Compulsory attendance is required for children ages 5 through 16.
A home school is defined as a nonpublic school. Delaware Code lists three types of home schools: "multi-family home school," "single-family home school," and "single-family home school coordinated with the local school district." Del. Code Ann., title 14, §2703A.
All nonpublic schools, including home schools, must register their students with the state in order for those students to be exempt from the compulsory attendance law. Del. Code Ann., title 14, §§2702, 2703, and 2704.
All persons conducting private schools and/or home schools shall report to the Department of Education the attendance on or before July 31 of each year. All persons conducting private schools and/or home schools must also submit a statement annually of enrollment no later than October 5 on such forms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Department of Education. Del. Code Ann., title 14, §2704.
No state policy currently exists for curriculum or assessment.
According to Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association regulation 1008 2.3, a student must be enrolled in the public middle or junior high school which he or she represents to participate in public school sports.
Delaware Department of Education
The Townsend Building
401 Federal Street
Dover, DE 19901-3639
Phone: (302) 735-4000
Fax: (302) 739-4654
If you plan to homeschool children in Delaware, you must open a nonpublic school (NPS) with the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) and enroll your children.
The process contains three steps:
Apply for an EdAccess Account and select Nonpublic School Account from the dropdown. Once you have submitted the form, be sure to check your email for a confirmation and next steps.
Log into the Nonpublic School Application via EdAccess. Select the Nonpublic School Application icon, select the +School blue button at the top of the page. Then select the type of NPS you are opening, enter the school’s demographic information, contact information, and add student(s) to be enrolled. If you are opening a homeschool, make sure to link your students to a parent/guardian. Be sure to save and continue on each page, review the information one more time, and then submit. At this time, your nonpublic school request will go into a pending status.
Print or obtain a copy of the Acknowledgment Letter indicating that your NPS has been opened and your student(s) is/are enrolled. Public schools will not withdraw your child(ren) to a NPS without this Acknowledgement Letter.
Please note, if you are registering a nonpublic school for next school year, you will need to wait until after August 10th to do so.
Once the DDOE notifies you that your NPS is approved/open, you can access the homepage for your NPS by logging in through EdAccess and clicking on the NPS icon. This will take you to your NPS homepage for your school.
This is the official document that shows your nonpublic school has been registered with the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE). This document will also show the status of your student enrollment. The DDOE encourages you to keep a copy of this document for your records any time the status of your school or student changes.
To locate the Acknowledgement Letter, please log into the NPS Application via EdAccess. Select the Records tab at the top of the screen and then Acknowledgement Letter. You will need to select the School Year for which you want to print the letter. You can click the Print All button to print the letter containing all students enrolled in the school, or you can select specific students and then click the Print Selected button.
The DDOE does not provide or recommend the curriculum of any nonpublic school (homeschool or private). The DDOE does not endorse, accredit, approve, or provide any curriculum for Delaware Nonpublic schools.
After opening your homeschool, you will be responsible for the courses, course work, materials and supplies needed.
Online schools do not report student enrollment and attendance to the DDOE. After your child(ren) is/are enrolled in an “open status” Delaware homeschool, you may choose to participate in an online curriculum as long as you continue to maintain your “open status” homeschool with the DDOE.
The DDOE does not require a specific number of days for nonpublic schools to be open during a school year. The DDOE does also not collect attendance information throughout the school year. Attendance will be reported as an aggregate total during the attendance reporting window (June through July annually).
Many nonpublic schools will choose to model their school year similar to public schools, starting in September and remaining open for 180 school days. However, this is not a requirement and up to each individual nonpublic school.
The nonpublic school system is closed from August 1st to August 10th annually to allow the DOOE to roll the system to the new school year. Each school year within the NPS system begins in August.
The DDOE does not retain any academic records for any nonpublic school, open or closed. We strongly encourage all nonpublic schools to maintain and retain a portfolio and records for their student(s). We also recommend that parents/guardians ensure they retain this information for their student(s) as a student may find they need this information years down the road.
