Frequently Asked Questions About Home Schooling
Must I notify the officials at my child's school prior to removing my child from school to home teach?
- You must notify the ESD within 10 days of withdrawal of your intent to home school, and the ESD notifies the local school district superintendent periodically of active home school students. Although it is not required by law, it is in your best interest to notify the school to avoid truancy issues. Students who have not attended school for 10 consecutive days are considered truant and are subject to citations and fines unless they are registered as home schooled.
My child is enrolled in a correspondence school. Do I still have to register for home schooling?
- Yes, a child enrolled in a correspondence school is considered a home-schooled student.
What about a Program such as "Connections Academy"? Must I let the ESD know if I choose a program such as this, where my child is enrolled in a public school?
- No. Connections Academy, as well as a few other programs out there, are public schools that offer their services via the internet. Your child is actually considered a public school student that is doing his/her school work at home over the internet. You DO NOT have to notify the ESD in this case.
Must I notify the ESD if my child returns to private or public school or if we move out of the area?
- When a child who is being home schooled moves to a new education service district area, the parents must notify that new education service district in writing. Notification is not required when a child returns to private or public school, however, it is important for maintaining accuracy of records.
What do I need for proof of enrollment so that my child can obtain their drivers permit or license?
- A statement of enrollment form issued by the education service district is necessary to meet the requirements of the DMV. A parent or guardian may request the statement of enrollment, which will be issued if the student is compliant with home school laws. Please allow at least 2 weeks for processing your request.
What curriculum requirements do I have to follow when home schooling my child?
- You are encouraged to set up a curriculum similar to the course of study pursued in the public schools.
Who will help me set up a curriculum for home teaching?
- There are local support groups in the area that may be helpful with selecting and setting up curriculum. Also, depending on their policy, some local school districts may work with you, although it is not required by law.
Where do I get textbooks and find out what standards must be met?
- Local district schools are not required to furnish textbooks or curriculum guides; however, some may choose to lease materials. Also, textbooks and curriculum materials may be secured through commercial companies.
Who is responsible for the cost of textbooks, materials, tests, etc., when home schooling?
- The parent is responsible.
If being home schooled, can my child attend a particular class or classes at our local school (i.e., P.E., art, etc.)?
- This depends on the policy of the local district in which you reside. You may need to meet with the school principal to discuss the issue. A home-schooled student may participate in interscholastic activities if the student meets all the requirements of ORS 339.460 and (a) achieves a composite test score that is not less than the 23rd percentile on the annual achievement test, and (b) submits the composite test score to the district prior to participation in an interscholastic activity. Parents may be required to provide proof that a notification of intent to home school has been sent to the ESD.
If my child is disabled is he or she entitled to special education and related services?
- Yes. If a child has been enrolled in a special education program or is identified as meeting the eligibility criteria for a specific special education disability, the parent may arrange for services with the local school district.
When and how will my child be tested?
- Children are to be examined by August 15th at the end of grades 3, 5, 8 and 10 with a state-approved comprehensive examination, administered by a qualified neutral person. If the child never attended public or private school, the first examination shall be administered by August 15th at the end of grade three. If the child was withdrawn from public school, the first required examination shall be administered no sooner than 18 months after the date on which the child was withdrawn or at the next required grade level.
What are the accepted achievement tests?
- Achievement Test
- Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills
- Iowa Tests of Basic Skills/Tests of Achievement and Proficiency
- Metropolitan Achievement Battery
- Stanford Achievement Test Battery
What is considered "satisfactory" progress?
- Home-schooled students must score at or above the 15th percentile on one of the approved tests, or must score equal to or greater than his or her composite score on the previous test, in the event that additional testing is required.
What happens if test results indicate that my child is not making satisfactory educational progress?
- If the composite test score of the child places the child below the 15th percentile based on national norms or shows a declining score from the previous test, the child shall be given an additional examination within one year. For additional information pertaining to satisfactory educational progress, see ORS 339.035 or contact the Home School secretary at the ESD.
Will my child get credit and/or graduate?
- Although there may be exceptions,Oregon public schools do not grant credit for home schooling or issue graduation diplomas to home-instructed students. Contact your resident school if you have questions regarding acceptance of outside credits.
Can a home-schooled student receive a General Educational Development (GED) certificate?
- Yes. Applicants who are at least 16 years of age, but not yet 18 years of age, may take the GED exams if they have obtained a letter from the ESD certifying that they have made satisfactory educational progress, are in compliance with Oregon law regarding home schooling, and are exempt from compulsory school attendance.