1. Submit a notice of intent.
You must submit a notice of intent to homeschool to the district superintendent by July 1 (the beginning of the school year) annually, or within 14 days of establishing your new homeschool program during the school year. HSLDA has a notice of intent form for our members’ use, attached below.
For families who live in New York City (within Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island), this notice, and all homeschooling correspondence, should instead be submitted to the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Home Schooling. Additionally, HSLDA members should contact us if withdrawing a child from a New York City public school in the middle of the school year, as there could be special considerations of which to be aware.
Because of COVID protocols, the Office of Home Schooling has not been processing paperwork that has been mailed in (either at all or on a very delayed basis). Because of this we would recommend that you submit your notice of intent via email to LetterofIntent@schools.nyc.gov (for submission of letters of intent to homeschool only). All other paperwork may be emailed to Homeschool@schools.nyc.gov (for general inquiries and document submission).
2. Submit an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP).
Each school year, you must submit an IHIP by August 15 or within four weeks of the receipt of the IHIP form from the school district (whichever is later). The IHIP form requires you to submit your child’s name, age, and grade level; a list of your syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or plan of instruction; dates for submission of quarterly reports; and the name of whoever is giving the instruction. The IHIP form can be downloaded below.
If applicable, your IHIP should include, along with the subjects to be covered, a statement indicating that your student will be meeting the compulsory educational requirements through full-time study (at least 12 hours a semester) at a degree-granting institution.
3. Comply with day, hour, and subject requirements.
You must maintain records of attendance each year demonstrating that your child’s attendance meets the “substantial equivalent” of 180 days per year. Attendance records are only required to be submitted to the school district upon request of the superintendent.
In addition to the day requirement, homeschooled students are required to meet hourly attendance requirements: 900 hours of school per year in grades 1–6, and 990 hours of school per year in grades 7–12.
The subject requirements are outlined below:
- Patriotism and citizenship
- About substance abuse
- Traffic safety (including bike safety)
- Fire safety
And at least once before grade 9
- US and New York history and constitutions
- US History
- Visual arts
- Physical education
- History and geography
- Practical arts
- Physical education
- Library skills
- Mathematics (2 credits)
- English (4 credits)
- Social studies, including American history, participation in government, and economics (4 credits)
- Science (2 credits)
- Art or music (1 credit)
- Health (½ credit)
- Physical education (2 credits)
- Electives (3 credits)
4. File quarterly reports.
Reports must be submitted to the district superintendent each quarter. These should include the number of hours of instruction during the quarter, a description of the material covered in each subject, and a grade or narrative evaluation in each subject. Quarterly report forms are available to HSLDA members below.
5. Assess your child annually.
An annual assessment is required every year. In grades 1–3, you can have your student take a standardized test or you can choose to submit a written narrative evaluation for your student. In grades 4–8, standardized testing is required at least every other year, with the written narrative evaluation available as an option in the years you do not use a standardized testing option. So, for example, you could use a written narrative evaluation in grade 4 but would need to use a standardized test in grade 5, and so on. Standardized testing is required every year in high school.
Standardized tests can be administered at the local public school or a registered nonpublic school. A test can also be administered in your home, or at any other reasonable location, by a New York–certified teacher or by another qualified person (including the student’s parent) with the consent of the superintendent. You can obtain consent by simply notifying the superintendent in your third quarterly report what test you will be using and who will be administering it.
To demonstrate satisfactory progress, your student’s composite score must be above the 33rd percentile, or the score must reflect one academic year of growth compared to a test administered the prior school year.
You may choose one of the following tests:
- Iowa Test of Basic Skills,
- the California Achievement Test,
- the Stanford Achievement Test,
- the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills,
- the Metropolitan Achievement Test (retired),
- a State Education Department Test, or
- another test approved by the State Education Department, such as the Personalized Achievement Summary System (PASS) test.
- Written narrative evaluations may be conducted by a certified teacher, a home instruction peer group review panel, or other person with the consent of the local superintendent. Just as with the standardized test, you can obtain implied consent by notifying the superintendent in your third quarterly report that you will be submitting a written narrative evaluation and by whom it will be prepared.
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.