Frequently asked questions about Ohio Home Education Notification procedures:
How is homeschool notification regulated in Ohio?
The process of notification is regulated by the Ohio Administrative Code, found here- Chapter 3301-34 Excuses from Compulsory Attendance for Home Education.
Should I follow the regulations when notifying my school district of my intent to home educate?
Yes, PEACH recommends cooperating with the regulations that govern home schooling in Ohio. It is through our cooperation that we can be secure in our privilege to homeschool. Educate yourself in the regulations for your own peace of mind and confidence.
Who should notify?
A child who will be 6 years old by September 30 is considered of compulsory school age according to the Ohio Revised Code 3321.01(A)(1)(2). Children of compulsory age are considered truant when they are absent from school without an excuse letter from the local school superintendent.
Do I notify if my child is enrolled in an online charter school?
No. An online charter school or cyber school, such as Ohio Virtual Academy, ECOT, or Ohio Connections Academy, is considered a public school and does not fall under the legal definition of homeschooling in Ohio. Also, you may not need to notify if your child is enrolled as a student at a private school, even if you provide instruction at home.
If my child is currently enrolled in a school, do I need to withdraw my child before I notify?
If you are withdrawing your child from public, private, or virtual school to homeschool, the Ohio Administrative Code 3301-69-02 and Ohio Revised Code 3321.13 address how school districts define and handle absences. Parents are required to provide schools with an excuse for their child’s absence, and a letter of withdrawal to home educate would fulfill this requirement.
Therefore we recommend that parents submit a letter of withdrawal to their child’s school at the same time that you send in your Notice of Intent to Homeschool. This ensures that all parties have the information they need in a timely manner.
You can write the letter yourself, or download this form – Letter of Withdrawal from School to Homeschool.
My child is under 6 years old, but I want to homeschool for kindergarten. Do I notify?
No. You do not need to notify for a child who is not of compulsory age (6 by September 30).
How long after I notify do I need to wait before I being homeschooling?
You do not need to wait to receive your excuse letter to begin homeschooling. When you have sent your completed Notice of Intent to Homeschool according to the OAC 3301-34, you have fulfilled your legal obligation, and you can being homeschooling immediately.
NOTE: The local superintendent’s office has 14 days from the receipt of your notification to determine if it is in compliance, and you should receive your excuse letter soon after that. If you do not, please communicate with your local district in writing, and courteously request that they send your excuse letter as soon as possible.
Is there an approved form for notification?
As long as you provide the local school superintendent with the required information, you do not need to use a specific form. However, there is a form that was developed by the advisory committee which drafted the regulations, and it is available on this website. We recommend that you do not use a form developed by a school district; they may ask for information not required by the Ohio Administrative or Revised Codes.
If my school district asks for information in addition to what is included on the form or in the Ohio Administrative Code, should I provide it?
No. That is why it is important to be familiar with state regulations. Giving more information than the OAC requires, although it may seem harmless, can actually cause future problems for you or others by creating an expectation and allowing school officials more latitude than intended. While most school officials are well-intentioned, some would like to challenge “…the primary right of parents to provide the education for their child(ren).”
Can each school district establish its own policies for collecting information from parents?
No, they must follow the regulations as outlined in OAC 3301-34.
Is the information I submit considered public record?
It is not clear if the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies to homeschooled students. Therefore, it is recommended that you include the following statement on your Notice of Intent to Homeschool:
“We hereby inform the school board that no personally identifiable information, including directory information as defined in Ohio Administrative Code 3319.321-B-1, should be released without prior written consent from us, the parents.”
This blurb is included in the forms we provide here – http://peachhomeschool.org/forms-download/
Should I give information to school officials over the phone?
No. It is recommended that you do all communicating with school officials in writing. This will establish a record of your communications, which should be kept in a file.
Is there a source for legal counsel designed for homeschoolers?
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.
Is there another option for notification besides the recommended form?
Yes, you may write a letter containing all the information required by the Ohio Administrative Code.
Can someone other than a child’s own parent homeschool him or her?
