Arkansas Homeschool

Homeschool Age Requirements: Students between the age of 6 and 17 are
required to attend school in Arkansas.  There is an option for a kindergarten waiver if the child will not be age six on September 15 of that particular school year.  Parents must use a form provided by the state if a kindergarten waiver is necessary.

Required Subjects: No Specific Requirements given.

Homeschool Background: In Arkansas, Parents or guardians may choose to provide a home school for their children by notifying the local public school superintendent in writing of their intent to home school no later than August 15 by parents beginning homeschooling in the fall semester or by December 15 for those beginning in the spring semester. Parents deciding to begin homeschooling after the start of a semester are permitted to do so by providing the notice of intent 14 days prior to withdrawing the child from public school and each year thereafter at the beginning of the school year.

The superintendent or the local school board may waive the 14-day waiting period.

Parents or guardians moving into the school district during the school year must give written notice within 30 days of establishing residency within the school district.
A public school student who is currently under disciplinary action for violation of any school policy is not eligible to begin homeschooling unless:

1. The superintendent or local school board chooses to allow the student to enroll in a home school

2. The disciplinary action against the student has been completed or the school semester ends, whichever occurs first


3. The student has been expelled from public school.

Parents or guardians must deliver the notice in person to the local superintendent the first time notice is given. The notice must include:

1.  The name, date of birth, grade level of the children, and the 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 teacher/parents.

Parents or guardians must sign a waiver acknowledging that the State of Arkansas is not liable for the education of their child during the time of homeschooling.

A homeschool is not eligible for local, state, or federal funds allocated to a public school district.

Teacher Qualifications: None.

Standardized Tests: Each student enrolled in a home school program who is considered to be at a grade level, or no more than two (2) 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.

Unless alternate testing procedures are approved, the administration of the tests is the responsibility of the directors of the education service cooperatives.  The cost of testing is the responsibility of the Department of Education unless an alternate testing procedure is approved, in which case the parents or guardians must pay for the testing.

No minimum score must be achieved by the home school student who is tested, but any student who refuses to participate in the testing program may be prosecuted for truancy.
It is the responsibility of the Arkansas Home School Office to modify, update and disburse the Notice of Intent to Home School and Waiver forms to all school districts before the current school year begins. The Arkansas Home School Office was established in October 1999 to promote collaboration between home school parents, public schools and the Arkansas Department of Education. The primary responsibility of the Home School Office is to provide information and technical assistance on laws and regulations governing home schools to all interested persons.

Parents/guardians are required to file current year pre-printed forms with their local school district superintendentís office on an annual basis according to state law.

Parents/guardians are free to select and purchase their choice of books, curricula, or correspondence programs. Parents/ guardians also set their own schedule of instruction for their child(ren).

The Arkansas Department of Education, local school districts, and education service cooperatives are not required to furnish books, curricula, or materials. It is the parents/guardians responsibility to locate and purchase all books, curricula, or materials.

State law requires testing of grades 3 through 9.  A student that refuses to participate in the testing program or the alternative testing program will be subject to Arkansas laws regarding truancy. Home school students in grades other than 3-9 will not be tested by the state. Testing occurs in the spring of each year at designated home school test sites.

A request for test modifications or exemption must be submitted in writing to the Home School Testing Office at least three weeks prior to the test date. A copy of the childís IEP or other acceptable documentation from a physician must be included with the request.

The law does not give the Arkansas Department of Education or the school district the authority to review or monitor a home school studentís work. Some parents/ guardians may choose to keep the following records: attendance record, a portfolio of studentís work at each grade level, grades for each subject, and a transcript for each student. Records may be very beneficial to a home school student in the future.

No diploma is provided by school districts, education service cooperatives, or the Arkansas Department of Education for students enrolled in home school.

Home schools are not accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education. There are no grades, credits, transcripts, or diplomas provided by the Arkansas Department of Education, education service cooperative, or by the local school district for students enrolled in home school.

Students transferring from a home school to a school that is accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education will be evaluated by the staff of the accredited school to determine proper placement.  Any home school student who re-enters a local school district must attend classes for at least nine months immediately prior to graduation before the student can become eligible to receive a high school diploma from the local school district.

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