Arkansas School Safety Standards


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Arkansas LEARNS Act

On March 8, 2023, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed Act 237, known as the Arkansas LEARNS Act, into law. Intended to bring sweeping changes to Arkansas’ education system, the law covers a broad range of topics, including everything from school vouchers, to increased pay for teachers and higher literacy standards for elementary students, to safety training and resources. The law’s six key areas include:


  • ‘The state will improve access to quality pre-K and make reading coaches available for at-risk children.’


  • Empower parents with more choices, so no child is ever trapped in a failing school and lifetime in poverty, and curriculum transparency through innovation and online resources.’ 


  • Reward good teachers with smart incentives, like higher pay.’ 
  • Create a strong pipeline by allowing soon-to-be teachers to spend their entire last year in the classroom, offer alternative certification improvements, and better leadership trainings.’



  • ‘Create flexibility for students to pursue internships and apprenticeships while in school and align career and technical programs with jobs that are in high demand.’
  • ‘Establish a workforce cabinet to execute a clear vision with better coordination.’
  • ‘Launch a statewide campaign to support the work of technical and trade schools and opportunities that exist for the future workforce.’


  • ‘Expand high-speed internet to make educational and career opportunities accessible.’

School Safety

  • ‘Prioritize school safety by focusing on physical security, additional resource officers, mental health, and training to implement best practices.’

    School Safety Commitments

    The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) will accomplish their school safety goals through the following commitments:

    • Distribute funds for improvements in safety measures: Continue to oversee the implementation of the $50 million of grant funding to provide resources for districts as they implement ADE’s safety priorities.
    • Expand new Safe Schools Unit to support districts: Expand the new Safe Schools Unit to provide direct support to districts as they put into place new procedures. This unit will be instrumental in providing direct support, professional learning, monitoring, and direction regarding school safety.
    • Develop best-practice crisis response plans: Develop a statewide crisis response plan that identifies the roles and responsibilities of each actor (state and local partners) in time of a crisis and support districts to create a local crisis response plans.

    Arkansas Center for School Safety

    The Arkansas Center for School Safety (ACSS) provides education, resources, training, and more to educators and law enforcement professionals in Arkansas to help them in providing our students with a safe, supportive learning environment to reach academic success.

    Safe Schools Intiative Act (Ark. Code § 6-15-1303)

    The Safe Schools Initiative Act (Ark. Code § 6-15-1303) details the responsibilities of Arkansas school districts regarding school safety and emergency response plans. There are several key areas of responsibilities.

    ACSS Catalog

    The Criminal Justice Institute and the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) have partnered to create a robust catalog of basic and specialty school safety training courses, available to law enforcement and school personnel such as administrators, teachers, staff, counselors, and school security officers.

    The Arkansas Center for School Safety uses practical, hands-on application and classroom-based instruction together in a myriad of topics that increase knowledge and skills pertaining to school safety issues.

    Some of the topics covered include professional development for school resource officers, safety and crisis planning, active shooter response, drugs on campus, gang awareness and intervention, and bullying awareness and prevention.

    Learn more here.

    Key Responsibilities

    School Safety Assessments: Each school district in Arkansas must conduct a comprehensive school safety assessment every three years. It should include an assessment of the following:

    • Safety and security of the site and exterior of buildings
    • Access control
    • Safety and security of the interior of buildings
    • Monitoring and surveillance, including without limitation type and extent
    • Communication and information security
    • Review of emergency operation plans
    • School climate and culture

    School Safety Plans: Each school district in Arkansas must develop and maintain a comprehensive school safety plan. This plan must address various aspects of school safety, including but not limited to emergency response procedures, crisis management, prevention and mitigation strategies, and communication protocols.

    Collaboration and Input: The law emphasizes the importance of collaboration and involvement from various stakeholders in developing the school safety plan. This includes input from school administrators, teachers, parents, law enforcement agencies, and other relevant community organizations.

    Annual Review and Updates: School districts are required to review and update their school safety plans at least once a year. This ensures that the plans remain current and effective in addressing evolving safety concerns.

    Training and Drills: The law mandates that school personnel, including teachers and staff, receive appropriate training on emergency response procedures and crisis management. It also requires schools to conduct regular safety drills, such as fire drills, tornado drills, and lockdown drills, to familiarize students and staff with the appropriate actions to take during emergencies.

    Reporting Incidents: School districts must establish a system for reporting incidents that pose a threat to the safety and security of students and staff. This may include procedures for reporting bullying, harassment, violence, or other concerning behaviors.

    Coordination with Law Enforcement: The law encourages school districts to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies to enhance school safety efforts. This may involve establishing partnerships, sharing information, and coordinating response plans.

    Grants for Arkansas School Safety Solutions

    Stronger Connections Grant

    In late 2022, the U.S. Department of Education announced nearly $1 billion in awards through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). In Arkansas, the Stronger Connections grants aim to provide students with safe and supportive learning opportunities and environments critical for academic success.

