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May 9, 2013

Homeschoolers Allowed to Participate in Interscholastic Activities

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dee Black assists members with questions and issues regarding Arkansas homeschool law. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

With the enactment of House Bill 1789 on April 22, 2013, homeschool students may now participate in interscholastic activities at their resident school district. The term “interscholastic activity” means an activity between schools subject to the regulations of the Arkansas Activities Association and is (1) outside the regular curriculum of the school district and includes such things as an athletic activity, a fine arts program, or a special interest club or group and (2) taught by an individual with a minimum of a high school diploma.

Since the homeschool student may be required to enroll in at least one class per school day, the student must report to the school district within the first 11 days of the fall or spring semester. The student or the student’s parent must provide to the principal a notice of the student’s desire to pursue participation in an interscholastic activity prior to the signup, tryout, or participation deadlines established for public school students. Additionally, the student or the student’s parent must inform the principal in the notice that the student has demonstrated academic eligibility by obtaining either a test score at or above the 30th percentile on the Stanford Achievement Test, 10th edition, or another nationally recognized norm-referenced test within the previous 12 months. In the alternative, the student may achieve a minimum score on a test approved by the state board of education. Additionally, the homeschool student must meet the same eligibility criteria established for participation by public school students.

A student who withdraws from an Arkansas Activities Association member school to be homeschooled is prohibited from participating in an interscholastic activity for a minimum of 365 days from the student’s withdrawal.

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