Today, March 8, 2013 is the last day to register for homeschool testing if you live in Arkansas. State law requires all students in grades three through nine to take a yearly, norm-referenced, standardized test. Failure to register for testing may result in truancy charges against the student and parents. Registration must be received in the testing office no later than 10:00 p.m. on March 8.
If you submitted a notice of intent and waiver form to your local superintendent’s office, as required by law, and your child is in grades three through nine, a registration packet was mailed to you. Follow the instructions in the package to register your child.
I did not receive a package
If you did not receive a package or you recently registered your child for homeschool, you must contact the Arkansas Home School Testing Office to check on your homeschool testing status. Families that registered to homeschool in March may not be required to test this year.
If you did not receive a package and have a child who is in grades three through nine, you must call the Arkansas Home School Testing Office today at 501-354-3136. Reasons for not receiving a package could be a delivery error or you might have moved without notifying your local superintendent’s office. In either case, you need to resolve the situation.
How to register
If you have your registration information but have not yet registered, you have until 10:00 p.m. tonight to get this done. You can register online at the Arkansas Home School Testing Office’s website or you can mail in your testing choice. The testing office has conflicting information about the deadline. It clearly states that 10:00 p.m. on March 8, 2013 is the deadline to register. It also states that any registration forms that are mailed in will be accepted as long as they are postmarked before March 9. This is to allow for possible delays in mail delivery.
To register you need the family code that was sent to you in the registration package. To register online, go to the Arkansas Home School Testing Office and click on the registration tab. Decide if you are using a private testing company or if you will test at one of the state’s testing sites. Testing at a state site is free. Parents must pay for a private testing service.
If you choose to ignore the law and not test your children, you run the risk of being brought up on truancy charges and possibly child neglect charges. The state of Arkansas can revoke your right to homeschool if you ignore the law. Responsible homeschoolers will follow the testing requirements. We are fortunate to have fairly lenient homeschooling laws in Arkansas. Failure to follow the rules puts everyone’s right to homeschool in jeopardy.
Lynda Altman is a homeschool veteran with 15 years of homeschooling under her belt. She is the mother of 4, two of which are still homeschooled. She writes Homeschooling in Arkansas blog. You can contact her on Twitter @fusgeyer.