    Through the BSCA, Congress awarded $1 billion in funding to state educational agencies (SEAs) to develop state grant programs to give students safer and healthier learning environments. The BSCA specifies that SEAs must award these funds competitively to high-need LEAs, as determined by the state.

    This grant focuses on helping schools foster sustained learning, engagement, and attachment for students in Arkansas schools. The Stronger Connections Grant Program mandates that schools should accomplish this by becoming more resilient, supporting mental health, and improving school climate.

    According to the Department of Education, schools should spend Stronger Connections Grant Program funds to: 

    • Implement evidence-based strategies that meet students’ social, emotional, and mental well-being needs. 
    • Create positive, inclusive, and supportive school environments.
    • Increase access to place-based interventions and services.
    • Engage students, families, educators, staff, and community organizations in selecting and implementing strategies to create safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environments. 
    • Design and implement policies and practices responsive to underserved students, protecting student rights, and demonstrating respect for student dignity and potential. 

    Examples of spending that qualifies for funding include hiring counselors and nurses, expanding mental and behavioral health services, providing teacher training on inclusion and behavioral interventions, and other related efforts to create a positive and supportive climate in Arkansas schools.

    ESSER Funds

    As part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds were made available to address the pandemic’s impact on student safety and mental well-being. As of June 30, 2022, Arkansas has spent 43% of the total awarded funds.

    For the first round of ESSER grants, the state was allocated $128,758,638. The deadline to obligate those funds was Sept. 30, 2022. 

    The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act was passed in 2020. As part of the act, Arkansas’ ESSER II allocation was $558,017,409, and it must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2023.

    Another round of funding was made available as part of the American Rescue Plan. Arkansas’ portion of those ESSER funds is $1,254,119,960, and the obligation deadline is Sept. 30, 2024.

    COPS School Violence Prevention Program

    The U.S. Department of Justice oversees the COPS School Violence Prevention Program. The money is earmarked for evidence-based school safety programs and technology.

    Schools can use those funds to purchase school safety technology that helps identify potential dangers. The money can also be used to improve emergency notification and response systems. To learn more, visit the COPS website.

    BJA’s STOP School Violence Program

    The U.S. Department of Justice also has funds available through the Bureau of Justice Assistance. BJA’s STOP School Violence Program funds software that helps K-12 schools maintain a safe environment. It’s geared toward recognizing, responding to, and preventing violence on campus. Learn more here.

    Federal Grants

    The list of federal grants awarded to Arkansas for the 2022-23 school year includes:

    • IDEA ARP: $24,474,391 
    • IDEA: $157,959,371 
    • Title I: $354,297,729 
    • Title IV-A: $11,752,441


    CENTEGIX protects over 4,000 schools across the country.

    We can protect your school, too. CENTEGIX’s CrisisAlert™ platform is an incident response solution that protects students and staff members by empowering teachers and staff to call for help with a simple push of a button. The solution provides first responders with the most accurate location information, enabling them to respond faster in any situation.

    Discover additional resources to fund new safety and security initiatives in your district with our funding guide.

    CENTEGIX Funding Guide Thumbnail


    Little Rock Public Schools

    Little Rock, AR

    Learn about why Little Rock Public Schools chose CENTEGIX’s CrisisAlert solution as part of their new efforts to increase school security to help keep their staff and students safe.

    Central Arkansas Library System

    Central Arkansas

    The Central Arkansas Library System has chosen CENTEGIX’s CrisisAlert solution to protect the staff and patrons across all 14 branches throughout central Arkansas.

    The Main Library of the Central Arkansas Library System in Little Rock, AR, with the CALS logo in the upper lefthand corner.


    "I witnessed a custodian slipping and falling in the front lobby, and she was needing immediate help to stop bleeding. I was able to hit the button and get the nurse's attention immediately. We did not have to use the ambulance because of the quick response. Your system is perfect for schools! Thanks!"

    Private school teacher, Sarasota County, FL

    "A student was having trouble breathing and her vision was beginning to black out. We don't have service in our building and it can be difficult to get ahold of the office staff, so having something to immediately alert them of emergency was incredibly helpful in a very scary situation."

    Elementary school teacher, Clayton County Schools

    "A child with special was writhing and screaming on the floor of the lunch room. I pushed the button and immediately the team was coming in the door. 10/10 would recommend because CrisisAlert worked for me in that crisis situation."

    Elementary school teacher, Jay School Corp.

    "A student was bothering another student and would not stop after several verbal warnings and attempt to separate the student from his target, and without any luck I triggered the alarm to come assist me with the situation. It has been very comforting to just push a button and help is on the way."

    Middle school teacher, Coweta County Schools

    "I had a student who was refusing to follow directions and became very defiant. This student was beginning to get aggressive. I used my badge to alert our campus security monitor to remove the student from the situation.It is a very useful tool when the response was as immediate as it was and the resolution was satisfactory. Students understood the urgency in the situation."

