancing behaviors to reduce health risks. 

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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Code 6-16-129 (2001) allows local boards of education to declare one week in October each academic year to be Gun Violence Prevention Week for grades K-6. The code further allows any school to develop and present an awareness program or participate in others with the purpose of diminishing gun violence.

Bullying/Harassment
: Code 6-18-514 (2003) requires all local school boards to adopt policies to prevent pupil harassment (bullying). The policies must clearly define conduct that constitutes bullying; prohibit bullying on school property, at school-sponsored activities, and on school buses; state the consequences of bullying; require school employees to report any incidents to the principal; require bullying notices to be posted in every classroom, cafeteria, restroom, gymnasium, auditorium, and school bus in the district; and provide copies of the notice to parents, students, school volunteers, and all employees. This statute also expands Code 6-18-1005(5)(c) (2003) by requiring student services program to include programs to prevent bullying as part of its group conflict resolution service.

Fighting/Gangs
: Not specifically required.

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention
: Code 6-18-1005 (2003) requires a student services program to include a suicide prevention public awareness program developed by the Lieutenant Governor's Teenage Suicide Prevention Task Force as part of the student services provision.

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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 12/27/2013

Professional Development:  The state does not specifically require professional development for teachers or other school staff on violence and gangs, bullying, harassment and hazing, and suicide prevention. However, Code 6-17-702 (1995) does allow licensed personnel to attend any certified instructional staff development session for up to two days toward fulfillment of the minimum 60 hours of professional development required annually by the Department of Education’s Rules Governing Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts (2009). All personnel must meet appropriate state licensure and renewal requirements for the position to which they are assigned.

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 12/27/2013

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirements for prospective health teachers in elementary, middle, and high school grades prior to licensure are a bachelor's degree with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher; passing scores on specific required tests based on licensure area; and clear criminal background checks. The Department of Education outlines routes to educator licensure. A health education teacher is also required to meet the standards laid out in the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework and Health and Wellness Curriculum for grades 9-12 (2011).

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Pre-service Requirement: The State Board of Education's Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards  and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012),require districts to employ at least one licensed  physical education teacher  or licensed elementary teacher to supervise physical education classes that have a maximum student to adult ratio of 30:1in grades K-6. Beginning in 2012, all personnel teaching physical education in grades 7-12 must hold a physical education license appropriate for grade levels being taught.

 
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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Pre-service Requirement: Pre-service Requirement: Code 6-18-706 (1993) defines a school nurse as a licensed nurse engaging in school activities. The state qualifies both registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Code 17-87-301 (1995) requires the completion of both a high school course of study and an approved professional nursing education program, and the passing of a board approved examination for licensure as a registered nurse in the state of Arkansas. For licensure as a practical nurse, Code 17-87-304 (1995) requires the completion of both a high school course of study and a state-approved program for preparation of practical nurses, and the passing of a board approved examination. The School Nurse Roles and Responsibilities Practice Guidelines (2007) provides furtherguidance.

Professional Development
: None specified.

Student-to-Nurse Ratio
: Only upon the availability of funds, all school districts are required to have no fewer than 1 full-time school nurse per 750 students according to Code 6-18-706 (2003).

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 12/27/2013

Pre-service Requirement: The Rules Governing Public School Student Services (2012) from the State Board of Education state that medical procedures provided at the school are performed by trained, licensed personnel per Code 17-87-102(6)(D) or other professional licensure statutes, unless permitted under Code 17-87-103(10) and (11).  The Arkansas State Board of Nursing School Nurse Rules & Responsibilities Practice Guidelines  (2007) states that only the nurse responsible for the student’s nursing care may determine which nursing tasks may be delegated to an unlicensed assistive person. For instance, per these documents, public school employees may be trained and administer glucagon to a student with type 1 diabetes and/or an epi-pen allergy kit in an emergency situation. Regardless of the school districts titling of the position or other job duties, when individuals are providing nursing tasks or other similar services, delegation and supervision rules apply.

Code 6-17-102 (1977) requires all public elementary and secondary schools to employ at least one person who is certified by the American Red Cross or deemed qualified by the Arkansas Department of Education to administer emergency first aid to be on school grounds during normal school hours.

 
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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 12/27/2013

Pre-service Requirement: Pre-service Requirement: A school counselor is required to meet the standards as outlined in The Arkansas Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs (2009).

