Arkansas School of Innovation

The primary purpose of the Schools of Innovation plan is to give schools a new or creative alternative to the existing instructional and administrative practices that is intended to improve academic performance and learning for all students.

The eligible employees of each proposed school of innovation shall vote on whether the school shall be designated a school of innovation. A minimum of sixty percent (60%) of the eligible employees voting in support of the school’s designation as a school on innovation is required.

In developing the plan a school council of innovation must be in place consisting of individuals from a current or aspiring school of innovation composed of teachers, classified employees, the buildinglevel principal or his or her designee, parents, community members, a minimum of two (2) students form the school of innovation, and other interested parties selected by the council to participate.

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SOI Case Study

SOI Application Portal

Application Portal
Application Portal
Intent to Apply

Commissioner's Memo: Link
Informational Zoom meeting on October 13th, for new application schools: Link

The first step to becoming a School of Innovation is the submission of an Intent to Apply Form to the ADE Office of Educational Options. This generally occurs in October and is followed up with a required technical assistance meeting to review the application process and requirements in the law.

Technical assistance continues throughout the application process with on-site support and trainings by the Office of Innovation for Education. The final application is reviewed by a team of educators and submitted to the Commissioner of Education.

Important Dates
September 22-23, 2021 Innovation Rally.
October 13, 2021, SOI Application Informational Zoom Meeting from 10:00-11:30 a.m.
November 1, 2021
Personalized support by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Office of Innovation for Education (OIE) through regional meetings, Zoom, webinar opportunities, and school site visits.
  • Personalized support by DESE and OIE through regional meetings, Zoom webinar opportunities, and school site visits.
  • Using Data to Set Goals training (Section 6 & 7 of the SOI Application).
SOI Application Meeting for all schools to finalize their application. Legal services and other DESE staff will be available to discuss waivers, course approvals, CTE, and other information.
  • March 1, 2022, draft of SOI Application submitted online to DESE by 4:30 p.m.
  • Initial feedback from DESE and OIE is available in the SOI portal for schools
Feedback from DESE and OIE available in the SOI portal for schools to make appropriate revisions and edits to the application.
  • May 1, 2022 final SOI Application due to DESE by 4:30 p.m.
  • SOI committee reviews SOI Applications and makes recommendation to the Secretary of Education.
  • Secretary of Education review of SOI Applications for approval.
  • Secretary of Education notifies schools of his decision.

How Can OIE Help You?

Innovation Rally

Establish lasting relationships with innovative leaders in the state and nation.

Designing for Innovation Framework

Framework reflects the research and work of innovators across Arkansas, the nation, and globe committed to the success of all learners.

SOI Application Support

Technical assistance throughout the application process with on-site support and trainings by OIE.

School Visits

Innovation in action - Ask questions, share innovative ideas, gather resources, and learn from other educators

OIE's primary goal is to create an ecosystem where members can learn, teach and realize shared goals through innovative strategies and shared programs. Collaborative channels for communication and sharing of knowledge are vital for innovation to succeed, the first step in the process is to build relationships. We look forward to working collaboratively with you and becoming part of the innovation ecosystem.

Schools struggling with student achievement, student attendance, and graduating students who are college and career ready may seek innovation, rather than reform or incremental improvement, to engage in practices intended to improve academic performance and learning for all students. The process of going from a culture of improvement focused on addressing current problems, to a culture of innovation that devises and tests new solutions, is extremely challenging and requires different ways of thinking

-- Duty and Kern 2014