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Home Study Program-FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Study Programs:

 

Introduction

Every parent, guardian, or other person within this state having control or charge of any child or children between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays shall enroll and send such child or children to a public school, a private school, or a home study program. (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-690-1)

General Information About Home Schooling

Parents or guardians must annually submit to the superintendent of the local school district in which the program is located a Declaration of Intent to utilize a Home Study Program by September 1 or within 30 days after a program is established. The local school superintendent will provide a form upon request for this purpose to be returned to that office.

The Declaration must include the names and ages of the students, the address where the program is located, and the dates of the school year.

Parents or guardians may teach only their own children in the home study program provided the teaching parent or guardian possesses at least a high school diploma or a general educational development diploma, but the parents or guardians may employ a tutor who holds a high school diploma or a general educational development diploma to teach such children.

The home study program must include, but is not limited to: instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.

The school year must include the equivalent of 180 days of at least 4.5 (four and one-half) hours of instruction per day unless the child is physically unable to comply with this requirement.

Monthly attendance reports must be sent to the local superintendent at the end of each month. The local school superintendent will, upon request, provide the reporting forms.

Students in home study programs shall be subject to an appropriate nationally standardized testing program administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm-referenced tests. The student must be evaluated at least every three years beginning at the end of the third grade. Records of such tests shall be retained.

The instructor shall write an annual progress assessment report in each required subject area for each student. These reports shall be retained for at least three years.

 

 
 
 
What are the basic provisions of the compulsory attendance law?

Every parent, guardian or other person residing within this state having control or charge of any child(ren) between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays must enroll and send such child(ren) to a public school, a private school or a home study program that meets requirements.

Who can operate a home study program?

Parents or guardians may operate a home study program for their child(ren) only, provided the parents or guardians meet specific requirements of the law.

Who is responsible for the enforcement of the law?

It is the duty of the local board of education and each local school superintendent to enforce the law.

According to the law, what is the first step in establishing a home study program?

Within 30 days after a program is established and by September 1 annually thereafter, the parents or guardians must file a Declaration of Intent with the local school superintendent. This Declaration must include the names and ages of the students, the address where the program is located and the dates of the school year. Upon request, the local school superintendent should provide the parent with the proper form

Are there any qualifications required for the parent who teaches the child?

Yes. If the teacher is a parent or guardian, s/he must have a high school diploma or general educational development diploma.

Can the parents or guardians employ someone else to teach in a home school program?

Yes. However, any employed tutor must hold a high school diploma or general educational development diploma.

Does the law address curriculum requirements for home study programs?

Yes. The program must provide a basic academic educational program which includes (but is not limited to) instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science.

Is a home study program required by law to be operated within specified hours?

No. The law only requires the program to operate the equivalent of 180 days or at least 4.5 (four and one-half) hours of instruction per day unless the child is physically unable to comply with this requirement.

Does the law specify any promotion

The law does not specify any promotion


 

requirements, testing or record keeping by the home study program?

requirements. However, it does stipulate that an "appropriate" nationally standardized testing program be administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm-referenced tests. The law further states that the student must be evaluated at least every three years beginning at the end of the third grade and that records of such tests must be retained.

Are progress reports or report cards required of home study programs?

The law states that the instructor must write an annual progress assessment report in each required subject area for each student and that the reports must be retained for at least three years.

Are home study programs required to keep attendance records?

Yes. The law requires that monthly attendance reports be submitted to the local school superintendent at the end of each month. Forms are available from your local school superintendent.

Should officials of the local public school system attempt to monitor the curriculum, the test program, student assessment process, student records or instruction time of home study programs?

No.

Are there any requirements in the law pertaining to facilities or health and safety standards?

No.

Are public school systems required by law to furnish for home study programs instructional materials, textbooks or services such as testing?

No.

Are there any state rules, regulations or guidelines concerning the grade placement of students or validation of credits earned by students in home study programs who are entering or returning to the public schools?

Local boards of education are required to adopt policies and procedures for validating credit for courses taken in a home study program. The procedures at a minimum must include the following:

                        • probationary placement and satisfactory performance for one or more grading periods or

                        • acceptable scores on tests focused on group placement, subject area and/or grade level.

 

Will high school students entering the public schools from home study programs be required to meet all state board rules concerning graduation requirements?

Yes. All students graduating from any state-supported Georgia high schools must meet all state requirements in regard to attendance, Carnegie Units and


 

passing scores on the state assessment requirements.

What is the penalty for being violation of this law?

Any person in violation of this law is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $100 (one hundred dollars).

What steps should a local school superintendent take when a violation occurs?

The law requires the local school superintendent to notify the parent or guardian of the child and then to report to the juvenile or other court having jurisdiction.

 

Additional Information

There is no provision in the law that requires public school systems to participate in or contribute to home study programs. Neither does the law prohibit a school system from assisting parents and students on a voluntary basis.

The mandate placed on the public education system calls for each local school superintendent to enforce the compulsory attendance of all children between the ages of six and sixteen in a public school, a private school or a home study program that meets legal requirements. Therefore, the Declaration of Intent form and the monthly attendance form must be completed for each student enrolled in a home school and submitted to the office of the local school superintendent.

The following resources may be of help as you consider setting up a home study program for your child.

NOTE: No information is available from the Georgia Department of Education pertaining to the quality of services, programs or products from these sources.

The Georgia Department of Education does not monitor, evaluate or endorse any products or services from the organizations and companies listed below.

In addition, because this information is provided on an as-is basis without warranty of any kind, you should investigate these resources to determine their value and appropriateness for each home-schooling situation. Use due diligence.

SCHOOLinSITES

98 E. Roberts Ave.
Pearson, GA 31642
Phone: 912-422-7373
Fax: 912-422-7369
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