    High school teacher, Clark County School District

    "I was outside with my physical education class and I had a student become upset at another student in their group. They made a poor choice and then feared that they would get in trouble for that choice....when I could not get this student to [re]enter the building, I knew I needed to push my badge so administrators could find us and help me get him calm and into the building. It was great to know that the administrators would know I needed help and would be able to see our location since it was outside of the building in a random spot. As a PE teacher the badge gives me a sense of security that I can receive help with altercations or injuries quickly. In the past you had to send students running for help...this is a much better system!"

    PE teacher, South Adams Schools

    "A student was having a meltdown and jeopardizing the safety of himself and others. Instead of having to go to the wall phone and dial a number or call from my personal phone, the office was quickly alerted and called ME to find out what type of assistance I needed. I've only used it once, but I'm secure in the fact that it works so fast and response time in shortened."

    Elementary school teacher, Cobb County Schools

    "I had a student have a seizure in my classroom. I have used this several times, and the admins come check on me promptly."

    High school teacher, Jay School Corp.

    "I had a student who was inconsolable and crying very, very loudly. She was unable to regain composure and was disrupting the class and the classrooms around us. I believe that every teacher in every classroom should have access to this tool. It is a gamechanger for teachers."

    Elementary school teacher, Olathe Public Schools

    "2 students came into my classroom, ready to fight each other and without the centigix badge things would have escalated. It was quick and easy to use to resolve the conflict."

    Middle school teacher, Douglas County Schools

    CrisisAlert™ Provides Grant-Funded Safety Measures

    CENTEGIX CrisisAlert is an emergency incident response system that features wearable panic buttons which generate accurate, usable data. The CrisisAlert school safety solution uses visual strobes, digital messages, and automated intercom announcements to inform everyone of a campus-wide incident and to instruct them on actions they should take. CrisisAlert meets the security infrastructure needs the Arkansas school safety grants aim to address.

    CrisisAlert features an analytics dashboard that assists administrators as they make safety and security decisions. A data set is generated when a staff member uses their wearable badge to call for assistance. Administrators can better understand where and why, and under what conditions. These administrative decisions, enabled by CrisisAlert data, contribute to the “positive and safe climate” that the safety grants aim to foster. 

    The CrisisAlert school safety solution provides robust and uninterrupted communication between staff members, administrators, first responders, and students. Unlike other emergency incident response systems, CrisisAlert’s technology precludes adoption and connectivity challenges. CrisisAlert runs on a dedicated IoT network; it’s not susceptible to wi-fi or cellular connectivity interruptions. And because the CrisisAlert mobile panic button is worn along with an ID badge, 100% of staff members use it. This high adoption rate means that every staff member at every location on campus can call for help when they need it. CrisisAlert generates accurate location data for every alert, no matter where on campus. Therefore first responders know exactly where to go during an emergency. In many instances, this kind of rapid response can prevent tragedy. 

    These critical features of the CrisisAlert badge from CENTEGIX ensure an immediate response: 

      • Desktop takeover notifications for staff mean campus-wide alerts are never missed.
      • Location accuracy enables rapid response.
      • The system immediately connects the parties best prepared to handle the situation.
      • Wifi and phone outages have no effect on the system.
      • Wearable security badges are easily accessible, lightweight, and wearable. 

    CENTEGIX CrisisAlert can help school districts and LEAs enact these measures, making students and staff safer. The CrisisAlert school safety solution helps create a climate of safety by enabling staff members to call for help instantly, from anywhere on campus, in any type of emergency. Under these conditions, teachers can focus on student needs, and students can focus on learning. 

    CENTEGIX is the leader in incident response solutions. Our CrisisAlert platform is the fastest and easiest way for staff to call for help in any emergency, from the everyday to the extreme. CENTEGIX creates safer spaces by innovating technology to empower and protect people, and leaders nationwide trust our safety solutions to provide peace of mind. To learn more about CENTEGIX, visit www.centegix.com




    Wearable badge with a single button enables confident human action. Users are not required to download an app.


    With the simple push of a button, alerts instantly reach administrators and responders.


    Our network secures every square foot of your property – there are no dead zones. Badges function everywhere.

    Audio visual Icon


    Facility-wide alerts communicate emergency information using colored strobes, desktop alerts, and intercom integration.


    Our innovative technology determines the location of the alert, down to an individual room.


    Solutions installed with no alterations to physical structures or electrical wiring are required.

    CENTEGIX CrisisAlert vs Mobile Apps

    CrisisAlert eliminates vulnerabilities related to app-only solutions and enables rapid incident response to every scenario.


    Jim Frodsham

    Education Channel Manager

    Phone: 360-773-6477

    Email: jfrodsham@centegix.com

    Heather Connelly

    Regional Vice President

    Phone: 512-497-0712

    Email: hconnelly@centegix.com

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