Professional Development: No state policy.

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: Standard XI of the Department of Education’s Rules Governing Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts (2009) requires each school to assign appropriate certified counselor staff with the district to maintain an overall ratio of 450 to 1.

 
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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 9/8/2010

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: No state policy.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: No specific ratio, but Code 6-18-1005 (2003) does include psychological services in student services programs.

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 9/8/2010

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: No state policy.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: No specific ratio, but Code 6-18-1005 (2003) does include social work services in student services programs.

Requirements for Food Service Personnel
     Last Updated: 12/27/2013

Pre-service Requirement: Act 1220 of 2003 and the resulting Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing the Certification and Continuing Professional Development of Child Nutrition Directors, Managers, and Workers, codified as Code 20-7-134 and 20-7-135, requires that Directors (1) provide documentation of earning a high school diploma or GED, (2) provide documentation of successful completion of one or more of the required trainings (Manager Certification Training, Certification as a Dietetic Technician, Certified Dietary Manager, Registered Dietitian, Associates degree in Foods/Nutrition or Food Service Management) or that they hold a Bachelor’s degree in related field, (i.e. Family & Consumer Sciences, Food Service Management, Hotel / Restaurant Management, or Nutrition).

Managers must present documentation of earning a high school diploma or GED and provide the recommendation of their current employer.
 
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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 7/19/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013
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Additional Accountability Requirements Act 1220 of 2003 (codified as Codes 6-7-117 through 6-7-119) pre-dates Section 204 and is generally stronger than the federal requirements. The Act, with the  State Board of Education’s Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards  and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012),includes the following accountability requirements for each school district: establish a Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee to advise the school board; administer CDC's School Health Index: A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide; measure, on an annual basis, each student's body-mass index (BMI) and send parents/guardians a Confidential Child Health Report that contains results and guidance; develop a district Wellness Priority Plan that includes goal statements, benchmarks, interventions, and planned actions based on data collected from the School Health Index and BMI assessments; and incorporate goals and objectives for nutrition and physical activity into the annual Consolidated School Improvement Plans submitted to the state.

Additional Content Requirements: Additional Content Requirements: Act 1220 prohibits vending machines in elementary schools and requires school districts to implement the Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards  and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012) adopted by the State Board of Education. Among this document's many detailed provisions are minimum specifications for foods sold and served at school; a requirements in grades K-6 for 90 minutes of physical activity and a minimum student/teacher ratio of 30:1 in physical education classes; a requirement in grades K-8 for 60 minutes of physical education; and a requirement in grades 9-12 for completion of a ½ unit course in physical education for high school graduation.

Guidance Materials
: The Department of Education provides the ACSIP Wellness Priority Protocol (2006), a guidance document that explains how to incorporate wellness topics into the Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (ACSIP) that each school district is required to submit to the state. The guidance places an emphasis on data collection and setting priorities based on student health data. At the same website is a policy checklist that categorizes the Arkansas Nutrition and Physical Activity Rules for Public Schools into each component required by Section 204.

 

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 8/4/2014

Adequate Time to Eat: The Child Health Advisory Committee Recommendations for Standards to Implement through Rules & Regulations recommends adequate time for students to receive and consume meals. Lunch and breakfast schedules should allow 20 minutes of seated time for lunch and 10 minutes of seated time for breakfast. 

School Breakfast: Code 6-18-705 (1991) requires breakfast in schools with 20% or more free and reduced-price eligible students.

Food Allergies: No state policy.

Farm-to-School: No state policy.

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 6/6/2014
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Code 20-7-133 (2003) requires the creation of a Child Health Advisory Committee, whose primary responsibility, according to Code 20-7-134 (2003), is to develop nutrition and physical activity standards and policy recommendations for the State Board of Education, which is then charged with implementation. The State Board of Education's Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards in Arkansas Public Schools (2012) and Child Health Advisory Committee Recommendations for Standards to Implement through Rules & Regulations provide criteria for all foods and beverages served, sold and made available to students at elementary, middle and high school campuses.

The following requirements for reimbursable meals in all grade levels and a la carte items in middle and high schools apply:

  • No more than 23 grams of fat per serving
  • No more than 30 grams of sugar/8 ounce serving for flavored milk
  • Fruits and vegetables offered at all points of service
  • French fries are limited by portion size and frequency served/week.


