Compulsory attendance is required for children ages 5 through 18. In Rhode Island, the compulsory age is 16 if a student has an alternative learning plan for obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Approval of home instruction occurs at the local level with the local school committee. RIGL §16-19-1(a).
The state does not apply private school approval standards to home schools; therefore, a home school is not considered a private school.
At-home instruction is approved when it complies with the following requirements: the period of attendance is substantially equal to that required in a public school which is five and one-half hours per day for a minimum of 180 days; attendance registers and registers indicating the amount of daily instruction by subject are kept. RIGL §16-19-2. Rhode Island Board of Education Regulations G-4-4, G-4-11 (formerly designated as Rhode Island Regents Regulations).
State law requires the instruction be in English and the curriculum to include: reading, writing, geography, arithmetic, history of the United States, history of Rhode Island, principles of American Government, health and physical education. Also, beginning with fourth grade, history and government of Rhode Island must be taught. In high school, the U.S. Constitution and Rhode Island Constitution must be taught. RIGL §16-19-2.
A teaching certificate is not required, but the instructor is expected to provide "thorough and efficient instruction." RIGL §16-19-2.
Local school districts must loan textbooks in science, math, and modern foreign languages, as well as texts for some other subject areas. However, the only books that can be loaned are books being used in the public schools of Rhode Island. Other instructional materials will have to be purchased. RIGL §16-23-2.
The parent and the local school committee must agree on a method of evaluating the student's progress in all required subjects. RIGL §16-19-2.
The completion of a program through at-home instruction does not entitle students to the resident district's high school diploma.
A homeschooled student may participate in activities sponsored by the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) provided there is compliance with RIIL's Rule 3, Section 1.
Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
255 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903-3400
The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) does not directly supervise home instruction. In Rhode Island, approval of home instruction occurs at the local school district level. If you are thinking of home-schooling your child, RIDE suggests you call your Rhode Island local school superintendent’s office for information.
You need to present a proposed home schooling program to your Rhode Island local school committee for approval. Your plan will need to show that you will teach the required subjects. There should be agreement between you and your Rhode Island local school committee regarding how your child’s academic progress will be evaluated.
A teaching certificate or any other certificate or special qualifications is not required, you only have to show that you are able to provide “thorough and efficient” instruction.
You may copy the public school curriculum or use correspondence courses, or you may design your own curriculum. Please check with your Rhode Island local school department.
State law requires that you teach reading, writing, geography, arithmetic, history of the United States, history of Rhode Island, principles of American Government, health and physical education. Also, beginning with fourth grade, history and government of Rhode Island must be taught. In high school, the U.S. Constitution and Rhode Island Constitution must be taught.
General Laws 16-23-2 and 16-23-3 require local school districts must loan textbooks in science, math, and modern foreign languages, as well as texts for some other subject areas. However, the only books that can be loaned are books being used in the public schools of Rhode Island. Other instructional materials will have to be purchased by you.
The same number of hours public school is in session in your district is required for homeschooled students – generally five and one half hours per day, for at least 180 days per year.
You must keep attendance records. Attendance records should be submitted to the person in charge of home schooling in your Rhode Island local school district.
The parent and the school committee must agree on a way of evaluating your child’s progress in all required subjects. If you and your school committee agree that you will test at home, you must keep progress reports/test scores. The site of testing is subject to agreement by you and representatives of your district. Testing at the home is an option you should discuss with district representatives, if you’re interested in this. Test score reports should be submitted to the person in charge of home schooling in your Rhode Island local school district
Homeschooler extra-curricular activities at schools has been encouraged by the Commissioner of Education when space is available, each school committee has authority to decide whether or not to allow a home-schooled child to participate in public school programs and public school extra-curricular activities. Additional requirements must be met by children who wish to participate in Rhode Island Interscholastic League athletic programs.
Rhode Island does not provide diplomas, but your child may take the G.E.D. test to receive a high school equivalency diploma. Instead of a diploma, some districts issue a “certificate of completion.”
Some colleges do not require a high school diploma and will accept home-schooled students. You will have to research which colleges permit this.
Specific questions about homeschooling should be directed to your Rhode Island local school department. For more information, please call the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Legal Office at (401) 222-8979 or your local school department.
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