Ohio Homeschool Notification

Here is a detailed explanation of Ohio Homeschooling Notification procedures along with PEACH recommendations:

The homeschool regulations found in the Ohio Administrative Code here were established for our protection, and it is through our understanding of them that we can be secure in our privilege to homeschool. Although PEACH offers information, support, and recommendations for homeschoolers, it is the responsibility of each family to educate to know your rights and responsibilities. If you need legal assistance, you can contact:

Home School Legal Defense (HSLDA)  Members of PEACH may receive a discount on HSLDA membership.
Center for Homeschool Liberty, part of the National Center for Life and Liberty.

You must notify for a child who is compulsory school age (age 6 by Sept. 30, through age 18).

You can find a list of addresses and contact information for local Ohio school districts here- http://peachhomeschool.org/forms-download/

OVERVIEW

1.  Print and fill out the notification form found here – http://peachhomeschool.org/forms-download/

You are NOT required to use this form.  As long as you follow the requirements in the OAC and provide all the necessary information, any format is permissible. The form PEACH uses was designed to follow the regulations and ensure all required information was included.

We do not recommend using the forms provided by the school district. Sometimes they may request  information that is not required by the Ohio Administrative Code, such as the child’s grade level.  It is important to protect our rights as homeschoolers by meeting the regulations and insisting the school districts do the same.  The regulations were written to prevent school superintendents from arbitrarily requiring additional information.

2. Prepare a brief outline of your proposed curriculum and a list of textbooks, teaching materials, etc. you intend to use. (Note: Brief means different things to different people. We recommend that each subject listed on the notification form is addressed in your outline, as well as the materials you plan to use for each subject. Since this is for informational purposes, it does not need to be exhaustive, but it provides assurance that we homeschoolers have a plan for educating our children at home.)

3. Attach assessment report if you homeschooled during the previous school year. Testing/Assessment Forms can be downloaded here http://peachhomeschool.org/forms-download/

4. Photocopy the original paperwork  for your records.

5. Send by Certified Mail (with a return receipt request) to the superintendent of your local school district or the office that handles homeschool notifications.

Remember to keep hard copies of ALL correspondence with the school system.

Notification should be received by the superintendent on or before the first day of school.

HOW TO FILL OUT THE NOTIFICATION FORM

(1) Fill in current school year.

(2) Fill in parent’s name and address (no phone number).

 We do NOT recommend giving your phone number.  All communication with the school district should be recorded in writing.

(3) Fill this in only if a person other than a parent is teaching the core subjects listed in section 5.  This person must meet the qualifications listed section 9 below.

(4) Fill in name and birth date (NOT grade level or social security number) of children to be educated at home. Only list children of compulsory school age (6 by Sept. 30 to 18 years old).

Although some school districts ask for it, grade level is NOT required in the homeschool regulations and should NOT be included on the notification form.

(5) Place a check before the statement, “ . . . Assurance that home education will include the following . . .”

You are providing assurance that you will teach the subjects listed, unless they conflict with your sincerely held religious beliefs.

The subjects listed are general and can be tailored to your individual student’s needs. You are not required to teach, for example, (b) “geography, history of the United States and Ohio, and national, state, and local government” all in the same year, although you should have a plan for the history topics you will be covering this year.

(6)  Place a check before the statement, “. . .Brief outline of the intended curriculum. . . ”

(7)  Place a check before the appropriate line:  “textbooks,” “correspondence courses,” commercial curricula,” and/or “other basic teaching materials”.

Attach a BRIEF outline of your intended curriculum and a LIST of textbooks or teaching materials. You are NOT required to photocopy contents of textbooks, send scope and sequences, or provide lesson plans. The outline and list of resources is for informational purposes only, but does provide assurance to the school superintendent that you have a plan for educating your children at home.

Examples:

  • Physical Science: Exploring Creation with Physical Science from Apologia. This text covers atmosphere, the hydrosphere, weather, the structure of the earth, environmentalism, the physics of motion, Newton’s Laws, gravity, and astrophysics.
  • Math: Pre-Algebra from Teaching Textbooks.
  • Language Arts:  Easy Grammar (grammar), Wordly Wise (spelling), Time4Writing (composition), Hewitt Homeschooling Lightning Literature (American Literature).
  • History: Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries from Diana Waring Presents.
  • Health: Discover Education http://www.discoveryeducation.com/search/page/-/-/lesson-plan/health/index.cfm
  • Fine Arts: Piano lessons with Adventus MusIQ
  • Physical Education: Karate lessons at Dayton Martial Arts
  • First Aid, Safety, and Fire Prevention – Library, Internet, local Fire Dept., and local chapter of the American Red Cross

You are NOT required by the regulations to provide separate outlines for each child, although you may do so if you desire.

The brief outline includes what you INTEND to use.  You may change your plan at any time during the year without notifying anyone of those changes.

The school district is not allowed to make a judgment on the content of the teaching material you select.  This information is “for informational purposes only” and is provided to inform the superintendent of your home education plan.