The State Board of Education's Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards in Arkansas Public Schools (2012) have the following restrictions for food and beverages:
Elementary Schools

  • No access to food or beverages sold or given away (including as a reward) outside meals at anytime, including vending, a la carte items, anywhere on school premises during school days. This includes all FMNV and competitive foods.
  • French fries may only be served once per week and must meet portion size limits
  • The Child Nutrition Program may only sell food items in the cafeteria, during meal periods that are already offered as a component of a reimbursable meal. Extra servings of desserts, French fries or ice cream are not allowed.

Middle/Junior and High Schools

  • The Child Nutrition Program may only sell food items in the cafeteria, during meal periods that are already offered as a component of a reimbursable meal.

Exceptions to the restrictions are outlined in the Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards in Arkansas Public Schools.

 

Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

General Physical Activity Requirement: Act 317 (2007) requires 90 minutes of additional physical activity per week for grades K-6, which may include physical education in addition to the general physical education requirement, daily recess, or intramural sports. 

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks: HR1023 (2008) urges school districts to provide a mid-morning and mid-afternoon recess of at least ten minutes for all students in grades K-6.

Recess Before Lunch: No state policy.

Walking/Biking to School: No state policy.

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 12/27/2013

Interscholastic Athletics: No state policy.

Concussion and Sports-Related Head Injury:
 SB773 (2013) authorizes the state department of education to use up to $1 million from its General Improvement Fund on a pilot project on concussion management. The policy does not specify anything regarding removal from play, forcing concussed student-athletes to receive medical clearance before returning to play, or requiring the parents or guardians of student-athletes to sign a concussion information form before their children can participate in interscholastic athletics.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): Automated External Defibrillator (AED): The Rules Governing School-Based Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Devices and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Programs in Arkansas Public Schools (2010), with codes 6-10-122 and 6-10-123 requires each school campus to have an AED on campus by May 31, 2011. Appropriate school personnel must be adequately trained by May 31, 2011, and on an ongoing basis after May 31, 2011. Training must also incorporate testing of psychomotor skills as outlined in the Rule; coordination with the emergency medical services system; and an ongoing quality improvement program to monitor training and evaluate response with each use of an AED. AED and CPR training count fully toward professional development requirements for teachers and school personnel. Each school must designate personnel to be responsible for the maintenance of the AED and have the equipment inspected by a qualified technician once a year.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Code 6-15-1005 (1997) requires every school and district to enforce policies, which include weapons, violence, tobacco, alcohol, other drugs, gangs, and sexual harassment, that ensure the safety of every student during school hours at school-sponsored activities.

In addition, Code 6-15-1301 (2003) requires the department of education to create a Safe Schools Committee to develop model policies and procedures that ensure a safe and productive learning environment for students and school employees and provide emergency plans for terrorist attacks. 

Fighting/Gangs: Code 6-15-1005 ensures that every school and district will enforce school district policies for the safety of every student during school hours at school-sponsored events from gangs.

Code 6-18-503 (1995) requires each school district to develop written student discipline policies in compliance with the guidelines established by the Department of Education in Code 6-18-502 (2001). The guidelines suggest that student discipline policies include the offense of willfully and intentionally assaulting or threatening to assault or abuse any student or teacher, principal, superintendent, or other employee of a school system. The policies shall also prescribe minimum and maximum penalties for violations of the offense. Written notification must also be provided to all parents and students of the district's student discipline policies and teachers and administrators, as well as other school employees and volunteers must receive appropriate student discipline training.

Weapons: Code 6-18-503 requires each school district to develop written student discipline policies in compliance with the guidelines established by the Department of Education in Code 6-18-502. The guidelines suggest that student discipline policies shall include the offense of possession by students of any firearm or other weapon prohibited upon the school campus by law or by policies adopted by the school board. The policies shall also prescribe expulsion from school for a period of not less than 1 year for possession of any firearm or other weapon prohibited upon the school campus by law. Written notification must also be provided to all parents and students of the district's student discipline policies and teachers and administrators, as well as other school employees and volunteers must receive appropriate student discipline training.

Code 6-18-507 (1999) requires the principal of each school to report within a week to the department [of education] information identifying any student who is expelled for possessing a firearm or other prohibited weapon on school property. 

Drugs and Alcohol: Code 6-18-503 requires each school district to develop written student discipline policies in compliance with the guidelines established by the Department of Education in Code 6-18-502, which include using, offering for sale, or selling beer, alcoholic beverages, or other illicit drugs by students on school property".

