Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum Legislation

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Learning Services
Regulatory Authority
Acts 245, 632, 641, 466, 852, 841, and 1016 of 2019
Response Required
Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Teachers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; School Counselors; Child Nutrition Directors/Managers; Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND); Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators

Primary Contact Information

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Memo Text

Curriculum Legislation and Updates

Act 245 - Bleeding Control Training

Act 245 provides for bleeding control training as a component of a health course for high school students, beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

Bleeding control is included in the new academic health standards. The standard’s document may be found at

ADE is working with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) to develop bleeding control training. All Community Health Nurses (CHNs), located in Education Service Cooperatives, have been trained on bleeding control and may act as a resource to school personnel for this purpose.

ACT 632 – Advanced Placement (AP) and Weighted Credit

ACT 632 amends provisions concerning weighted credit and advanced placement. It allows for career and technical courses that lead to an industry-recognized credential to be considered for weighted credit upon ADE approval.

ADE will update rules to reflect the changes for AP and weighted credit.

Act 641 – Recess

Act 641 increases the required minutes for recess/unstructured play to 40 minutes per day for elementary students and defines recess as part of the instructional day. Supervision of recess is no longer considered a non-instructional duty and does not count towards the maximum of 60 minutes per week for classroom teachers for non-instructional duties. The appropriate student ratio for the supervision of recess is up to the local school district. School districts may use course code 999020 to indicate recess as part of the instructional day.

Elementary schools that include 5th and 6th grade fall under Act 641 as long as they are utilizing the elementary model as defined in the Class Size and Teaching Load Rules: “the educational model consistent with instructional grouping and scheduling used in grades kindergarten through four, but may include grades five through six”. If the school is functioning as a middle school, the 40 minutes per day for recess is not required. However, all policies for middle school apply to those grades including total teaching load. 


The new recess requirements are in addition to the physical education requirements of Ark. Code Ann. 6-16-132 and all grades have to meet these requirements.

ADE will revise existing Nutrition and Physical Activity Rules to reflect this legislation.

Act 466 – Personal Finance Standards

Act 466 of 2019 amended the grade level restriction of the personal-finance requirement of Act 480 of 2017. “Beginning with the entering ninth grade class of the 2017-18 school year, each public high school student shall be required before graduation to earn a credit in a course taken in grade nine (9), ten (10), eleven (11), or grade twelve (12) that includes the personal and family finance standards.”

Approved Courses

Course Name and Code

Course Credit

Financial Literacy (491990)

.5 career focus credit

Quantitative Literacy (493120)

1 full math credit

ADE-approved AP Macro Economics and Personal Finance (579130)

.5 economics credit

ADE-approved AP Micro Economics and Personal Finance (579140)

.5 economics credit

NEW Course: Financial Planning and Wealth Management (492290)

1.5 credits (1 career focus and .5 economics)

Economics (474300)

.5 social studies or career focus credit

The revised standards and applicable courses can be found at

Professional Development Opportunities

The following professional development courses are available via ArkansasIDEAS. For assistance with an ArkansasIDEAS account, please visit or contact the ArkansasIDEAS Help Desk at 1-800-488-6689.

Course ID

Course Title



Financial Literacy Unit One: Money, Budgeting, and Banking



Financial Literacy Unit Two: Credit



Financial Literacy Unit Three: Insurance



Financial Literacy Unit Four: Investing



Financial Literacy Unit Five: Money Management and Financial Planning


Act 852 - Historical Documents

Act 852 expands the list of historical documents that are encouraged to be used in history courses or displayed at the school. The act also requires that a public high school teach students about the nation's founding and documents relevant to the nation's founding, including without limitation: The Declaration of Independence; The United States Constitution and its amendments; and representative readings from the Federalist Papers.

Act 1016 – Academic Bible Course

Act 1016 allows for the offering of an academic study of the bible course.

ADE has created a course for the academic study of the bible that schools may choose to use. The Academic Bible course may be offered as an English Language Arts elective (career focus only). The course code is 479050 and may be taught by a secondary certified English Language Arts teacher. School districts may submit other courses for consideration through the course approval process. The ADE course framework may be found at

Act 841 – Primary Prevention for Health Education

Act 841 requires education programs that address risk behaviors (smoking, alcohol, drugs, early initiation of sexual activity, dating violence, misusing technology, etc.) to utilize a primary prevention and risk avoidance program first. Secondary prevention strategies that focus on risk reduction rather than avoidance may be used only after a primary prevention and risk avoidance strategy.

Act 1018 -Civil Rights Leaders


 Act 1018 requires an emphasis placed on historic work of American and Arkansas civil rights leaders and events during the civil rights era. The department will collaboratively work with community members and the MLK Commission to identify and update resources to support course standards. 





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