This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa (belinblank.org). The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (accelerationinstitute.org), and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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State Policies in Arkansas  

State policy leaves LEAs to determine.

Grade-based Acceleration

Early entrance to kindergarten

State policy does not permit. 

AR Code 6-18-207 states that "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.” A child who does not meet this age requirement may be admitted to kindergarten if he or she "has been enrolled in a state-accredited or state-approved kindergarten program in another state or in a kindergarten program equivalent in another country for at least sixty (60) days, who will become five (5) years old during the year in which he or she is enrolled in kindergarten, and who meets the basic residency requirement for school attendance". 

Early entrance to 1st grade

State policy does not permit.

AR Code 6-18-207 states that “Any child may enter the first grade in the public schools of this state if the child will attain the age of six (6) years during the school year in which the child is seeking enrollment and the child has successfully completed a kindergarten program in a public school in this state.”

A child who will be 6 on or before October 1 who has not completed a state-accredited kindergarten program "shall be evaluated by the district and may be placed in the 1st grade if the results of the evaluation justify placement in the 1st grade and the child's parent agrees with placement in the 1st grade. Otherwise, the child shall be placed in kindergarten" (AR Code 6-18-201).

Whole-grade accelerationNo state policy; up to LEA to determine.
To receive funding for gifted programs, local school districts are required to meet guidelines outlined in Rules: Gifted and Talented: Program Approval Standards: “Differentiation may be made in level of complexity, pace of learning, or degree of abstractness. Another means of differentiation is the study of topics not ordinarily a part of the regular curriculum." The guidelines are designed to help school districts improve gifted programming, but it seems that little guidance is given for individual interventions, so whole grade acceleration may or may not be allowed depending on the local school board.
Early high school graduation

State policy permits.

AR Code 6-18-224 states that “Any student who is enrolled in a public high school in Arkansas and has earned the number of credits required by the local school district for graduation shall be eligible to graduate from the high school without regard to the grade level the student is enrolled in at the time such credits are earned.”

Early entrance to collegeIf you know where to find this information, please e-mail us.

Content-based Acceleration

Dual or concurrent enrollment in community college, college, or university

State policy specifically permits.

Arkansas's Rules Governing Concurrent College and High School Credit for Students Who have Completed the Eighth Grade states that "Any student who is enrolled in grades 9-12 in an Arkansas public school shall be eligible to enroll in a publicly supported community college, technical college, four-year college or university, or private institution in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the college or university."

In addition, "any public school student in grades 9-12 who enrolls in and successfully completes a course(s) offered by such a college, technical college or university or private institution shall be entitled to receive both high school and college grades and credit (credit earned by CLEP examination may not be counted as high school credit) toward graduation, as outlined in these regulations."

Middle school students permitted dual or concurrent enrollment in high school

State policy leaves LEA to determine.
Advanced Placement®

State policy permits.

Arkansas's Rules for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Diploma Incentive Program require "that each school district provides high school students with the opportunity to enroll in at least one (1) College Board Advanced Placement course in the four (4) core areas of English, math, science, and social studies." These rules also include information about responsibility for AP test payment.

Talent Search

There is no in-state talent search program in Arkansas, but gifted students in AR can participate in regional and national talent search programs such as those offered by the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center or the Duke University Talent Identification Program.

Credit by examination/proficiency-based promotion

State policy does not permit.
Other forms of content-based acceleration

Typically left to LEAs to determine. If you know of state-level code, please e-mail us.

Additional Information

Arkansas Gifted and Talented site
Arkansas Department of Education
Arkansans for Gifted & Talented Education

The information presented on this page was compiled from a variety of resources, including the State of the States in Gifted Education 2012-2013 (a report by the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted and the National Association for Gifted Children), Websites, professional literature, and personal communication. The Acceleration Institute has not verified the accuracy of this information and does not warrant its accuracy or fitness of use for any purpose. Users should verify information prior to taking any action. Furthermore, the appearance of selected programs and/or resources does not imply an endorsement or affiliation. Programs and resources are highlighted for informational purposes only.