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Education notebook

by Cynthia Howell | January 24, 2021 at 10:09 a.m.

Resources portal created by state

The Arkansas Department of Education has created the Statewide Community Resources Portal, a website to connect schools and communities with information about available support or "wrap-around" services.

State Education Secretary Johnny Key announced the establishment of the resources portal during Gov. Asa Hutchinson's most recent weekly news conference on the covid-19 pandemic in the state.

Wrap-around services can include financial, health care and housing assistance, as well as abuse services, day care options and transportation assistance.

While many organizations provide such services around the state, a comprehensive repository of information did not exist.

The new website, which is updated regularly with new resources, currently contains more than 50 categories of services and can be accessed at https://adedata.arkansas.gov/scr.

The need for the website became evident after Education Department and partner organizations began the Engage Arkansas initiative to locate and assist students who have become disengaged or are at risk of becoming disengaged with school. A quick reference list of services for families did not exist. The Education Department and its Educational Renewal Zones worked with the Arkansas Department of Human Services to develop the portal.

"We are excited to make this website available to everyone around the state," Key said. "While the site will assist schools with providing much-needed services to students, the potential for this website extends beyond schools to Department of Human Services and Workforce Services offices, as well as others, around the state who also provide wrap-around services to their clients."

Community partners who are interested in adding their contact information to the site may complete the form provided at the "Statewide Supplemental Community Resources" link at the top of the website.

Charter academy gets new-site nod

The Arkansas Charter Authorizing Panel this week gave tentative approval for a new location for the River Valley Virtual Academy operated by the Van Buren School District to the district's Professional Development Center.

Van Buren Superintendent Harold Jeffcoat told the panel that the virtual academy that has an enrollment cap of 1,000 in kindergarten through 12th grades and a current enrollment of 430 needs the new space to help accommodate those times when virtual students need to be on a campus for purposes such as standardized testing.

The school is headquartered at 821 Pointer Trail. The Professional Development and site for the virtual academy is adjacent to Northridge Middle School.

2 online sessions of Schoology set

The Little Rock School District is hosting two online Schoology town halls Tuesday.

Schoology is the online platform that is used by the district for teaching and learning.

The first session will be at 5:30 p.m., and the second will be at 6:30 p.m. on LRSDTV.org, Comcast Channel 4 and U-verse Channel 99.

A tutorial will be provided, and questions will be answered in real time.

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