Home Schooling in New York State

Facts About Home Schooling in New York State

Your child’s schooling is important to you, and you have options as you think about back to school. You made it through the end of the 2019-2020 school year with the stay-at-home orders and closed schools. Home schooling is an option, but you need to know more.

Was COVID School-At-Home Really Home Schooling?

What you did during the spring of 2020 was really “school-at-home,” not home schooling. The main piece that was similar to home schooling was that your child did not attend in a school building. You also likely spent a lot more time with your child, which is a part of home schooling, but there are some major differences:

Home Schoolers School-at-Home During COVID
Have choice of teacher, curriculum, schedule, and type of instruction School made all these decisions
Have required hours of instruction: equal to five hours a day for 180 days in NY Most families spent fewer than five hours a day on schooling
Do not interact much with schools besides some required documents Many families met monthly, weekly, or even daily with teachers or administrators
Can teach based on the strengths and needs of their children Materials sent home were often the same for everyone in the class
Have chances to socialize through home schooling networks Some children could not see their friends (except online, if available)

What Is Home Schooling?

Home schooling is an option for families that takes time, commitment, and organization. There are a required number of hours of instruction that must be provided equaling five (5) hours a day for 180 days.

NYSED Home Instruction

When you are home schooling, you are doing many of the same things that schools do. You are:

  • teaching
  • assigning work
  • keeping grades and other records
  • giving your child feedback
  • working toward state standards
  • preparing your child for college or career

What Does A Typical Day Of Home Schooling Look Like?

A typical day of home schooling looks different from one family to another. Schedules vary as well as location for instruction. Many families join a home school group or co-op in their area. These groups provide an opportunity for group field trips, structured clubs, book and curriculum exchanges, organized athletic opportunities, and the opportunity to make new friends.

What Must You Do?

Keep in mind that if you decide to home school your child, there are certain laws that you must follow based on NYS Education Department Regulations, which can be found at http://www.p12. nysed.gov/part100/pages/10010.html.

To Do Date due for Start of School Year Notes
Letter of Intent: Provide a written Letter of Intent to the Superintendent of your school district. July 1, or 14 days of start of home instruction You will receive a response from the school district within 10 business days. This will include a copy of the NYS regulations, an individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) form, and any other related forms.
Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP): Submit a completed IHIP to the district. This must be done for each child being home schooled. August 15, or within 4 weeks of receiving the district’s response to your Letter of Intent The district will let you know if your IHIP is compliant within 10 business days of receiving it. If you receive notice that your IHIP is not compliant, you must submit a revised IHIP. The revised IHIP is due within 15 days. The district then has 15 days from receipt of the revised IHIP to notify you if it is compliant. If the revised IHIP is still not compliant, the district must notify you. It must also state reasons and give you the date of the next Board of Education meeting in case you want to appeal.
Quarterly Reports: Submit four times per school year (dates chosen by you in the IHIP). Dates chosen by you in the IHIP Submit a report showing your child’s progress. The third quarterly report must show plans for annual assessment. The fourth quarterly report must show annual assessment results.

You can request help from the school district to complete home schooling forms.

What If My Child Receives Special Education Services?

Based on a state law signed by the Governor in 2008, your child with a disability who is home schooled is eligible to receive special education services. These would be provided by your school district of residence.

  • Your child must have an approved Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) on file with the school district.
  • You must request special education services in writing. This must be done by June 1 (unless your child is identified as having a disability later than June 1 or there is a change in school district).
  • The Committee on Special Education (CSE) will develop an Individualized Education Services Program (IESP).
  • Services will be provided at a location determined by the district’s Board of Education.
  • Special Education Services for home schoolers will be decided with your district of residence. It is important to be familiar with the July 2008 memorandum.

If you have questions, contact the NYSED Office of Special Education Policy unity at 518-473-2878 or your local regional office.

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