2010 Arkansas Code
Title 6 - Education
Subtitle 2 - Elementary And Secondary Education Generally
Chapter 10 - General Provisions
§ 6-10-106 - Uniform dates for beginning and end of school year.

6-10-106. Uniform dates for beginning and end of school year.

(a) (1) In each school year, the first day of the school year for student attendance in the public elementary and secondary schools of the State of Arkansas shall begin no earlier than August 19 and no later than August 26. If, however, August 18 falls on a Monday, school may begin on that date. The date for beginning the school year shall be determined by the board of directors of the school district. Labor Day shall be celebrated as a school holiday in all the school districts of the state, and school shall not be held on that date.

(2) The Department of Education may grant a school district a waiver to begin school on an earlier or later date if the department determines that there exists a material and substantial reason for the school district to begin on an earlier or later date due to very exceptional or emergency circumstances such as a contagious disease outbreak, inclement weather, or other acts of God.

(b) Contracts of employment for certified and noncertified employees of school districts may require school district employees to begin performance under their contract of employment prior to the first day of student attendance.

(c) If the school year in any school district extends beyond the date observed as Memorial Day, such date shall be a holiday in the school district. Provided, upon approval of the department, this date may be used as a make-up day in any school district which has unavoidably lost more than five (5) scheduled days of student attendance during the course of the school year due to contagious disease outbreaks, inclement weather, or other acts of God.

(d) (1) For school years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, each public school district that provides a week-long holiday for spring break shall schedule the spring break holiday for five (5) consecutive school days beginning on the Monday of the thirty-eighth week of the school year.

(2) The thirty-eighth week of the school year shall be calculated by counting as week one the first week in July that begins on a Sunday.

(3) Nothing in this subsection (d) shall prevent a public school district from providing fewer than five (5) consecutive school days for the spring break holiday to comply with the department's requirement for a minimum number of days for student attendance under the Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts.

(4) (A) There is created an advisory committee to review the impact of this subsection (d) during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years on the coordination of academic, extracurricular, and athletic school activities, and on state tourism.

(B) The advisory committee shall be composed of eight (8) members, as follows:

(i) The Commissioner of Education or his or her designee;

(ii) The Director of the Department of Higher Education or his or her designee;

(iii) The Director of the Department of Parks and Tourism or his or her designee;

(iv) The Executive Director of the Arkansas Hospitality Association or his or her designee;

(v) The Executive Director of the Arkansas Activities Association or his or her designee;

(vi) The Executive Director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators or his or her designee;

(vii) The Executive Director of the Arkansas Education Association or his or her designee; and

(viii) The Executive Director of the Arkansas School Boards Association or his or her designee.

(C) The commissioner or his or her designee shall serve as chair of the advisory committee.

(D) The advisory committee shall meet upon the call of the chair but at least annually at a location designated by the chair.

(E) By August 1, 2010, and by August 1, 2011, the advisory committee shall report to the Senate Committee on Education and the House Committee on Education any findings and recommendations of the advisory committee for the impact of this section on the coordination of academic, extracurricular, and athletic school activities, and on state tourism.

(F) The advisory committee's work shall end upon the filing of the August 1, 2011, report unless the Senate Committee on Education or the House Committee on Education requests further study by the advisory committee.

(e) The department shall not grant a waiver from the requirements of this section unless this section specifically authorizes the waiver.

(f) A school district shall adopt an academic calendar that includes five (5) make-up days, in addition to the number of student-teacher interaction days required by the Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts established by the State Board of Education, for days unavoidably lost due to exceptional or emergency circumstances resulting from a contagious disease outbreak, inclement weather, or other acts of God.

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