Yes. This person should be listed in item (3) on the notification form, or mentioned in the letter.
Can a homeschooled student play public school sports?
For some background information and helpful links, read this article on the PEACH website, Homeschoolers and Equal Access. Contact your local school district for more information.
Is a child of a certain age required to be working in a certain grade level?
No. There are two choices of assessment in addition to “an alternative assessment mutually agreed upon between the parents and the superintendent.” The first option is a standardized achievement test, whereby the parents choose at what level the child tests. The second option, a written narrative, requires that the child be making “progress in accordance with the child’s abilities.”
Do I need to record the number of hours we homeschool, or submit a schedule?
What if I receive a letter from my school district that my notification was incomplete?
Within 14 days of receipt of you Notice of Intent to Homeschool, the superintendent must state in writing what information listed in OAC 3301-34-03 is missing, and give the parents two options:
1) supply in writing the missing information
2) arrange a conference with superintendent to supply the missing information.
Option #1 is recommended.
What if I move during the school year and wish to continue homeschooling in the new location?
Request in writing that the original district forward the notification and related materials to the new district in a timely manner. OAC 3301-34-03(F). If you move to a different state, familiarize yourself with that state’s requirements as soon as possible. You can also let your current district know you are moving, and then notify according to the regulations in your new location.
Must my child be tested to begin homeschooling? Do I need to send assessment results with my first notification?
No. There is no testing requirement to begin home education for your first year. OAC 3301-34-04(A)
What is the difference, in purpose, between standardized testing and a written narrative?
The objective for testing is to report academic proficiency as compared to national averages. The objective for a narrative is to report progress in accordance with the child’s abilities.
Should I test at my local school?
We are NOT required to test with the school district. In fact it is preferable not to, as it eliminates privacy and the right to report only the composite score.
Who determines whether we should use a standardized test or the narrative assessment option?
The parent chooses which assessment option to employ.
Who can administrate a standardized test to my child(ren)?
A test administrator can be a certified teacher, a person mutually agreed upon by the parents and superintendent, or a person duly authorized by the test publisher. PEACH provides testing in the spring with qualified proctors in accordance with the requirements of the Stanford Achievement Test.
How are test results reported?
Either use the form on this website to report your child’s composite score/complete battery score, or state the composite score in a letter that you send with your notification.
Should I send a copy of the complete printout of the test results?
No. The regulations clearly state OAC 3301-34-04(B)(1)(b): “Results should demonstrate reasonable proficiency as compared to other children in the district at the same grade level. 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.” It is important to report only the composite score.
What if my child does not test well?
A composite score below the 25th percentile requires one of four options be exercised:
2) arrange for a narrative assessment
3) alternate assessment agreed upon by the parents and the superintendent
4) plan of remediation designed by the parents and submitted to the superintendent within 30 days of the request for remediation.
PEACH would advise you to exercise option #1 or #2 and DO NOT report a composite score below the 25th percentile. Click here to download the PEACH Directory of Homeschool Assessors for retesting or a written narrative.
What if I send only the composite score on the form or in my letter and the superintendent asks for the printout?
The form states: “The COMPOSITE results, of the _____ percentile, demonstrate reasonable proficiency as compared to other children in the district.” If the superintendent will not accept this form, you should contact legal counsel (such as the HSLDA) for advice.
You may also provide the superintendent with a copy of your test scores, blacking out all personal information and scores other than the composite (or complete battery) score. Cover all the subtest scores allowing only the header showing the testing company’s name, the student’s name at the top and the composite score about half-way down the page to show. Make a copy and send that to the superintendent.
What is a written narrative and who can do it?
A certified teacher or person agreed upon by the parent and superintendent reviews a portfolio of the child’s work. Click here to download the PEACH Directory of Homeschool Assessors.
To whom do I send my notification?
A list of addresses for Greene County and surrounding school districts can be found by clicking on this link – School District Directory.
Where can I find additional information about homeschooling in Ohio?
Christian Home Educators of Ohio (CHEO) is a member supported non-profit organization serving homeschooling families in the state of Ohio.