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: No state policy.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Bullying/Harassment: Code 6-18-514 (2007) requires local school boards to adopt policies to prevent bullying and pupil harassment.  The statute provides clear definitions of the following terms to be used by local school boards:  bullying, electronic acts, harassment and substantial disruption.  Local policies shall include a clear definition of conduct that constitutes bullying (as defined in the statute) and prohibit bullying while in school, on school equipment or property, in school vehicles, on school buses, at designated school bus stops, at school-sponsored activities, and at school-sanctioned events.  In addition, the policy shall prohibit bullying by an electronic act that results in the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment (cyberbullying).  The policy shall apply to the electronic act whether or not it originated on school property or with school equipment, if it is directed specifically at students or school personnel and maliciously intended for the purpose of disrupting school, and has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose. 

Code  6-18-514 (2007) also stipulates that local bullying policies have the following provisions:  (1) define conduct that constitutes bullying (2) prohibit bullying, (3) to state the consequences for engaging in prohibited behavior, (4) require employees to report incidents to the principal, (5) require those filing a complaint to not be subject to retaliation and provide immunity from any tort liability arising from the failure to remedy the reported incident, (6) require notices about the policy to be posted in each classroom, cafeteria, restroom, gymnasium, auditorium and school bus, and (7) require copies of the in-school bullying notice be provided to parents, with a full policy available upon request.  Policies must be filed with the Department of Education, with the State Board of Education providing review and recommended changes and/or improvements.

Code 6-18-1005 (2005) requires schools to provide Group conflict resolution services, which shall include bullying prevention programs. 

Code 6-15-1005 ensures that every school and district will enforce school district policies for the safety of every student during school hours at school-sponsored events from sexual harassment.

Cyberbullying: Code 6-18-514 (2007) requires local school boards to adopt policies to prevent bullying and pupil harassment.  This includes electronic acts of bullying. The policy shall prohibit bullying by an electronic act that results in the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment (cyberbullying).  The policy shall apply to the electronic act whether or not it originated on school property or with school equipment, if it is directed specifically at students or school personnel and maliciously intended for the purpose of disrupting school, and has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose." 

Act 905 (2011) defines cyberbullying and establishes it as a Class B misdemeanor. 

Hazing: Code 6-5-202 (1983) prohibits students of any school, college, university, or other educational institution from engaging in hazing (as defined in Code 6-5-201) or encourage, aid, or assist any other student in carrying out this offense. Further, no person shall knowingly permit, encourage, aid, or assist any person in committing the offense or fail to report the commission of the offense to appropriate administrative officials of the school, college, university, or other educational institution. Code 6-5-203 (1983) classifies hazing as a Class B misdemeanor warranting expulsion from the school, college, university, or other educational institution.

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Response and Management Plans: Code 6-15-1301 directs the Department of Education to create a Safe Schools Committee. This committee is responsible for developing model policies and procedures for emergency plans for terrorist attacks, specifically contingency plans for attacks using biological agents, nerve gas or similar chemical agents, and war. Code 6-15-1302 (2003) instructs school districts to develop safety plans in the event of a war or terrorist attack affecting the school and, to the extent practicable, student should participate in practice drills executing the plans.

Reporting Incidences of Violence: Code 6-17-113 (1999) requires the principal or other person in charge of a public school to immediately report any act of violence or crime involving a deadly weapon on school property or information leading to a reasonable belief that a person has committed or has threatened to commit an act of violence or crime to the superintendent of the school district and the appropriate local law enforcement agency.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 5/17/2009

Code 6-21-609 (1999) prohibits smoking or use of tobacco products on any property owned or leased by the school district. A copy of the policy shall be posted at the entrance of every building owned or leased by the public school and on every school bus used to transport public school students.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006
No state policy.
Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006

No state policy.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006

No state policy.

Shared Use Agreements
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Code 6-21-101 (2012) authorizes local boards of education to permit the use of the public schools for a community purpose, including recreation and health and wellness activities  ,  provided that they do not interfere with the regular school work. To offset the cost, a school district may charge a fee; accept gifts, grants, and donations; or enter into a joint use agreement with a public agency, public entity, private entity, or nonprofit organization, for shared use and responsibility of the school land or public school facility.Code 14-54-1301 authorizes any city, town or associated board to operate a program of public recreation and playgrounds; acquire, equip, and maintain land, buildings, or other recreational facilities; and expend funds for the operation of the program pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter.

