Compulsory attendance is required for children ages 6 through 17.
Home schools meet the definition of "nonpublic schools," which means an institution for the teaching of children, consisting of a physical plant, whether owned or leased, including a home, instructional staff members and students, and which is in session each school year. This definition shall include, but not be limited to, private, church, parochial, and home instruction programs. Miss. Code Ann. §37-13-91(2)(i).
The State of Mississippi does not have the "authority to control, manage, or supervise" the private education of children." Miss. Code Ann. §37-13-91(9).
The parent or guardian of a child enrolled in a legitimate homeschooling program is required to complete a "certificate of enrollment" and return it to the school attendance officer where such child resides on or before September 15 of each year. Miss. Code Ann. §37-13-91(3).
Other than the Certificate of Enrollment, there are no current state laws concerning requirements for home schooling programs.
A parent must educate his child in a "legitimate home instruction program" and not with the "purpose of avoiding or circumventing the compulsory attendance law." Miss. Code Ann. §37-13-91(3)(c).
"Home schools and home schooling programs, including those that are affiliated with an accrediting agency, are specifically excluded from this definition [of "school"] and are not eligible to participate in the State Board of Education accreditation process." Nonpublic Schools Accountability Standards, Introduction, 2004.
A homeschooled student seeking to transfer to a Mississippi public school "may be required to take a test to determine the grade and class to which the pupil shall be assigned at the time of pupil transfer." Miss. Code Ann. §37-15-33.
Mississippi Department of Education
359 North West Street
P.O. Box 771
Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: (601) 359-3513
Fax: (601) 359-3242
Home Schooling in Mississippi is an Alternative to Public School Education
Every family who wishes to home school compulsory school age children must complete an enrollment form with the local Mississippi School Attendance Officer (SAO) for every year the child home schools. This is in accordance with the Compulsory School Attendance Law §Mississippi 37-13-91(2)(c) (PDF). Parents should keep a copy of the enrollment form for their records.
Home school enrollment must be completed by September 15 of each school year. You must wait until the current school year has ended before enrolling a child in home school for an upcoming school year.
Download the Mississippi Home School Certificate of Enrollment Form, complete it, and return it to your local Mississippi School Attendance Officer (SAO). Submit an original form signed in blue ink. Locate your SAO on the school attendance officer contact list. Please contact your SAO either by email or phone to obtain the return mailing address.
1) Review the Mississippi College and Career-Readiness Standards (MCCRS). The MCCRS provide clear expectations of what a student should know and be able to do at each grade level. Aligning instruction with these standards and competencies will ensure a smoother transition should the child return to public school.
2) Maintain a portfolio for each child that contains samples of activities, assignments, projects, and assessments, as well as a log of books and materials used.
3) Include results of any national assessments
4)Contact potential colleges and universities to learn what is required for admission.
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