Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Guidance and School Counseling

Guidance and counseling assists schools in providing comprehensive age-appropriate counseling services for all students in the areas of academic, career, and personal/social development. Collaboration with the Department of Career Education and the Department of Higher Education ensures that all students have the opportunities and skills necessary for college and career readiness.

Training and technical assistance is provided to school counselors and administrators for the implementation of state mandates and national and state counseling standards.  Additionally, state-wide professional development is provided each year as well as area workshops and state conferences.  Schools and districts are monitored annually for legislative compliance through the Student Services Reports.

Maintaining a safe school environment is part of a school’s overall mission. Subsequent to the passing of the Jason Flatt Act, school licensed personnel are required to obtain at least two hours of professional development every five years in the area of suicide awareness and prevention.  The Guidance and Counseling unit conducts annual two-day Gatekeeper Trainer of Trainers sessions and ArkansasIDEAS offers online courses to satisfy this requirement. 

In addition, the following links are offered to assist schools in suicide prevention/postvention:

  • "Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools" was funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help high schools, school districts, and their partners design and implement strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health among their students.
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), two of the nation’s leading suicide prevention organizations, have collaborated to produce After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools to assist schools in the aftermath of a suicide (or other death) in the school community. 
  • Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention


For more information, please contact:

Suzanne Knowles, Public School Program Coordinator
Arkansas Department of Education
Four Capitol Mall, 405-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-4354
Fax: 501-682-5010

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