Codes 6-21-501, 6-21-502, 6-21-503, and 6-21-505 (2012) authorize school districts to operate a program of public recreation and playgrounds; acquire, equip, and maintain land, buildings, or other recreational facilities; and expend funds for the operation of the program per this statute. School districts can operate such a program independently or cooperate with any other public corporation, board, or body in any manner in which they mutually agree; or delegate the operation of the program to a recreation board created by one or more of them. The right of a school district to enter into such agreements with any other public corporation, board, or body, or the right to delegate power to a board for operating a program of recreation, is authorized only by a majority vote cast at an annual school election, without the use of state aid. School districts may operate the program independently; cooperate with any other body including a city, town, or board of park commissioners, to conduct such a program and in any manner upon which they may mutually agree; or delegate the operation to another board operating or proposing to operate a program independently or with any cooperating bodies in such manner as they agree.

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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Vision and Hearing: Code 6-18-1501 (2005) requires that all children in grades preK-2, 4, 6, and 8 as well as all transfer students receive eye and vision screenings.

Chronic Health Conditions
: Arkansas does not specifically require schools or districts to identify students with asthma. However, Code 6-18-701 (1947) allows school districts to appoint and provide for one or more physician or nurse to conduct physical examinations of pupils to detect contagious or infectious diseases or any defect of sight, hearing, or function or condition of health that may prevent a pupil from receiving the full benefit of schoolwork.

Body Mass Index (
BMI) Screening: Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening: The State Board of Education’s Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards  and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012), as codified by Code 20-7-135 (2007), require schools to include a body mass index percentile in a student's annual health report to parents beginning with kindergarten and then in even numbered grades.  Schools must permit any parent to refuse to have their child's BMI percentile reported by providing a written refusal to the school.  Students in grades 11-12 are exempt from the BMI reporting requirement.

 

 

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Staff Administration: No state policy.

Self-Administration of Asthma Medication: Statute 6-18-707 (2005) requires the Department of Education to develop guidelines for school districts to adopt policies that allow students to carry and use prescription asthma inhalers while in school or at school-sponsored activities on or off school property. The guidelines should include procedures for requiring written authorization for one school year from the parent/guardian; medical documentation of health care practitioner's prescription, evidence of the need to carry the inhaler, a copy of an individualized health care plan. If a student does not carry the inhaler on his person, then the parent or guardian shall provide the school with the appropriate medication in case of an emergency. The law further protects a school district and its employees from any liability for injury caused by a student's use of a prescription inhaler or self-administration of medication.

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis Medication: Statute 6-18-707 (2005) requires the Department of Education to develop guidelines for school districts to adopt policies that allow students to carry and use prescription auto-injectable epinephrine while in school or at school-sponsored activities on or off school property. The guidelines should include procedures for requiring written authorization for one school year from the parent/guardian; ; evidence of the need to carry the auto-injectable epinephrine; and medical documentation of health care practitioner's prescription and a copy of an individualized health care plan. If a student does not carry the auto-injectable epinephrine on his person, then the parent or guardian shall provide the school with the appropriate medication in case of an emergency.The law further protects a school district and its employees from any liability for injury caused by a student's self-administration of medication.

Psychotropic Medication: No state policy.

Storage and Record-keeping: No state policy.

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Requirement to Provide Services: Code 6-18-1005 (2005) requires a student services program to include psychological services in the form of consultation and counseling to parents, students, and school personnel; social work services to assist in prevention and remediation of problems of attendance, behavior, adjustment, and learning; and mandates school counselors to spend 75% of their work time each week providing direct counseling related to students.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: Code 6-18-1005 requires schools to evaluate student learning and adjustment problems, implement a system for early identification of learning potential and factors which affect the child's educational performance, and include a system of liaison and referrals to appropriate community agencies outside of the school.

Substance Abuse: No state policy.

Suicide Prevention: Code 6-18-1005 requires a student services program to include a suicide prevention public awareness program developed by the Lieutenant Governor's Teenage Suicide Prevention Task Force as part of the  student services provision.

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: Arkansas does not require schools or districts to provide voluntary HIV, STD, or pregnancy testing to students.

