Outline of the state of Arkansas

Community Involvement in Local Governance

Community Involvement in Local Governance

State law requires community member representation on school governance councils or in school improvement planning efforts.

Arkansas Administrative Rules 005.19.007-Appendix A. The Standard for accreditation

Standard 3-B School-level Improvement Plans and Reporting

3-B.1 Each public school in Arkansas shall develop, with appropriate staff and community participation, a school-level improvement plan. School goals shall be compatible with district, state and national educational goals and shall address local needs in accordance with the laws of the State of Arkansas and the rules of the Department. The school-level improvement plans must be approved by the district and school board and posted to the district website under State - Required Information by August 1. (D/C) 3-B.2 By October 15, each public school district board of directors shall systematically and, at least annually, explain its policies, programs, and goals to the community in a public meeting that provides opportunities for parents and other members of the community to ask questions and make suggestions concerning the school program in accordance with the laws of the State of Arkansas and the rules of the Department. The report shall detail the progress of the district and schools toward accomplishing program goals, accreditation Standard, and proposals to correct deficiencies. The report shall be made available to the public and the public shall be notified of the meeting. (D/C) 3-B.2.1 The annual report to the public shall be posted on the district website under State - Required Information no later than 10 days after the public meeting is held. (D/C)

Policy Type

Arkansas Code 6-13-1305. School district policy — Contents.

The policy adopted by the local school district board of directors to implement site-based decision making shall also address the following: (1) Parent, citizen, and community participation, including the relationship of the school council with other groups; (2) Cooperation and collaboration within the school district, with other school districts, and with other public and private agencies; (3) Professional development plans developed pursuant to the state accreditation Standard; (4) School-level improvement plans, including the form and function of strategic planning and its relationship to school district planning; (5) School budget and administration, including:

  • (A) Discretionary funds;
  • (B) Activity and other school funds;
  • (C) Funds for maintenance, supplies, and equipment; and
  • (D) Accounting and auditing; (6) Assessment of individual student progress, including testing and reporting of student progress to students, parents, the school district, the community, and the state; (7) Requirements for waiver of school district policies; (8) Requirements for record keeping by the school council; (9) A process for appealing a decision made by a school council; and (10) Teacher evaluations, professional growth plans, and teacher support under the Teacher Excellence and Support System, § 6-17-2801 et seq.
Policy Type

Arkansas Code 6-15-1603. Establishment of local task forces on closing the achievement gap.


  • (1) The State Board of Education shall adopt a policy for local school districts to establish local task forces on closing the achievement gap.
  • (2) The purpose of each task force is to advise and work with its local board of directors and administration on closing the gap in academic achievement and on developing a collaborative plan for achieving that goal. (b) The policy shall include the following:
  • (1) Each task force shall report to its local board of directors;
  • (2) Each task force shall include key stakeholders in the community who are committed to improving the education of all children, especially those who are underachieving, and who agree to attend task force meetings on a regular basis, take an active role in discussions and activities, listen to the ideas, suggestions, and comments of other task force members as well as community members, inform other members of the school and community of the work of the task force, participate in any training for the task force members such as consensus building, problem-solving, and group dynamics, and seek actively data-driven solutions to improving the achievement of all students; and
  • (3) Task force members shall be representative of community demographics, race, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic diversity. It is strongly recommended that they include:
    • (A)
      • (i) Three (3) parents, as selected by the local school district's parent organization.
      • (ii) One (1) parent who has a child at an elementary school, one (1) who has a child at a junior high or middle school, and one (1) who has a child at a high school;
    • (B) School administrators, teachers, instructional support personnel, exceptional children personnel, and second language specialists, each of whom shall be selected by the superintendent;
    • (C) One (1) member of the local board of education, as selected by that board;
    • (D) One (1) representative of the local department of social services;
    • (E) At least one (1) juvenile court counselor;
    • (F) At least one (1) representative of local law enforcement;
    • (G) One (1) representative of the local Communities in Schools Program, if present in the local school district, as selected by the executive director of that program;
    • (H) At least one (1) representative of local businesses, as selected by the local chamber of commerce;
    • (I) Representatives from community-based organizations, as selected by the superintendent upon recommendation from those organizations;
    • (J) At least one (1) representative of a university school of education, if there is one in the area, as selected by the chair of the local board of education;
    • (K) Two (2) high school students, as recommended by their student councils and elected by the chair of the local board of education; and
    • (L) Any other community representatives, as selected by the superintendent. (c) The superintendent shall name the chair of the task force, who shall call the first meeting of the task force. (d) Each task force shall:
  • (1) Decide on training that it may need;
  • (2)
    • (A) Determine what information and data the task force will need, plan and schedule presentations on the information and data which shall be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status.
    • (B) Examples may include state test data, discipline statistics, teacher-student ratio, student and teacher attendance data, faculty composition by race, gender, ethnicity, and professional preparation of educators;
  • (3)
    • (A) Define the communication process and person responsible for disseminating information to the public.
    • (B) Communication shall include the posting of information on a website and shall provide appropriate translations, as needed;
  • (4)
    • (A) Establish a policy statement on closing the achievement gap for the local school administrative unit.
    • (B) This statement shall address why closing the achievement gap is important to the entire community;
  • (5)
    • (A) Set aside specific meetings to analyze and synthesize data and information.
    • (B) The task force shall use the data to identify and prioritize the problems with student achievement;
  • (6) Identify and review current effective programs and instructional strategies that address student achievement needs, identify criteria used to determine their effectiveness, determine changes to improve the effectiveness, identify gaps in services, and identify needed information to determine research-based programs and strategies that are effective in addressing the gaps; and
  • (7) Develop a report to the school and community that includes an implementation plan, benchmarks, and the monitoring process. (e)
  • (1) Each task force may establish subcommittees to research answers to the critical questions.
  • (2) If subcommittees are established, they shall present their findings to the full task force.
Policy Type

Wellness Committee Responsibilities

This memo lists the required members for the local wellness committee which includes community members.

Policy Type