The DDOE does not issue report cards for any nonpublic school. A report card will be issued will be the responsibility of the homeschool primary contact/administrator or Private School. The DDOE does not determine whether a student is qualified for promotion to the next grade level. Both grading and promotion are determined by homeschool primary contact/administrator or Private School.
Report cards will come from the single family homeschool or multi-family homeschool, or the Private School. It is up to the nonpublic school to determine promotion criteria and promotion is reported with the required annual enrollment submission, no later than October 5.
The DDOE does not administer or provide state assessments to homeschool students. There are private options available if you wish to pursue annual testing for you child(ren). Homeschool students are eligible for these private options to take the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams. The DDOE cannot recommend any specific private option.
Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) regulations 1008 and 1009 require that in order for a student to represent a school in interscholastic athletics they must be enrolled at that school as a full-time student and the school must be a member school of the DIAA.
If your child(ren) withdraws from a Delaware public to enroll in a Delaware nonpublic school (homeschool or private school), that nonpublic school must be opened, and your child(ren) enrolled in that nonpublic school before your child(ren) is/are withdrawn from a Delaware public school.
The DOE must be made aware of their nonpublic school status through nonpublic registration and enrollment, or the student will be considered truant in their previous public school.
Once your child(ren) is/are enrolled in an open Delaware NPS, you are required to provide the Acknowledgement Letter to the public school to withdraw your child(ren). Public schools will not withdraw your child(ren) to a nonpublic school without this acknowledgement document.
For multi-family homeschools and Private Schools, the school’s liaison will provide the parent/guardian with a copy of the Acknowledgement Letter.
If your student has not been enrolled in a Delaware public school because you are new to the state or now entering kindergarten, you do not need to withdraw from public school.
For Single Family Homeschools:
The school administrator, parent or guardian, must:
1) Withdraw their student(s) from the homeschool.
2) Re-print the Acknowledgement Letter showing the student(s) has/have been withdrawn.
3) Take the Acknowledgement Letter and an accurate academic portfolio to the public school.
For Multi-Family Homeschools and Private Schools:
The school administrator must:
1) Withdraw the student(s) from the homeschool.
2) Provide a copy of the Acknowledgement Letter showing the student(s) has/have been withdrawn to the parent/guardian.
The parent/guardian must:
Take the provided Acknowledgement Letter and an accurate academic portfolio to the public school.
If a student returns to public school in Delaware, it is the public school’s decision which grade level a student is placed when re-enrolled into a public school.
If you are moving to Delaware from another state and enrolling your student into a Delaware nonpublic school, you are not required to provide the Delaware Department of Education with any academic records from your previous State of residency. However, if you are enrolling into a Private School, they may require these records. If you are opening a homeschool, please follow the application steps. You will not need to withdraw your student from a Delaware public school district.
If you are moving from Delaware to another state, please be sure to submit a Delaware Support Request Form. Select School Closure from the dropdown. Be sure to let us know you are moving out of the State of Delaware and the closure date. Once your school is closed, we encourage you to print a final copy of the Acknowledgement Letter for your records showing the school as closed and your student(s) as withdrawn.
The DOE does not issue diplomas for any nonpublic school or validate any type of credential provided by those schools. The DOE does not retain copies of any diplomas for nonpublic school students. The diploma will be issued by, and come from the nonpublic school.
Students and parents/guardians may wish to contact a college, university, training program, licensing entities, or employer to determine if they will accept the diploma from a homeschool or multi-family homeschool under consideration.
If a public school district has an open truancy case involving a student pending enrollment into a homeschool, that student will be denied enrollment by the DDOE.
If a public school district is preparing to file truancy but a student is enrolled into a homeschool before they do so, the public school district may still choose to pursue truancy charges.
Enrollment into a nonpublic school should not be used as a way to avoid truancy charges.
Source: Delaware Department of Education
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