2010 Arkansas Code
Title 6 - Education
Subtitle 2 - Elementary And Secondary Education Generally
Chapter 18 - Students
Subchapter 2 - Attendance
§ 6-18-201 - Compulsory attendance -- Exceptions.

6-18-201. Compulsory attendance -- Exceptions.

(a) Under the penalty for noncompliance set by law, every parent, guardian, or other person residing within the State of Arkansas having custody or charge of a child five (5) years of age through seventeen (17) years of age on or before the date established in 6-18-207 for the minimum age for enrollment in public school shall enroll and send the child to a public, private, or parochial school or provide a home school for the child, as described in 6-15-501 et seq., with the following exceptions:

(1) (A) A parent, guardian, or other person residing within the state and having custody or charge of a child may elect for the child not to attend kindergarten if the child will not be six (6) years of age on the date established in 6-18-207 for the minimum age for enrollment in public school of that school year.

(B) (i) If an election is made, the parent, guardian, or other person having custody or charge of the child shall file a signed kindergarten waiver form with the local school district administrative office.

(ii) The kindergarten waiver form shall be prescribed by rule of the Department of Education.

(C) Upon the filing of the kindergarten waiver form, the child shall not be required to attend kindergarten in that school year;

(2) Any child who has received a high school diploma or its equivalent as determined by the State Board of Education is not subject to the attendance requirement;

(3) Any child sixteen (16) years of age or older who is enrolled in a postsecondary vocational-technical institution, a community college, or a two-year or four-year institution of higher education is not subject to the attendance requirement; and

(4) (A) Any child sixteen (16) years of age or older who is enrolled in an adult education program under subsection (b) of this section or in the Arkansas National Guard Youth Challenge Program is not subject to the attendance requirement.

(B) The requirements in subsection (b) of this section do not apply to the Arkansas National Guard Youth Challenge Program.

(b) A local school district may grant a waiver of the attendance requirement to any student age sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) to enroll in an adult education program only after all of the following requirements have been met:

(1) The student makes formal application to the school district for a waiver to enroll in an adult education program;

(2) (A) After formal application and prior to any further action on the application, the student shall be administered either a test for adult basic education or a General Educational Development Practice Test under standardized testing conditions by a public school official designated by the school and shall score 8.5 grade level or above on the test for adult basic education or a minimum score of four hundred fifty (450) on each section and a minimum composite score of four hundred ninety (490) on the General Educational Development Practice Test.

(B) Provided, however, that the minimum test scores shall not be required of any student who is subject to the attendance requirement of this section but who was not enrolled in any school district during the previous school year;

(3) The student and the student's parents, guardians, or persons in loco parentis meet with the school counselor to discuss academic options open to the student;

(4) The school district determines that the student is a proper candidate for enrollment in adult education, contingent upon approval by the appropriate adult education program;

(5) The adult education program reviews the student's school and testing records and agrees to admit the student into the adult education program;

(6) The adult education program shall report attendance of all sixteen-year-old and seventeen-year-old enrollees to the sending school district on at least a monthly basis;

(7) (A) The adult education program shall require for continued enrollment a minimum of twenty (20) hours per week of class attendance and instruction.

(B) Provided, however, that a minimum of ten (10) hours shall be required for any student who is employed for thirty (30) hours or more each week;

(8) The student, the student's parents, guardians, or persons in loco parentis, and the administrative head of the adult education program agree in writing that the student will attend the requisite number of hours per week and maintain appropriate conduct as outlined in the local adult education program student handbook;

(9) In the event that a more appropriate assessment test or testing and assessment mechanism shall be developed to determine a reasonable level of competency for success at the adult education level, that test or mechanism shall be substituted, with the approval of the Adult Education Section of the Department of Career Education, for the tests required in subdivision (b)(2) of this section;

(10) In the event that a student does not attend class as mandated in this subsection or make reasonable progress toward the completion of the adult education curriculum, the student shall reenroll in a public school within five (5) days from the date the student is released from the adult education program; and

(11) The requirements in this subsection (b) shall not apply to students enrolled in a private, parochial, or home school in the state.

(c) Students age sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) enrolled in a private, parochial, or home school who desire to enroll in an adult education program shall meet the following requirements:

(1) (A) Students shall apply for enrollment to the adult education program.

(B) A student enrolled in a private or parochial school shall provide a letter from the principal or administrator of the private or parochial school to verify enrollment and shall score 8.5 grade level or above on the test for adult basic education or a minimum score of four hundred fifty (450) on each section and a minimum composite score of four hundred ninety (490) on the General Educational Development Practice Test.

(C) A student that is home schooled shall provide a notarized copy of the notice of intent to home school provided to the superintendent of the local school district as required by 6-15-503;

(2) The student and the student's parents, guardians, or persons in loco parentis shall meet with the appropriate staff of the adult education program to discuss academic options open to the student;

(3) The adult education program administrators shall review the student's school and testing records prior to allowing admission to an adult education program;

(4) (A) Except as provided in subdivision (c)(4)(B) of this section, the adult education program shall require for continued enrollment a minimum of twenty (20) hours per week of class attendance and instruction.

(B) A minimum of ten (10) hours shall be required for any student who is employed for thirty (30) hours or more each week;

(5) The student, the student's parents, guardians, or persons in loco parentis, and the administrative head of the adult education program agree in writing that the student will attend the requisite number of hours per week and maintain appropriate conduct as outlined in the local adult education program student handbook;

(6) In the event that a student does not attend class as mandated in this subsection or make reasonable progress toward the completion of the adult education curriculum, the student shall reenroll in either a public, private, parochial, or home school within five (5) days from the date that the student is released from the adult education program; and

(7) If a home school student is accepted into the adult education program, the student's parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis shall send written notification to the local public school superintendent of his or her intent to participate in the adult education program.

(d) Students age sixteen (16) or above enrolled in a private, parochial, or home school who desire to take the General Educational Development Test shall meet the following requirements:

(1) A student shall not be required to obtain permission or approval from any official in a public school district before being allowed to take the test;

(2) A student enrolled in a private or parochial school shall provide a letter from the principal or administrator of the private or parochial school to verify enrollment;

(3) A student enrolled in a home school shall provide a notarized copy of the notice of intent to home school provided to the superintendent of the local school district as required by 6-15-503; and

(4) A student enrolled in a private, parochial, or home school must achieve at least the minimum official General Educational Development Practice Test scores.

(e) (1) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a public school district from continuing with an adult education program to provide educational services to sixteen-year-olds and seventeen-year-olds enrolled in public school if a contract is negotiated between the district and the adult education program that includes:

(A) Financial considerations for serving the students enrolled in the public school districts; and

(B) Accountability measures to ensure monitoring of student progress and attendance.

(2) Any contract for services by an adult education program for sixteen-year-olds and seventeen-year-olds shall be submitted to the Department of Career Education for final approval.

(3) Any student served by an adult education program under a contractual arrangement as described in this subsection shall not be counted in any enrollment numbers reported by the adult education programs for state or federal funding.

(f) Any child who will be six (6) years of age on or before October 1 of the school year of enrollment and who has not completed a state-accredited kindergarten program shall be evaluated by the district and may be placed in the first grade if the results of the evaluation justify placement in this first grade and the child's parent agrees with placement in the first grade. Otherwise, the child shall be placed in kindergarten.
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