Compulsory attendance is required for children ages 8 through 17.
Home education programs are conducted, in compliance with the state's laws and regulations, by a parent, guardian, or any such person who has legal custody of a child or children. 24 P.S. §13-1327.1 (b).
Parents may refer to the Pennsylvania Religious Freedom Protection Act (RFPA) that references this option for homeschooling if parents substantiate a substantial burden on the free exercise of their religious beliefs. P.L. §1701, Act 214.
A home education program is not considered a nonpublic school in Pennsylvania. P.S. §13-1327.1 (b).
The parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children, who must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, is designated as the "supervisor" and is responsible for the provision of instruction. 22 Pa Code § 4.72, 24 P.S. §13-1327.1 (a).
A teacher who meets the standards for a "properly qualified private tutor" may provide private tutoring.
A properly qualified private tutor is a teacher who is certified to teach in the state's public schools, is working with children who are members of a single family, is providing the majority of instruction, and is receiving a fee or other consideration for the instruction. Parents who meet these qualifications may homeschool as a private tutor. 24 P.S. §13-1327 (a).
No person who would be disqualified from school employment by the provisions of subsection (e) of section 111 may be a private tutor. The private tutor must file a copy of his Pennsylvania certification and the required criminal history record with the student's district of residence superintendent. 24 P.S. §13-1327 (a).
A private tutor is not required to maintain Act 48 credits. 24 P.S. §12-1205.1 (e).
A private tutor must report enrollments, attendance and withdrawals. 24 P.S. §13-1332.
A private tutor must report truancy. 24 P.S. §13-1333.
A student who is privately tutored is eligible to be dually-enrolled in their school district, if the district permits it. 22 Pa Code §11.33.
Private tutored students are subject to requirements for curriculum and instructional time and for documentation of these. 22 Pa Code §11.31.
The parent of a privately tutored student is required to provide written assurance that the instructional requirements of this section have been met. 22 Pa Code § 11.31.
An affidavit and accompanying attachments, submitted to the superintendent of the student's district of residence, is required to commence a home education program. The initial year, the supervisor may begin a home education program at any time by submitting the documentation; however, the documentation is due by August 1 on subsequent years of a home education program. 24 P.S. §13-1327.1 (b).
The accompanying attachments include evidence that the child has been immunized in accordance with the provision of section 1303(a) and had received the health and medical services required for students of the child's age or grade level in Article XIV.
The outline of proposed educational objectives shall not be utilized by the superintendent in determining whether the home education program is out of compliance.
With submission of required documentation, there is no need to seek the approval of the school district where the family resides and plans to conduct the home education program. 22 Pa. Code §11.31a.
The school district of residence shall, at the request of the supervisor, lend to the home education program copies of the school district's planned courses, textbooks, and other curricular materials appropriate to the student's age and grade level. 24 P.S. §13-1327.1 (f).
Mandatory courses and days or hours of instruction are defined for the elementary level (grades K—6) and the secondary level (grades 7—12). 24 P.S. §13 1327.1 (c).
Graduation requirements are defined. 24 P.S. §13 1327.1 (d).
Portfolios must include a written evaluation of the student's educational progress. This may be provided by a Pennsylvania certified teacher with two years of teaching experience at the level at which they are evaluating, a licensed clinical or school psychologist or a nonpublic teacher or administrator who has at least two years of teaching experience within the last 10 years at the level they are evaluating. 24 P.S. §13-1327.1 (e)(2).
A portfolio must be submitted to the superintendent's office of the student's district of residence by the end of the school year to account for all homeschooling up to age 17. 24 P.S. §13-1327.1 (h), 22 Pa Code §11.13.
Homeschooled students in grades three, five, or eight must take, and report in their portfolio, the results of the statewide tests (PSSA) or another nationally normed standardized achievement test, as approved by the state department of education, in reading/language arts and mathematics. 24 P.S. §13-1327.1 (e)(1).
A home education program may associate with an organization that has the authority to grant a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)-recognized diploma. Other credentials exist. 22 Pa Code §4.72.
A home education program for a child who has been identified under the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as needing special education services (excluding those students identified as gifted and/or talented) must addresses the child's specific needs. A written approval of the educational plan by a teacher with a valid certificate from the Commonwealth to teach special education or a licensed clinical or certified school psychologist must be submitted with the affidavit. 24 P.S. §13-1327 (d).
The supervisor of a home education program may request that the school district or intermediate unit of residence provide services that address the specific needs of the exceptional student in the home education program. When the provision of services is agreed to by the supervisor and the school district or intermediate unit, all services shall be provided in the public schools or in a private school licensed to provide such programs and services. 24 P.S. §13-1327 (d).
Homeschooled students may be allowed to attend curricular classes in the student's district of residence's schools. These services are provided at the discretion of the district; parents must consult the district's policy on this matter. 22 Pa. Code §11.41.
Homeschooled students have the same access to participate in extracurricular activities (such as, but not limited to, clubs, musical ensembles, athletics and theatrical productions) of the public school district where they reside as do students who are enrolled in the school. All eligibility criteria, try-out criteria, policies, rules and regulations are applicable. 24 P.S. §13-1327.1(f.1).
