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 al 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

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
  • October 23, 2020 2020-2021 SOI New Application Informational Zoom Meeting Register here: zoom link
  • November 6, 2020 Intent to apply for SOI Application due.
  • November 2020 - March 2021 Personalized support will be provided as needed by Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Office of Innovation for Education (OIE) through regional meetings, Zoom and Webinar opportunities, site visits, and study tours.
  • February 18, 2021 Required meeting for SOI Application Schools to support application process. Legal services and other DESE staff will be available to discuss waivers, course approvals, CTE, and other information.
  • March 1, 2020 Draft SOI Application Due to DESE by 4:30pm.
  • March 1, 2021 - April 30, 2021 Feedback on SOI Draft Application
  • May 1, 2020 Final SOI Application due to DESE by 4:30p.m. for SOI Committee review
  • May 2, 2021 - May 31, 2021 Secretary of Education review of SOI Applications for approval to enter Designation phase

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