Compulsory attendance is required for children ages 5 through 18.
A "home school" is defined as "a school provided by a parent or legal guardian for his or her own child". A home school is not considered a private school.
Parents or guardians desiring to provide a home school for their children must give written notice at the beginning of each school year, but no later than August 15 (or by December 15 for parents who decide to start homeschooling at the beginning of the spring semester), to the superintendent of their local school district of their intent to provide a home school for their children.
They must also sign a waiver acknowledging that the state of Arkansas is not liable for the education of their children during the time that the parents choose to homeschool them. Likewise, within 30 calendar days of establishing residency within a school district, parents or guardians must give written notice to the superintendent of that district of their intent to provide a home school for their children. They must also sign a waiver acknowledging that the state of Arkansas is not liable for the education of their children during the time that the parents choose to homeschool them.
The notice must include the name, date of birth, grade level, and name and address of the school last attended, if any, of each student involved; the location of the home school; the basic core curriculum to be offered; the proposed schedule of instruction; and the qualifications of the parent-teacher. Ark. Code Ann. §6-15-503.
The first time a parent submits the notice to the local superintendent, he or she must do so in person. Ark. Code Ann. §6-15-503(4).
Each homeschool student who is considered to be at grade level, or no more than two years beyond the normal age for the appropriate grade for which the state mandates norm-referenced tests for public school students, shall be tested using a nationally recognized norm-referenced achievement test selected by the State Board of Education. Test results for homeschooled students will be used for reporting purposes only. Ark. Code Ann. §6-15-504.
The "directors of the education service cooperatives established under § 6-13-1001 et seq. or as otherwise designated by the Department of Education" will administer the test of homeschooled students. "The administration shall include purchasing the test materials, giving the tests, scoring and interpreting the tests, and reporting test results." Ark. Code Ann. §6-15-504(b).
The parent or guardian may request an alternative testing procedure to be approved by the director of the education services cooperative, but any cost associated with the alternative testing procedure is at the expense of the parent or guardian Ark. Code Ann. §6-15-504(d).
If a parent or guardian does not participate in a testing program or the alternative testing procedure, then Arkansas laws regarding truancy will apply. Ark. Code Ann. §6-15-504(e).
Parents or guardians requesting permission for homeschooled students to participate in public school curricular, athletic, or extracurricular activities should contact the student's school district of residence.
Eligible children with disabilities identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq., in home school settings shall be given the same consideration afforded to students in private school settings for special education services as provided for in that act. Ark. Code Ann. §6-15-507.
A full school day is six hours of instruction. Ark. Code Ann. §6-16-102. This statute is not applicable to private schools in Arkansas. However, Ark. Code Ann. §6-18-201(a) requires that all children between the ages of five and 17 shall be enrolled in a public, private, parochial, or home school. An option for a kindergarten waiver exists "if the child will not be age six (6) on August 1 of that particular school year." The state provides the waiver form for parents to use for such cases. Ark. Code Ann. §6-18-201(b), §6-18-201(c).
Arkansas Department of Education
Four State Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201-1071
Home Schooling: 501-682-1874
A parent or legal guardian who intends to home school a child in accordance with Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-201, shall provide written notice to the superintendent of the resident school district and agree that the parent or guardian is responsible for the education of his or her child during the time the child is home-schooled.
This written notice shall be provided at the beginning of each school year but no later than August 15 or, subject to the provisions of Sections 4.03 and 4.04, fourteen (14) calendar days prior to withdrawing the child from the resident district, as well as at the beginning of each school year thereafter. The superintendent or school board of the resident district may waive the fourteen (14) day waiting period.
The Notice of Intent must include the following information, which may be used only for statistical and record keeping purposes as required by law:
1. The name, sex, date of birth and grade level of each child and the name and address of the school last attended, if any, for each student;
2. The mailing address and telephone number of the home school;
3. The name of the parent or legal guardian providing the home school;
4. A statement of a student’s plans to participate during the school year in public school interscholastic activities pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-509;
5. A statement of a student’s plans to seek a high school equivalency diploma during the current school year; and
6. A signature of the parent or legal guardian.
7. Any other information that may be required under Ark. Code Ann.ADE 262-4005.15 § 6-15-503.6.00 Arkansas Home School Laws (PDF)
No additional criteria or information shall be required for a student to attend a home school beyond what the law requires.
The information provided in the Notice of Intent is confidential and not subject to the Freedom of Information Act of 1967, § 25-19-101 et seq.
The NOI can be used to provide an official verification letter from our office confirming the academic years and grades a student was homeschooled. We often get requests from parents, colleges and employers asking for a letter.
The NOI is not used for: Soliciting you, tracking you or your activity as homeschoolers, contacting you unless there’s an issue to resolve that requires your assistance, or any purpose other than what’s stated by law.
A public school district:
Shall afford a home-schooled student who enrolls or re-enrolls in a public school as a public school student the same rights and privileges enjoyed by other public school students; and
Shall not deny a home-schooled student who enrolls or re-enrolls in a public school as a public school student any of the following solely on the basis of having attended a home school.Arkansas Home School Laws (PDF)
A public school district shall adopt a policy that allows a student who attends a home school to enroll in an academic course at a public school if the student resides in the public school district where the public school is located.Arkansas Home School Laws (PDF)
Students with disabilities identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., in home school settings shall be given the same consideration afforded to students in private school settings for special education services as provided for in the IDEA. This policy is not to be construed as conferring the procedural protections and rights under Part B of the IDEA to such students and their parent/guardians.Arkansas Home School Laws (PDF)
The principal of the resident school shall permit a home-schooled student to pursue participation in an interscholastic activity of the resident school if the student or the student's parent:
Provides the principal a notice of the student's desire to pursue participation before the signup, tryout, or participation deadlines established for students enrolled in the resident school; and
Informs the principal in the notice that the student has demonstrated academic eligibility by obtaining:
A minimum test score of the thirtieth percentile on the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Tenth Edition, or another nationally recognized norm-referenced test in the previous twelve (12) months; or
A minimum score on a test approved by the State Board of Education.Arkansas Home School Laws (PDF)
Josh Mesker, Program Advisor
Home School Office
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall, Mail Slot 6
Little Rock, AR 72201
Source: Arkansas Department of Education
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