INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO. 42
POLICY CODE: IHBC
TO: Superintendents of Schools
FROM: Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner
DATE: November 2, 2006
RE: Homeschooling 2006-07
In response to a recent inquiry, I thought that it would be useful to review the present requirements for homeschooling in Maine. As you may know, Chapter 181, An Act to Amend the Laws Governing Home Instruction, was approved by the 121st Maine Legislature and signed by Governor Baldacci on May 16, 2003. The law applies to homeschooling for the 2003-04 school year and beyond (Title 20-A M.R.S.A. Section 5001-A, subsection 3(A)(4).
- Parents wishing to homeschool their children for the first time in Maine shall file a “Notice of Intent” and those continuing to homeschool shall file a “Subsequent Year Letter” instead of a State application.
- The “Notice of Intent” which shall be filed with the Commissioner and the local Superintendent of Schools within 10 calendar days of the beginning of home instruction, shall contain the following:
- The name, signature and address of the student’s parent or guardian;
- The name and age of the student;
- The date the home instruction program will begin;
- A statement of assurance that indicates the home instruction program will provide at least 175 days annually of instruction and will provide instruction in the following subject areas: English and language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, health education, library skills, fine arts, and in at least one grade from grade 6-12, Maine studies; and that at one grade level from grade 7 to 12, the student will demonstrate proficiency in the use of computers; and
- A statement of assurance that indicates that the home instruction program will include an annual assessment of the student’s academic progress that includes at least one of the forms of assessment described in 20-A M.R.S.A. 5001-A (3)(A)(4)(b), which are:
- a standardized achievement test; or
- a test developed by the school officials of the administrative unit in which the student resides; or
- a review and acceptance of the student’s progress by an identified individual who holds a current Maine teacher’s certificate; or
- a review and acceptance of the student’s progress based on, but not limited to, a presentation of an educational portfolio of the student to a local area homeschooling support group whose membership for this purpose includes a currently certified Maine teacher or administrator; or
- a review and acceptance of the student’s progress by a local advisory board selected by the superintendent of the administrative unit in which the student resides
The “Subsequent Year Letter” shall be filed (on or before September 1 of each subsequent year of home instruction) with the Department of Education and the local Superintendent of Schools stating the intention to continue providing home instruction and it must include a copy of the annual assessment from the previous year.
Parents/guardians may list more than one child on the “Notice of Intent” and the “Subsequent Year Letter” (which includes the annual assessment).
At this time, the Department of Education will not be sending the parents/guardians or the local Superintendent of Schools assessment cover letters or letters of approval for homeschooling.
The Local Superintendent of Schools is still responsible for assuring that all school age children residing in the School Administrative Unit are in compliance with Title 20-A, Section 5001-A, Compulsory Attendance.
The “Notice of Intent” or the “Subsequent Year Letter,” along with the annual assessment, must still be submitted to the Department of Education and the local Superintendent of Schools. Failure of the parent(s) of homeschooled students to submit this information may result in local truancy actions.
If a parent/guardian is registered with the Department of Education and their local Superintendent of Schools to homeschool their child(ren) during 2006-07, he/she must enclose a copy of the assessment for 2005-06, along with their “Subsequent Year Letter” for 2006-07.
A sample “Notice of Intent” and “Subsequent Year Letter” can be found on the Department of Education’s website at www.maine.gov/education/hs. Parents/guardians should feel free to develop their own format for the “Notice of Intent” and “Subsequent Year Letter.”
A list of homeschooling resources can still be located on the Department of Education’s website at www.maine.gov/education/hs.
The annual assessment (only for those students who were registered with the State of Maine to be homeschooled during the 2005-06 school year) and the “Subsequent Year Letter” should be sent to:
Edwin N. Kastuck, Ph.D.
Department of Education
#23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Please feel free to contact Edwin N. Kastuck, Ph.D., Department of Education, School Approval Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (207) 624-6776 if you have any questions.