2017 Arkansas Code
Title 6 - Education
Subtitle 2 - Elementary and Secondary Education Generally
Chapter 16 - Curriculum
Subchapter 1 - General Provisions
§ 6-16-144. Arts-Enriched Curriculum Program

Universal Citation: AR Code § 6-16-144 (2017)
  • (a) The General Assembly finds that:
    • (1) Integration of the arts is an effective tool to reinforce the rigor and relevance specific to the newly adopted Common Core State Standards;
    • (2) Research indicates that:
      • (A) An arts-infused curriculum offers a powerful tool to promote student academic achievement and personal growth by motivating students who may be disaffected from the learning process; and
      • (B) Academic disciplines such as reading, writing, languages, social studies, science, and math are reinforced through an arts-infused curriculum;
    • (3) The value of infusing the arts into the core curriculum of the public schools has been supported and advanced in some Arkansas schools and in several other states; and
    • (4) A program that provides for the development of arts-infused pilot schools can serve an important public policy function by determining if the strategies used by the pilot schools are effective and can be successfully replicated in public schools throughout the state to enhance overall student performance.
  • (b) There is established the Arts-Enriched Curriculum Program, a five-year pilot program funded through grants administered by the Department of Education to implement an arts-enriched curriculum, training, and research at fifteen (15) schools over the five-year period.
  • (c) The goals of the pilot program are, without limitation, to:
    • (1) Prepare students for educational achievement by developing imagination, reasoning, judgment, and the critical thinking skills necessary for problem-solving and decision-making through:
      • (A) An arts-enriched curriculum based on Common Core State Standards that is infused daily with drama, dance, visual art, and writing;
      • (B) Interdisciplinary thematic units and cross-curricular integration;
      • (C) Experiential learning;
      • (D) Teaching methods that incorporate multiple learning pathways; and
      • (E) Ongoing enriched assessments that include learning, reflection, and self-assessment; and
    • (2) Improve the climate and infrastructure of the school through:
      • (A) Professional development training;
      • (B) Collaboration among leaders and teachers in the school; and
      • (C) Research and evaluation of the implementation of the program in the school.
  • (d) (1) A school may apply to participate in the pilot program if:
    • (A) The school is a public elementary or secondary school; and
    • (B) The principal and at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the teachers agree to participate.
      • (2) A school shall be selected for the program based on:
        • (A) Need and commitment of a school's faculty and staff;
        • (B) The size of the student body and its demographic and geographic diversity; and
        • (C) Available funding.
  • (e) (1) Pilot schools shall participate on the following schedule of professional development training:
    • (A) Five (5) schools shall begin three (3) years of training in the 2014-2015 school year;
    • (B) An additional five (5) schools shall begin three (3) years of training in the 2015-2016 school year; and
    • (C) An additional five (5) schools shall begin three (3) years of training in the 2016-2017 school year.
      • (2) For the three (3) years that a school participates, the principal and faculty at the school shall receive professional development training for integrating the arts as a medium to teach the concepts under the Common Core State Standards as follows:
        • (A) In the first year of participation, training shall be provided for seven (7) days, with monthly follow-up;
        • (B) In the second year of participation, training shall be provided for five (5) days, with monthly follow-up; and
        • (C) In the third year of participation, training shall be provided for four (4) days, with monthly follow-up.
  • (f) (1) The grant recipient shall evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program in each participating school by measuring:
    • (A) Student academic achievement;
    • (B) Increased student engagement;
    • (C) Disciplinary referral trends; and
    • (D) Increased student interest in school and attendance trends.
      • (2) The grant recipient shall provide access to the research and data to the:
        • (A) House Committee on Education and Senate Committee on Education through the Bureau of Legislative Research; and
        • (B) Department of Education.
      • (3)
        • (A) By September 1, 2020, the grant recipient shall prepare and provide a written report on the research from the pilot program to the House Committee on Education and Senate Committee on Education.
        • (B) The House Committee on Education or the Senate Committee on Education may request one (1) or more interim reports on the progress of the pilot program.
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