Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Literacy News

New Prescribed Pathway Credentials

The Arkansas Department of Education has established the pathways for teachers who must demonstrate Proficiency or Awareness in scientific reading instruction. All teachers employed in a teaching position that requires an elementary education (K-6) license or special education (K-12) license shall demonstrate proficiency in knowledge and practices of scientific reading instruction by completing both phases of a prescribed pathway. This includes any teacher employed in grades K-6 teaching English Language Arts, Math, Science or Social Studies. Other non-core academic areas in K-6 must show awareness in the Science of Reading (e.g., Art, Music, PE, Library Media, Counselor, Administrators). For more information, visit the Prescribed Pathway Credentials page.

2018 Grades 3-6 R.I.S.E. Academy Training

R.I.S.E. Academy for grades 3-6 is coming to an education cooperative or school district near you in summer 2018!

The two-day academy is designed for educators of grades 3-6 and offers the opportunity to explore the science of reading. Come learn how to provide effective core instruction as well as support for struggling readers through explicit and systematic instruction for word recognition, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Each participant will need to bring a composition notebook that, by the end, will be filled with examples and hands-on activities ready to implement in their classroom. 

Participants will receive a copy of Words: Integrated Decoding and Spelling Instruction Based on Word Origin and Word Structure by Marcia K. Henry, Ph.D.

The text, Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction and Assessment: Pre-K–6 by Martha C. Hougen, Ph.D. and Susan M. Smartt, Ph.D. is a valuable resource to assist teachers.  It is recommended that education co-ops or school districts purchase this book to support their participants.

Teachers interested in signing up for R.I.S.E. Academy Training for grades 3-6 should search their local education cooperative’s summer offerings. If the training does not appear on Shoebox, contact your local education cooperative for more information. We look forward to learning with you this summer!

Numerous Outstanding R.I.S.E. School Awards lined up on a table

2018 Outstanding R.I.S.E. Arkansas School Award Recipients

R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) Arkansas encourages a culture of reading by coordinating a statewide reading campaign with community partners, parents, and teachers to establish the importance of reading in homes, schools, and communities. 

In 2017, the first R.I.S.E. Academy was held for K- 2nd grade teachers. This comprehensive reading program incorporated five essential components: phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and, comprehension.To promote the continued growth of the R.I.S.E Arkansas initiative, the Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to recognize the top schools that have successfully implemented these strategies for students. (View images of the award recipients).  

The ten schools selected to receive the 2018 Outstanding R.I.S.E. Arkansas School Award are: Anne Watson Elementary, Asbell Elementary, Edgewood Elementary, Drew Central Elementary, Flippin Elementary, Midland Elementary, Paris Elementary, Poyen Elementary, SC Tucker Elementary and Scranton Elementary. Learn how these schools are promoting a culture of reading and strengthening reading instruction at 2018 Outstanding R.I.S.E. Arkansas School Award Recipients.

New Courses Approved for English Language Arts

The State Board of Education unanimously approved new elective courses for English language arts December 8, 2016. The English language arts courses will be implemented in the 2017-2018 academic year. All English language arts grades 9-12 courses not on the Arkansas Department of Education website must be aligned to the new Arkansas English Language Arts Standards and submitted for course approval by May 1, 2017. Additionally, any high school courses offered for credit at grades 5-8 must also be submitted for course approval by May 1, 2017. English language arts courses previously submitted for approval will expire June 30, 2017.

All course approval requests will be submitted through the Online Course Approval System. Information about the course approval process may be accessed on the Course Approvals page of the Arkansas Department of Education Website. 

A committee of Arkansas English language arts educators revised the existing English language arts courses and developed four new offerings. The additional courses include Creative Writing (2 semesters), Critical Reading II, Debate IV, and Forensics IV. 

Districts will develop their own courses for English 9, 10, 11, and 12 based on the new Arkansas English Language Arts Standards that will be fully implemented in 2017-2018.

Questions regarding English language arts courses may be directed to or 501-683-6285.

To access the new courses, go to the English Language Arts page. To access the newsletter that strives to promote a culture of reading, go to ADE Reader.


For more information, please contact:

Kathy Mascuilli, Literacy Program Manager
Arkansas Department of Education
Four Capitol Mall, Room 204-B
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Phone: 501-683-2922

State Standards

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Licensure & Certification

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