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.
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.
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