Parents or guardians having custody or charge of any child five years of age, on or before August 1 through 17 years of age, both inclusive, shall enroll and send the child to a public, private, parochial, or home school. Students may enter kindergarten in the public schools of this state if they will attain the age of five (5) years on or before August 1 of the year in which they are seeking initial enrollment.(ACA 6-18-207).
Kindergarten is required for all Arkansas students unless the parents request a waiver of kindergarten attendance through the Department of Student Services. Students registering for kindergarten and all students new to the Fort Smith schools must present acceptable proof of age, immunization records, and a social security card. Arkansas law requires the following immunizations for children enrolling in school: Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT), Polio, Rubeola, Rubella, Hepatitis B, and Varicella. You may contact the Department of Health at 452-8600. Kindergarten students are required proof of a physical examination. All documentation must be provided and up to date to participate in early kindergarten registration.
Attendance Area Exceptions
All students must attend a school in the attendance area in which they live, unless a transfer has been granted by the Director of Student Services. The exceptions would include the following:
(A) Students legitimately enrolled in a Fort Smith Public School whose parents are in the process of building or renting a new residence within the District may elect to transfer to the school within the new attendance area by providing proof that the new residence will be completed within 60 days after the beginning of the new school year. (B) A student legitimately enrolled in school for 20 or more school days may have the option of staying in his present school until the end of that school year if the parents move their place of residence to another attendance area within the Fort Smith School District.
Senior high school students may transfer to a school in an attendance area outside the area in which the student lives for the purpose of taking courses not offered at the school within the home attendance area.
Assignments for disabled students are made by the Special Education Department to special classes without regard to the child's attendance area.
SCHOOL CHOICE–Guidelines for students who live outside the Fort Smith Public School District
The parent or guardian of a non-resident student may submit an application for enrollment into the Fort Smith Public Schools by May 1 of the year in which the student seeks enrollment for the upcoming fall semester. Secondary students are limited to Darby Junior High at this time.
School Health Program
The school health program is an important service provided to students. School nurses within the Fort Smith School District assist in providing health care needs to the students. In addition to providing basic first aid and infectious disease control, students are screened for difficulty with vision, hearing, and scoliosis.
Privacy of School Records
The Fort Smith Public Schools maintain three types of confidential student records: academic progress, health and attendance reports, and individual test results. The principal is in charge of the student records at each school and has available a copy of the district's policy should parents wish to examine the student's records.