Although you have assured the superintendent that you will teach the items listed in Section 5, it is advisable that you be sure to include each of these items in your brief outline.  As homeschoolers, we often teach things like fire safety or first aid as a part of our lifestyle rather than with a textbook.  The superintendent, however, looks at the brief outline as an easy way of checking to make sure there is a “plan of action” for all required items.

(8) Place a check before the statement, “Assurance that the child will be provided a minimum of 900 hours….”

The 900 hours of education includes not only formal instruction time, but any activities where learning occurs, such as field trips, reading, educational videos, character development, informal instruction, etc.

You are NOT required by the Ohio regulations to document these 900 hours, although it is wise to keep track of your student’s progress for your own records. NOTE: Some states DO require a record of attendance.  If you anticipate a move (ie. military family), research the homeschool laws of your new location and keep good records.

(9) Place a check before the statement, “Assurance that the home teacher has one of the following qualifications. . .”

You are NOT required to provide proof of your qualifications, or to indicate which qualification applies to you.

(10) Sign the form. The person listed in (2) above should sign the form.

 Additional Recommendations:

  • Privacy Protection – Inform the district that you require that they do not release personal information. It is your right to require that the school district NOT release directory information as defined in ORC 3319.321(B)(1).  You may include this or a similar statement on your notification form or in a cover letter:

“Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 3319.321(B)(2)(a), we hereby inform the school board that no personally identifiable information, including directory information, should be released without our prior written consent.”

This blurb is already included on the notification form found on this page - http://peachhomeschool.org/forms-download/

  • Inform the superintendent if you discontinue homeschooling to enroll elsewhere or because your child graduates. If your child’s status changes as a homeschooler (i.e. he enrolls in public school, charter school, 08 school, private school, or he graduates), inform the superintendent at the time of subsequent notification so that the school district  will not file for truancy unnecessarily. NOTE:  This step is NOT a requirement of the homeschooing regulations but is listed here as a courtesy to the school district.
  • Keep accurate records if you plan to re-enroll in a public school at a later date. Grade placement is at the discretion of the superintendent.  The regulations allow the superintendent to consider the following when making a placement decision:
        1. to consider the child’s most recent annual test results or narrative report
        2. to consider requiring the child to take any or all tests REGULARLY SCHEDULED for district pupils of similar age
        3. to consider other information that may include interviews with the child and/or the parents
  • Statement of Religious Belief – If you are homeschooling due to sincere religious conviction, you may wish to include a statement expressing those beliefs in a cover letter or on your notification form.  This establishes your philosophy of education and your position of responsibility in directing your child’s education.

ASSESSMENT OPTIONS

The regulations state, “The parent shall send to the superintendent an academic assessment report for the previous school year at the time of supplying subsequent notification.”

If this is your first year homeschooling, you DO NOT need to send an assessment.

If you homeschooled last year but did not notify because your child was not yet compulsory school age (age six by September 30), you DO NOT need to send an assessment.

If you notified last year, even if your child was not yet six years of age, then you MUST PROVIDE an assessment.

Send your assessment report to the superintendent along with your other notification paperwork.

Ohio homeschoolers have THREE options for assessing their children.

OPTION #1 – TESTING (see how PEACH can help with this option at http://peachhomeschool.org/achievement-testing)
For this option the regulations require “…Results of a nationally normed, standardized achievement test… Any child that has a composite score at or above the twenty-fifth percentile shall be deemed to be performing at a level of reasonable proficiency.”

You are NOT required to send a copy of the complete printout of your test scores.

You may report your score on the form provided by PEACH which reads “The COMPOSITE results, of the _______ percentile, demonstrates reasonable proficiency as compared to other children in the district.”

Some superintendents have requested the actual copy of the test scores.  This is usually because they want to see the score on the testing company’s letterhead. You may provide the superintendent with a copy of your test scores, but first, cover or black out all personal information and scores other than the composite (or complete battery) score. The only number the school superintendent needs is the composite or complete battery score.

OPTION #2 – Written Narrative

For this option the regulations require “A written narrative indicating that a portfolio of samples of the child’s work has been reviewed and that the child’s academic progress for the year is in accordance with the child’s abilities.  The written narrative shall be prepared by a certified teacher or other person mutually agreed upon by the parent(s) and the superintendent.”

PEACH maintains a list of certified teachers who are willing to do assessments and are very understanding of the unique aspects of homeschool methods and lifestyles.

Please be considerate and do not wait until the last minute to schedule your assessment.

OPTION #3 – Alternative Assessment Report

This option is “…An alternative academic assessment of the child’s proficiency mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent.”

You and the superintendent must both agree on this third option before you send your notification.

An alternate assessment can be ANYTHING that you and the superintendent can agree upon.  It might be a report card issued by an umbrella school or an alternate test like the Scholastic Aptitude Test, as long as both you and the superintendent agree.

Please Contact Us with any questions.

PEACH provides general information about home education and Ohio state requirements for homeschoolers. The information on this website is not a substitute for professional legal advice, and should not be treated as such.

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PEACH provides general information about home education regulations and Ohio state requirements for homeschoolers. The information on this website is not a substitute for professional legal advice, and should not be treated as such.