Many families consider homeschooling for their children. Under Colorado law, in order to home school, a notification of intent to homeschool must be provided to a school district office (not CDE). A general form for intent to homeschool can be found here.Guidance on the notice and other applicable requirements are included below.
How do I register my home school program?
- The parent or guardian must provide a written notification explaining the intent to home school his or her child. Notification can be given to any Colorado public school district office.
- This written notification must be given 14 days before the parent or guardian establishes the home school program. (22-33-104.5(3)(e), C.R.S.)
- The notification must list the child's name, age, place of residence, and attendance hours.
- Please Note: Written notification must be re-submitted to the school district each year the home school program is maintained after the initial year.
- If the written notification is not submitted to the school district the student resides in, it is advisable to notify the residing school district as well to avoid truancy action.
Subjects to Teach
Colorado law states that home school programs must include, but are not limited to, the subjects of communication skills of reading, writing, and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, and regular courses of instruction in the Constitution of the United States. The selection of curriculum is at the discretion of the parent who is overseeing the home schooling program. The state cannot offer any guidance in this area, and encourages contacting the district that received the written notification if there are further questions.
Home school programs must have no less than 172 days of instruction, averaging 4 contact hours per day.
Records for each child participating in a home school program must be kept on a permanent basis by the parent who is overseeing the home school program. The records must include, but are not limited to, attendance, test and evaluation results, and immunization records as required by C.R.S sections 25-4-901, 25-4-902, and 25-4-903. The records shall be produced and provided to the school district that received the written notification, not the state of Colorado, at the school district's request. School districts cannot request records without probable cause and must give fourteen days written notice. CRS 22-33-104.5 (3)(g): “Such records shall be produced to the school district that received the notification required by paragraph (e) of this subsection (3) upon fourteen days' written notice if the superintendent of said school district has probable cause to believe that said program is not in compliance with the guidelines established in this subsection (3).”
Students that are participating in a home school program must have academic progress evaluated in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. Students can take a nationally standardized achievement test or a qualified person, as described in C.R.S. 22-33-104.5(3)(f), can be selected by the parent to evaluate the student’s academic progress. The results of the evaluation, whether by assessment or qualified person, shall be submitted to the applicable entity as specified by 22-33-104.5 (3)(f), C.R.S. The state cannot provide guidance regarding assessments or evaluation. Please contact your local school district for resources or specific deadlines for submitting evaluation results.
- According to CRS 22-33-104.5 (3)(f), test or evaluation results “shall be submitted to the school district that received the notification required by paragraph (e) of this subsection (3) or an independent or parochial school within the state of Colorado.”
- The law does not specify specific deadlines but leaves the determination of when a child reaches a grade up to the parents.
Other Things to Know About Home School
Home school is considered nonpublic and is not regulated by the state of Colorado. The parent who oversees the home school program is taking on the responsibility of obtaining books, supplies, tests, and is responsible for any costs associated. Because home schooling is considered nonpublic education, home school is not accredited by the Colorado Department of Education or by a local school district.
Homeschool FAQ: http://www.cde.state.co.us/choice/homeschool_faq