Connecticut General Statute 10-184 says that all parents are responsible for ensuring that their children receive instruction in the following required subjects:
- Reading, writing, spelling, and English grammar;
- United States history, and citizenship, including a study of the town, state, and federal governments.
Parents have both a statutory and constitutional right to educate their children at home, and they are not required by law to initiate any contact with government officials before they begin to homeschool.
Depending on where you live, school officials may ask you to do one of the following. Both are optional.
1. You may be asked to file a notice of intent. This is optional.
Connecticut’s Department of Education has adopted optional homeschool guidelines, which say that a family can create a presumption that they are providing equivalent instruction to their children if they voluntarily file a notice of intent to homeschool with their local school superintendent within 10 days of starting their homeschool program.
Because of these guidelines, some school districts may ask families to file a notice of intent, or send the family a notice of intent to fill out. This is optional, and while there may be some circumstances where it may be beneficial to file one, for
most families it is not necessary. If you are a member of HSLDA, and you would like help in considering whether to file a notice of intent in your specific situation, please contact us for assistance.
If you do decide that filing an optional notice of intent is best for your situation, we recommend a few safeguards. First, we recommend using this notice of intent form created by the state Department of Education, which is limited to providing the name of the teacher, the subjects to be taught and days of instruction, and the teacher’s methods of assessment. We also recommend that if you file an optional notice, you mail your notice to the school district via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested. If you decide to hand-deliver your optional notice, be sure to have the superintendent's office mark the date the letter was received, sign or stamp the letter to indicate receipt, and give you a photocopy that you can keep for your records.
Finally, it’s important to note that even if you file an optional notice, it is not a request for approval. Two surrounding states (Massachusetts and Rhode Island) still require families to seek “approval” to homeschool. Connecticut does not. Filing a notice is voluntary, does not seek “approval” to homeschool, and receipt of your notice by the school district does not in any way constitute “approval” of your homeschool program.
2. You may be asked to attend an annual portfolio review meeting. This is optional.
Based on the Guidelines, school officials may also ask you to attend an annual meeting to “determine if instruction in the required courses has been given.” Like the rest of the procedures in the guidelines, this annual review is optional. Many schools do not request a review, and there is no need to initiate contact with your school district if they have not set one up.
While there may be some circumstances where it may be beneficial to file one, for most families it is not necessary. If you are a member of HSLDA, and you are asked to participate in an optional portfolio review, please contact us for assistance.
Finally, if you do decide to submit an optional portfolio to review, it should include some brief examples of the required school subjects that you taught during the school year. If you submit the optional portfolio by mail, we recommend that you mail
your notice to the school district via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested. If you decide to hand-deliver your optional portfolio, be sure to have the superintendent's office mark the date the letter was received, sign or stamp the letter to
indicate receipt, and give you a photocopy.
Please note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.