To homeschool legally in Oregon, you will need to follow these steps:
1. Notify the education service district (ESD).
You must send a one-time notice of intent to homeschool to your local ESD in writing within 10 days of starting your homeschool program, or within 10 days of withdrawing your child from public school to be taught at home. The notice must include your name and the names, addresses, and birth dates of the children being homeschooled. It must also include the name of the school your children are presently attending or last attended, or, if your children have not been attending school, the name of the public school district where your children reside. A notice of intent form for HSLDA members’ use is available below.
The ESD must acknowledge receipt of your notification in writing within 90 days of receiving the notice.
2. Test your children in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10.
By August 15 in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10, you must have your child tested. When the legislature lowered the compulsory attendance age to 6, it specifically stated that the testing schedule for homeschool students would not change. The Oregon State Board of Education recently updated its administrative rules to state that a 6-year-old child is presumed to be in kindergarten unless the parent decides to place the child in a higher grade. So, the law will maintain the presumption that the 1st grade is when the student turns 7 by September 1. Therefore, a child is to be tested at the end of the school year in which he or she turns 9 (3rd grade), 11 (5th grade), 14 (8th grade), and 16 (10th grade) by September 1. Parents can test their child earlier at their discretion if they believe the student has completed grade 3, 5, 8, or 10 earlier.
The tests must be approved by the State Board of Education and be administered by a qualified neutral person.
If your child was withdrawn from public school, the first examination must be administered at least 18 months after the date of withdrawal. If your child has never attended public or private school, the first examination must be administered to the child by August 15 after completing grade 3.
The administrator of the test must score the test and report the results to you. The results are not reported to the education service district unless the ESD superintendent specifically requests them.
If the composite score on the exam is below the 15th percentile, your child must be given an additional exam within one year. If the score on the second exam is a lower percentile than the previous exam, the superintendent of the ESD may place the education of your child under a certified teacher selected by and paid for by you. If the third exam continues the decline, the superintendent may either allow your homeschool to continue under a certified teacher’s supervision and require an additional exam within one year, or allow the child to be taught by you and require the additional exam within the year, or order you to send your child to school for a period that cannot exceed 12 consecutive months.
3. Address any disabilities.
If your child has a disability, you must have that child evaluated for satisfactory educational progress according to the method recommended in your child’s individualized education plan (IEP) or privately developed plan. No testing of your student is required unless recommended in the plan. HSLDA members, please contact us for more information.
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.