Whether you're new to home instruction or just preparing for another year of teaching your children in the home, you should be aware of Maine's home instruction requirements and laws, and make sure you submit the appropriate paperwork. Stay informed and Subscribe to Email Updates about home instruction from the Department.
Requirements & Forms
How to Submit the Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction
- Online submission: Home Instruction Portal (one submission process for both first / subsequent year of home instruction)
How to Begin Home Instruction
New for 2019-2020: The requirements for the Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction and Subsequent Year Letter, formerly on separate paper forms, are combined on one form/process beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, and may be completed via the Home Instruction Portal, or by submitting a paper form or other notice that contains the required information (please see the Frequently Asked Questions for required information details). Additionally, home instruction requirements submitted for 2019-2020 will serve as notification to both the Maine Department of Education and the resident Superintendent, as required by law, and will prompt an acknowledgment to parents who supply a valid email address. A school year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.
The parent/guardian who is beginning home instruction for a student for the first time must file a Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction with the local school superintendent or to the Maine Department of Education (DOE) within 10 days of withdrawal from school.
Each year thereafter, a Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction (with prior year assessment results attached - see below) must be filed by September 1.
Prior to submission ensure that copies of any prior year required assessments (parents must submit for subsequent year students) are available for mailing or delivery, or scanned for upload if using the Home Instruction Portal input option.
The updated process will allow parents to provide first/subsequent year notice “simultaneously to the school officials of the administrative unit in which the student resides and to the commissioner” in one of three ways:
- Enter information once annually directly on the new Home Instruction Portal, uploading any required prior year assessment information;
- Complete the form or letter on paper once annually and take it, with any required prior year assessments, to the resident superintendent’s office; or
- Complete the paper form or other form/letter once annually and mail it with any required prior year assessments to the Department of Education or to the Superintendent’s Office.
Parents who supply a valid email address will receive an email acknowledgment.
- Maine Home Instruction Statute. Read Maine's statute related to home instruction: Title 20-A, Section 5001-A, Sub-section 3.
- Home Instruction Access Law. Public schools are permitted to partially enroll home instruction students into classes or extra-curricular activities that are available at the school, as space and resources allow. In certain situations, students participating in home instruction may access certain public school programs. Read Sub-section 1-A: Equivalent Instruction Programs.
- Special Education & Home Instruction. Home instruction students are eligible to receive special education services at their resident school unit’s public school. The public school has an obligation to provide such services only in the event that the student elects to participate in classes at the school, and only to the extent that those services are necessary, due to the student’s disability, to enable the student to participate in those classes. On the Special Education Laws & Regulations page, click "State Regulation: Chapter 101" to download the document. See Section IV.4.H.
Standards for participation in public schools by students enrolled in equivalent instruction programs. A student receiving home instruction may participate in public school activities as outlined in Title 20-A, Section 5021. A school administrative unit is entitled to receive state subsidy for any student who receives instruction through one or more on-site academic courses from a public school but is not a full-time student. The rate of reimbursement must be established in increments of 0.25 full-time equivalent status up to 1.0 full-time equivalent status based on the average amount of time per day that a student receives on-site academic services from a public school.