Code 6-18-703 prohibits schools that offer sex education in school-based health clinics to utilize state funds for abortion referrals or to purchase or dispense contraceptives in public schools. State law also does not limit teachers or counselors from discussing any topics with students. 

Immunity of Liability: Code 6-17-107(b) (1991) protects teachers, school counselors, school health providers, and other school personnel in the state from any civil liability for providing counseling, referral, emergency medical care, or other assistance offered in good faith to suicidal students.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Detailed, current information about immunization requirements by state is maintained by the National Network for Immunization Information.  Select your state from the drop down box under Search for State Vaccine Requirements for School Entry."

Exemptions
: Code 6-18-702(d) allows exemption from immunization requirements under the following circumstances: (1) A licensed health officer provides a certificate stating that  the child has a physical disability which may contraindicate vaccination, or (2) The parents or legal guardian of the child object on the grounds that immunization conflicts with the religious tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination of which the parent or guardian is an adherent or member.  In both cases, the parents or legal guardian of the child must complete an annual application for exemption with the department of health.  The application includes a notarized statement requesting a medical, religious or philosophical exemption from the department of health by the parents or legal guardians of the child, completion of an educational component on the risks and benefits of vaccination, a signed statement of refusal to vaccinate from the parents or guardian, and a signed statement agreeing to removal of the child from the school environment in case of a disease outbreak.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006

No state policy.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006

No state policy.

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006

No state policy.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 12/27/2013

The Rules Governing Public School Student Services(2012), codified by code 6-18-1005, state that students with special health care needs, including the chronically ill, medically fragile, and technology-dependent, and students with other health impairments, need to have individualized health care plans.

Administrative Rule
6.08.8 (no date available) defines "other health impairments" under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act to include a child with a chronic or acute health problem that adversely affects educational performance such as asthma and requires the development of an Individualized Education Program to document the services required in Rule 6.09.2 (no date available).

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 3/22/2013

State-level: Code 6-7-117 (2003) creates a 15 member, three year term Child Health Advisory Committee representing various health organizations and state departments. The policy also requires local school districts to convene a school nutrition and physical activity advisory committee to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition and physical activity and assist in developing local policies adopted by state committees. Code 6-7-118 (2003) requires the Child Health Advisory Committee to meet at least once per month and provide recommendations to the State Board of Education and State Board of Health. The committee shall also develop nutrition and physical activity standards and policy recommendations. Details of the recommendations are found in the Code. School districts are then required to begin implementing the standards and incorporate nutrition and physical activity goals and objectives into the annual school planning and reporting process.

Code 6-7-119 (2003) requires the State Board of Education to provide appropriate rules and regulations that ensure the implementation of nutrition and physical activity standards. The State Board of Education's Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012) fulfill this requirement.

Local-level: Codes 6-7-119 and 20-7-135 (2003) instruct each school district to convene a school nutrition and physical activity advisory committee that includes school district governing board members, school administrators, food service personnel, teacher organizations, parents, students, and professional groups. The committee is to help raise awareness of the importance of nutrition and physical activity and assist in developing local policies. The State Board of Education's Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012) outline the specific responsibilities of the advisory committees.

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School Health Program Coordinators
     Last Updated: 8/18/2008

State-level: No state policy.

Local-level: No state policy.

Confidentiality
     Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Student Health-Related Records: While Arkansas does not have a policy that addresses confidentiality of school health records, Code 6-18-703 provides guidelines for school-based health clinics, and states all school-based clinics shall maintain accurate records of the distributing and prescribing of contraceptives and condoms. In addition, the clinics must report the number of pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among students in the schools with school-based clinics shall be transmitted annually to the school board of directors.

Student Health-Related Services
: The state does not have a policy that specifically ensures confidentiality of school counseling and mental health services. However, Code 6-18-1005(2)(F) does require psychological services to include written policies that assure ethical procedures in psychological activities.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 5/20/2009

Code 6-18-1303 (2003) prevents school districts from administering a questionnaire or survey that requests or requires a student to supply any personal identifying information unless prior written permission has been obtained from the student's parent or guardian. To obtain permission, the parent or guardian must be given the opportunity to review the questionnaire or survey and must be given written notice of how the questionnaire or survey will be administered, how the results will be utilized, and the persons or entities that will have access to the results. Code 6-15-1005(e)(1)(B) also states that students shall not be surveyed on values and beliefs.

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