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 attain the age of five (5) years on or before August 1 of the year in which they seek 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
those 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 with any questions. Kindergarten students are required to provide proof of a physical examination. All documentation must be provided and updated to participate in early kindergarten registration.
Attendance Area Exceptions
All students must attend a school in the attendance area in which they live unless the Executive Director of Student Services has granted a transfer. The exceptions would include the following:
- Residence Change:
- 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.
- A student legitimately enrolled 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 residence to another attendance area within the Fort Smith School district.
- High school students may transfer to a school in an attendance area outside where the student lives to take courses not offered at the school within the home attendance area.
- Special Education:
- The Special Education Department assigns disabled students 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.
Privacy of School Records
The Fort Smith Public Schools maintains three types of confidential student records: academic progress, health and attendance reports, and individual test results. The principal is in charge of student records at each school. Principals have copies of the district's policy available should parents wish to examine their students' documents.
- Residence Change: