Are there regulations that govern home schooling in Maryland?
Home schooling in Maryland is governed by Code of Maryland Regulations 13A.10.01. These regulations set forth the home schooling parameters that must be followed by parents/guardians who desire to teach a child at home. The regulations also establish a procedure for the local superintendent of schools or the head of a certified nonpublic school or religious institution supervising the home schooling to determine if a child participating in a home schooling program is receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age.
What is the responsibility of the parent/guardian for verifying that a child is being home schooled?
A parent/guardian who desires to home school a child should contact the home schooling coordinator for the local school system in which the child resides. The parent/guardian must initially complete and sign a “Home Schooling Notification Form” to indicate his/her intent to home school a child and to comply with the home schooling regulations. Each year thereafter, the parent/guardian must verify the continuation of home schooling with the local superintendent of schools or the supervising nonpublic school/institution. Additionally, the parent/guardian must notify the local superintendent of schools or the supervising nonpublic school/institution if the child’s home schooling status changes during the school year.
What are the options for home schooling?
A parent/guardian may instruct a child at home under the supervision of the local school system or through correspondence courses under the supervision of a nonpublic school. A nonpublic school may be a school/institution that offers an educational program operated by a bona fide church organization or a school/institution that has a certificate of approval from the Maryland State Board of Education.
What do the regulations require for home schooling under these
- Supervision by the local school system.
If home schooling is provided under the supervision of the local school system, the parent/guardian is required to maintain a portfolio of materials that demonstrates that the parent/guardian is providing regular, thorough instruction during the school year in English, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education at the appropriate grade level and includes relevant materials and examples of the child’s work. At the conclusion of each semester, a local school system representative reviews the portfolio. The parent/guardian must permit the school system representative, at a mutually agreeable time and place, to conduct the portfolio review, discuss the educational program, and observe instruction in order to ascertain compliance with the home schooling regulations. The regulations specify that there will be no more than three reviews during a school year.
B. Correspondence courses under the supervision of a school/institution offering an educational program operated by a bona fide church organization.
The regulations require that supervision by the school/institution must include, at a minimum, all of the following components: (1) pre-enrollment conferences with parents/guardians; (2) textbooks, lesson materials, and other instructional materials or equipment designed to be used independently by the student at a site other than a school; (3) annual visits by supervisory personnel to the site where the student is receiving instruction; and (4) conferences with parents/guardians at appropriate intervals during the period of enrollment.
C. Correspondence courses under the supervision of a State approved nonpublic school.
The regulations require that supervision by the school must include, at a minimum, all of the following components: (1) textbooks, lesson materials, and other instructional materials or equipment designed to be used independently by the student at a site other than a school; and (2) assignment of a school-based teacher to assist the parent/guardian in using the correspondence courses and to assist the student by issuing progress reports, marking papers, and grading tests.
What are the responsibilities of the supervising nonpublic
school/institution regarding verification of home schooled students
under its supervision?
The supervising nonpublic school/institution must annually verify with the local superintendent of schools the identification of home schooled children whose instruction is continuing under its supervision, the identification of newly added home schooled children under its supervision, and the identification of home schooled students whose instruction is no longer under its supervision. The supervising nonpublic school/institution must also notify the local superintendent of schools if a change occurs during the school year in the status of a home schooled student whose instruction is under its supervision.
What happens if the parent/guardian of the home schooled child fails to comply with the home schooling regulations?
If the parent/guardian of the home schooled child does not consent to the requirements as set forth in the home schooling regulations and does not sign the “Home Schooling Notification Form,” the child shall be promptly enrolled in a public or nonpublic school.
If a local superintendent of schools determines upon review of the home schooling program or inspection of the portfolio that a child is not receiving a regular, thorough instruction program in conformity with the home schooling regulations, the local superintendent will notify the parent/guardian in writing of the deficiencies in the program. The parent/guardian must provide evidence to the local superintendent within 30 days of receipt of the notification that the deficiency has been or is being corrected. The child will be promptly enrolled in a public or nonpublic school if the local superintendent determines that the plan to correct a deficiency is unsatisfactory or if a deficiency is not corrected.
How is placement in public school from a home school program determined?
Upon receipt of an application to admit a child to a public school from a home schooling program, the local superintendent of schools shall conduct an evaluation to determine placement of the child and any credits to be awarded toward high school graduation. The evaluation may include administration of standardized tests and examinations, as well as interviews with the child.
Frequently asked questions:
A. Are home schooled students required to take standardized tests?
The home schooling regulations authorize home schooled students to voluntarily participate in regularly scheduled standardized testing programs administered by the public school they are eligible to attend.
B. Can home schooled students take courses at the public school they are eligible to attend?
Home schooled students are authorized only to participate in standardized testing. The regulations do not authorize participation in any other public school courses or activities.
C. Must a parent/guardian have a high school diploma or college degree in order to home school the child?
The regulations do not require a parent/guardian to have a high school diploma or college degree to home school a child.