Compulsory attendance is required for children ages 6 through 18.
A home-based private educational program is instruction provided to a child by the child's parent or guardian or by a person designated by the parent or guardian. An instructional program provided to more than one family unit does not constitute a home-based private educational program. Wis. Stats. §115.001(3g).
A parent, guardian, or designee has the right to select a home-based private education program for his or her child or children, in order to comply with the compulsory school attendance law. Wis. Stats. §118.15(4).
A home-based private educational program is not a private school under state law.
On or before each October 15, each administrator of a public or private school system or a home-based private educational program shall submit to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, on forms provided by the department, a statement of the enrollment on the third Friday of September in the elementary and high school grades under his or her jurisdiction. This information is required be submitted electronically by completing and submitting the online PI-1206 Homeschool Report. Wis. Stats. §115.30(3).
The program of instruction must provide a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and health for at least 875 hours each year. Testing of students is not mandatory under Wisconsin law. A student enrolled in a home-based private educational program may pursue the requirements for a GED certificate but do not receive a traditional Wisconsin high school diploma. Wis. Stats. §118.165 (1)(d).
Home-based private education students are allowed to attend their local public high school on a part time basis. A school district, space permitting, must admit a home-based private education student to take up to two courses per semester in the high school in which the student is a resident. Students must satisfy the high school admission standards of the school district. Wis. Stats. §118.145(4).
Parents or guardians requesting permission for homeschooled students to participate in public school curricular, athletic or extra-curricular activities should contact the student's school district of residence.
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
125 South Webster Street
P.O. Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841
Home Schooling: 608-266-9248 or toll-free at 1-888-245-2732, ext. 1
Under Wis. Stat. sec. 118.15(4), a parent or guardian has the right to select a home-based private educational program, commonly referred to as homeschooling, for his or her child or children, in order to comply with the compulsory school attendance law.
The statutes contain no express authority for any agency or school district to monitor home-based private educational programs or to verify the hours of instruction provided or the use of a sequential curriculum.
Wisconsin recommends that homeschooling parents maintain records of the instruction provided as this information may be used by prospective employers, including the military, and any post-secondary institutions to which the student may apply in the future.
Wis. Stat. sec. 115.30(3) requires the child's parent or guardian to file the online PI-1206 Homeschool Enrollment Report, which is available online from the Department of Public Instruction’s website at: Wisconsin PI-1206 Homeschool Enrollment Report (HOMER).
When a parent chooses to homeschool his/her child, it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the child’s educational program meets the requirements above. The parent is also responsible for obtaining educational materials to use for instruction. A homeschool parent may provide the instruction or designate someone else to do so.
Parents also have the option of enrolling their children, at the parent’s expense, in an out-of-state and/or privately operated correspondence or virtual school. Parents who choose this option are responsible for ensuring that their child's educational program meets the requirements for a home-based private educational program in Wisconsin.
The DPI does not provide instruction or curricula for home-based private educational program.
The program must provide a "... sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health."
Wis. Stat. sec.118.165(1) specifies that a home-based private educational program must provide "... at least 875 hours of instruction each school year."
Wisconsin’s homeschooling laws do not require any form of testing or assessment. If you wish to have your child tested or assessed periodically to determine their level of progress, you would be responsible for obtaining such tests. While school districts are not obligated to provide testing services, you may contact your local school district regarding possible testing using local district tests. A fee may be imposed for any services rendered. Public school districts in Wisconsin are not allowed to administer state required assessments to students enrolled in home-based private educational program.
The DPI does not provide instruction or curricula for home-based private educational programs.
The part-time attendance law, Wis. Stat. sec.118.53 , allows homeschooled students to attend a public school on a part-time basis. A school district is required, space permitting, to allow pupils who are enrolled in a homeschool program to take up to two courses per semester at any public school. Students must satisfy the minimum standards for admission to a course offered by the school district.
2015 Act 55 requires a school board to permit resident pupils enrolled in a home-based private education program to participate in interscholastic athletics on the same basis and to the same extent as pupils enrolled in the district.
The home-based program must provide the school board with a written statement that the pupil meets the requirements for participation, based on age and on the pupil’s academic and disciplinary records.
The school district may not question the accuracy or validity of the statement and could not request additional information. A school board may charge a homeschool pupil who participates in interscholastic athletics participation fees, including fees for uniforms and equipment, on the same basis and to the same extent that it charges these fees to a pupil who is enrolled in the school district.
Questions regarding sports participation in your resident school district should be directed to the district’s athletic director or the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (www.wiaawi.org).
If you are no longer homeschooling any children, update your online PI-1206 report to zero “0” and then resubmit the report.
When a student who was previously enrolled in homeschooling enrolls in a public or private school, that school district or private school has discretion regarding grade level placement and the number of credits, if any, that it will grant the student for courses completed in the homeschool program. ou may wish to contact the school or school district where your child will enroll to inquire about its policies.
School districts are not required to provide special education and related services to children with disabilities enrolled in home-based private educational programs.
In Wisconsin, there are different types of "virtual" or online programs in which a child can enroll:
1) a program offered by a private company or school that may be based anywhere in the country and is not a Wisconsin private school;
2) a private school in Wisconsin that provides virtual programming; and,
3) a program offered by a public Wisconsin charter school. If you enroll your child in a program offered by a private company or school that is not a Wisconsin private school, he/she would be considered enrolled in a homeschooling program. You will need to submit the PI-1206 Homeschool Enrollment Report and pay tuition to that entity. As the parent/guardian of a homeschooled student, you would be responsible for ensuring that the program in which you enroll your child meets the requirements of Wisconsin state law.
In Wisconsin, high school diplomas are issued by public and private schools. A home-based private educational program does not lead to a traditional Wisconsin high school diploma. Some homeschooling families do create a diploma upon completion of their home-based private educational program.
Although these home-issued diplomas are not traditional high school diplomas, the Wisconsin Parents Association has indicated these home-issued diplomas are widely accepted by potential employers, colleges, and universities for admission and financial aid.
A student who is enrolled in a home-based private educational program may wish to pursue the requirements for a General Educational Development (GED) certificate and/or a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). Additional information about obtaining a GED or HSED is available on the department’s website at: https://dpi.wi.gov/ged.
Most institutions of higher education use alternative admissions processes for students who do not have a traditional high school background. These institutions may use any documentation that you might have available in addition to your child's scores on the ACT and/or SAT tests in determining whether he/she is qualified for admission.
You should contact each postsecondary institution your child is interested in attending for information on its admissions policies. You may need to provide the institution with copies of the PI-1206 reports you have filed with the DPI as well as records relating to the number of hours of instruction provided, the curriculum, and your child's academic progress.
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