What must be submitted to the school district and to what office?
1. A Notice of Intent to Homeschool (NOI) must be submitted to a school district in the state of Colorado. However, if a student is "habitually truant" (has four unexcused absences in one month or ten unexcused absences in one year) at any time during the last six months that the child attended school before proposed enrollment in a homeschool program, that child may not be enrolled in the homeschool program unless the child's parents first submit a written description of the curricula to be used in the program along with written notification of establishment of the program. A homeschooling family may submit their NOI to any school district in the state of Colorado. Notifying the local school district of where families submit their notice is not required. The NOI may be filed at any time of the year but must be renewed on a yearly basis.
2. Results of testing or evaluation by a qualified person beginning in grade 3 and every other year thereafter is required. State statute is very specific in that if a test is administered that it must be a nationally standardized test. TCAP does not fulfill the requirement of the statute. State laws allow homeschoolers to participate in TCAP if they so choose. Test or evaluation results may also be submitted to a private, independent or parochial school provided the district where the family has filed their NOI is notified of such location.
In District 11 NOI, curricula, and test/evaluation letters should be submitted to District 11 Enrollment, 1033 N Franklin St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.
3. A written description of curricula must be submitted for any student that has been habitually truant at any time during the last six months prior to enrollment in a homeschool program. A convenient, optional form is available. Please be aware of the criteria for submission of curricula.
Who can teach?
Parent(s)/guardian, or adult relatives of the student/s.
No teacher certification is required to homeschool in the state of Colorado.
How many contact days or teaching days a year?
172 days for an average of 4 hours a day.
What must be taught:
Communication skills of reading, writing, and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, and regular courses of instruction in the Constitution of the United States after grade 7.
Records must be kept by parents:
Parents are responsible for keeping their student’s records. Minimal records are to include attendance, immunization records, and test and evaluation results. Such records shall be produced to the school district that received the notification 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 by the Colorado Department of Education.
Reenrolling in public school
Homeschooled students who re-enroll “…in the public school system may be tested by the school district in which the child has enrolled for the purpose of placing the child in the proper grade and shall then be placed at the grade level deemed most appropriate by said school district, with the consent of the child's parent or legal guardian. The school district shall accept the transcripts for credit from the non-public home-based educational program for any such child; except that the school district may reject such transcripts if the school district administers testing to such child and the testing does not verify the accuracy of such transcripts.”
Interscholastic sports and extracurricular activities:
Homeschoolers can participate in such activities on an equal basis, but are subject to the same rules and regulations as public school students. CHSAA has very specific rules for homeschoolers who wish to participate in varsity sports. Fees can be collected from a homeschooling family for such activities.
OTHER USEFUL FACTS
Where do families find curricula?
School District 11 will not provide curricula to parents. Parents must bear the burden of locating and purchasing books, lesson plans, and other educational materials for their students.
Who does the bi-yearly testing?
The parent or guardian in control of the home based educational program has the responsibility to locate a private testing service and arrange to have their student tested if they choose this option. D11 no longer provides these services. Note: grades 3,5,7,9 and 11 are required by the Colorado Department of Education to be tested.
When can I withdraw my child from public school?
After filing your NOI you have 14 days to begin your homeschool program. You may withdraw your student from school the same day you file your NOI unless your child is habitually truant in which case you must provide written evidence of curricula to be used. It is useful to use the 14 days period talking with your student about expectations, planning, and spending time with your child. A decompression period if you will.
The Law and Homeschooling
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states in the United States, but state laws that apply to homeschooling vary widely from state to state. Please consult the internet for laws in other states.