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Nonpublic and Private Schools: 717-783-5146
Home Schooling: 717-787-4860 or 717-214-8212
A notarized affidavit of the parent or guardian or other person having legal custody of the child or children, filed prior to the commencement of the home education program and annually thereafter on August 1 with the superintendent of the school district of residence and which sets forth:
1) the name of the supervisor of the home education program who shall be responsible for the provision of instruction;
2) the name and age of each child who shall participate in the home education program;
3) the address and telephone number of the home education program site;
4) that such subjects as required by law are offered in the English language, including an outline of proposed education objectives by subject area;
5) evidence that the child has been immunized in accordance with the provisions of section 1303(a) 3 and has received the health and medical services required for students of the child's age or grade level in Article XIV; and
6) that the home education program shall comply with the provisions of this section and that the notarized affidavit shall be satisfactory evidence thereof.
The required outline of proposed education objectives shall not be utilized by the superintendent in determining if the home education program is out of compliance with this section and section 1327.4
The affidavit shall contain a certification to be signed by the supervisor that the supervisor, all adults living in the home and persons having legal custody of a child or children in a home education program have not been convicted of the criminal offenses enumerated in subsection (e) of section 111 5 within five years immediately preceding the date of the affidavit.
The sample affidavits shown below may be used by the supervisor of the home education program for children at the elementary school level (kindergarten through sixth grade) or at the secondary school level (seventh through twelfth grade). These documents must be notarized. The unsworn declarations shown below may also be used by a home school supervisor. They are similar to the affidavits, however, unsworn declarations do not need to be notarized but instead, are governed under perjury statutes.
A child who is enrolled in a home education program and whose education is therefore under the direct supervision of his parent, guardian or other person having legal custody shall be deemed to have met the requirements of section 1327 if that home education program provides a minimum of one hundred eighty (180) days of instruction or nine hundred (900) hours of instruction per year at the elementary level, or nine hundred ninety (990) hours per year at the secondary level.
At the elementary school level, the following courses shall be taught:
English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; civics; safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health and physiology; physical education; music; and art.
At the secondary school level, the following courses shall be taught:
English, to include language, literature, speech and composition; science; geography; social studies, to include civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra and geometry; art; music; physical education; health; and safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires.
Such courses of study may include, at the discretion of the supervisor of the home education program, economics; biology; chemistry; foreign languages; trigonometry; or other age-appropriate courses as contained in Chapter 5 (Curriculum Requirements) of the State Board of Education.
The following minimum courses in grades nine through twelve are established as a requirement for graduation in a home education program:
1) Four years of English.
2) Three years of mathematics.
3) Three years of science.
4) Three years of social studies.
5) Two years of arts and humanities.
The school district of residence shall, at the request of the supervisor, lend to the home education program copies of the school district's planned courses, textbooks and other curriculum materials appropriate to the student's age and grade level.
A portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio shall consist of a log, made contemporaneously with the instruction, which designates by title the reading materials used, samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student, and in grades three, five and eight results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests in reading/language arts and mathematics or the results of Statewide tests administered in these grade levels.
In grades three, five and eight nationally normed standardized achievement tests in reading/language arts and mathematics or the results of Statewide tests must be administered in these grade levels.
An annual written evaluation of the student's educational progress as determined by a licensed clinical or school psychologist or a teacher certified by the Commonwealth or by a nonpublic school teacher or administrator.
The school district of residence shall permit a child who is enrolled in a home education program to participate in any activity that is subject to the provisions of section 511,6 including, but not limited to, clubs, musical ensembles, athletics and theatrical productions, provided that the child:
1) Meets the eligibility criteria or their equivalent for participation in the activity that apply to students enrolled in the school district;
2) Meets the tryout criteria or their equivalent for participation in the activity that apply to students enrolled in the school district; and
3) Complies with all policies, rules and regulations or their equivalent of the governing organization of the activity.
In the event the home education program site is relocating to another school district within this Commonwealth during the course of the public school term or prior to the opening of the public school term in the fall, the supervisor of the home education program must apply, by registered mail, thirty (30) days prior to the relocation, to the superintendent of the district in which he or she currently resides, requesting a letter of transfer for the home education program to the district to which the home education program is relocating.
The current superintendent of residence must issue the letter of transfer thirty (30) days after receipt of the registered mail request of the home education program supervisor.
Some organizations apply to PDE for recognition as state approved diploma-granting organizations, using the Home Education Association Application for Recognition. These organizations are listed at the Diploma-Granting Organizations for Home Education Programs. Additionally, supervisor-issued homeschool diplomas are recognized by the state. This form for a supervisor-issued diploma (PDE 6008), and the others, are provided below.
The Pennsylvania Home Education and Private Tutoring webpage contains information relevant to parents and guardians, evaluators, private tutors, school districts, businesses and institutions of higher learning. Although some topics are targeted specifically to one of these audiences, all topics contain information that may be relevant to others. The current version of sections 1327 and 1327.1 are available online and discussed in the Home Education and Private Tutoring Guide.
School Services Office
Home Education and Private Tutoring Advisor
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