About the Forms - What, When, and Who
According to Arkansas law, a "Notice of Intent to Home School" and a "Home School Waiver Form" must be submitted to your local school district each year that you homeschool.
The deadline for submitting these forms is August 15, December 15 (to begin homeschooling the second semester), or anytime during the year (with a required 14-day waiting period). Your Superintendent or local School Board has the authority to waive the 14-day waiting period. If you just moved into the state or district, these forms should be filed within thirty calendar days of establishing residency with the district. Whether delivering by hand, by mail, or online, these forms must arrive at your school district (not just be postmarked) by the deadline.
If your child is 5 years old on or before October 1st of the listing school year, you must either register them as a kindergartner or fill out a kindergarten waiver form. If you do the latter, you may wait until the next year to register them as a kindergartner or you may register them as a first grader (thereby skipping kindergarten, as completion of kindergarten is not a requirement under Arkansas law).
Obtaining the Forms
Intent Forms may be found and completed online at the website of the Home School Office of the Arkansas Department of Education. If you prefer to download copies, they may also be found there. This site also has a very helpful example of a completed form.
Completing the Forms
A great start in understanding how to complete the Intent Form would be to review the "Example Notice of Intent” that is on the Department of Education's web site. Note how simplistically the curriculum and study schedules are described. This does not need to be detailed information.
Also note that the “Educational Qualifications of Parent/Teacher(s)” has no bearing on whether or not you may teach your child. It is informational only.
You are asked to list your Superintendent and School District. The name of the Superintendent is not critically important - but you should make a good effort. If there has been a recent superintendent change, they will understand if you list the previous superintendent. You can find information on your Superintendent and School Districts in the section below, entitled “Submitting the Forms”.
The home address that you list on this form will be what the Department of Education uses to mail notification information to you at testing time. Should you move after submitting the form, you will want to notify your district (both old and new) of your new address.
Make and keep a copy of your Notice of Intent and Waiver before you submit the original to the Superintendent. The notarization section of the Intent Form will only apply to a copy of the Intent Form and only for those who have a homeschool child that will be pursuing the written portion of their drivers license this year. The copy of the “Notice of Intent” should be notarized before a Notary Public. Notaries can be found at banks, law offices, insurance companies (secretaries), and many churches (secretaries).
Overall, you are only required to provide information as specified by Arkansas homeschool law. Act 1117 says that “notice must include the name, date of birth, grade level, and the name and address of the school last attended, if any of each student; and the mailing address and phone number of the homeschool, the basic core curriculum to be offered, the proposed schedule of instruction and the qualification of the parent/teacher.” Any other requested information may be considered optional information.
Submitting the Forms
If you are homeschooling in Arkansas for the first time, you must deliver both forms in person; otherwise, both forms should be submitted online or mailed to your local school district. Whichever delivery method you choose, these forms must arrive at your school district (not just be postmarked) by the deadline. Since there are many school districts in Arkansas, the address will not be on the form. You can obtain the address of your school district from the phone book or you can go to the Arkansas Department of Education's web site for a list of superintendents (see paragraph below).
Superintendents do change from time-to-time. The name of the superintendent is not as important as getting the proper address for the superintendent's office. A list of Superintendents and their District Offices' addresses and phone numbers is available by searching within the Department of Education website.
For added insurance, it is wise to mail your forms with "return-receipt requested" or have the school district desk clerk confirm your hand-delivery by signing a name and placing a date on your extra copy. You will not receive confirmation from the State office that these documents were or were not received.