State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile

State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile - Arkansas

June 2018

This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.

Kindergarten Requirements
What is the compulsory school age? Age 5 Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-201
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? Age 5 on or before August 1 Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-207
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? Opt-out: Age 5, parental waiver, Any 6-year-old child who has not completed kindergarten must be evaluated to determine placement in kindergarten or first grade. Code Ark. R. 005.15.2-11.0
Does the state require children to attend kindergarten? Yes Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-207, Ark. Code Ann. § 6-18-201
Does the state require the district to offer kindergarten and if so, full or half day? What exemptions exist for districts? Yes — Full-Day Code Ark. R. 005.15.2-11.0
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 6 hours/day; 30 hours/week A.C.A. § 6-16-102
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? 1:20 or 1:22, with aide, for kindergarten. No more than 1:23 average for grades 1-3. Code Ark. R. 005.15.2-10.02
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Professional Development: As part of the statewide program to improve reading skills, in-service training programs are provided by reading specialists for elementary teachers who require special assistance in improving their skills in teaching reading, in-service training for elementary principals to improve their skills in the support of reading programs. Training includes: classroom observation, the use of student inventories, planning instruction, tailored reading activities, and parental involvement ideas, among other strategies. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-17-701
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3? A pre-kindergarten to fourth grade certification exists. Code Ark. R. 005.24.1-11
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? The Department of Education shall develop guidelines for district to perform readiness testing for each child entering kindergarten. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-16-203
What are states required to do with the results of the KEA? Results of the kindergarten readiness assessment must be provided to the student's parents. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-16-203
Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process? The Early Childhood Program standards include provisions for easing the transition into kindergarten, including individual needs assessments for each child and family engagement.
Does the state have a statutory definition of school readiness? What do states use their definition of school readiness to inform? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Assessment, Intervention and Retention
Are assessments required in grades K-3? K-4 assessments must be administered in English language arts and mathematics. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-420
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? Each school district board of directors must annually report to the parent or guardian each student’s progress toward meeting state standards, including results of K-4 state assessments. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2006
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? Interventions are available in K-4 grades and include: academic improvement plans, supplemental instruction, progress monitoring. Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-420
Ark. Code Ann. § 6-15-2004
Ark. Code Ann. § 6-16-704
Is there a third grade retention policy? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulations.
Family Engagement
For those states with pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition guidance, is family engagement a requirement? Yes, family engagement is included as a requirement of transition plans. ADC 005.24.1-13
For those states with third grade retention policies, is parental input required? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Social-Emotional Learning
Where is social-emotional development emphasized in statute? Teachers and paraprofessionals are required to receive training in social-emotional learning. Code Ark. R. 005.24.1-11

© 2020 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education. 700 Broadway #810, Denver, CO 80203-3442

To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please contact the Education Commission of the States’ Communications Department at 303.299.3636 or

Your Education Policy Team