Vermont law specifically refers to homeschooling in 16 V.S.A. § 11(a)(21) and 16 V.S.A. § 166b. To homeschool under this statute, you’ll need to follow these guidelines.
1. Send a written enrollment notice.
You must annually send a written enrollment notice to the secretary of education for each child. The notice must include:
- the name and age, by year and month, of each child;
- the names, mailing addresses, towns of legal residence, and phone numbers of the parents or guardians;
- an assessment of progress for each child enrolled in homeschooling the previous year;
- “independent professional evidence on whether the child has a disability” for each child not previously enrolled in a Vermont public school or Vermont home study program;
- the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and signatures of all persons providing ongoing instruction in any required subject other than physical education, health, and fine arts; and
- the signatures of all custodial parents or guardians who are legally authorized to make educational decisions for the students.
2. Submit a narrative.
You must also submit a “narrative,” which is a detailed outline describing the content to be provided in each subject area. If your child has a disability, include in the outline any special services or adaptations to accommodate the disability.
The narrative is not required if you have already completed two consecutive successful years of homeschooling in Vermont, unless your child is 12 years old at the time the enrollment is filed.
3. Obtain acknowledgement of compliance.
You will receive an acknowledgement of compliance from the secretary upon receipt of your notice of homeschooling. The acknowledgement will state that your child may be enrolled in homeschooling immediately or within 45 days after receipt of your notice.
It is possible that the secretary will order a hearing during the 45-day period. If so, HSLDA members should contact us.
4. Teach the required subjects.
You must teach the following subjects in your homeschool:
- basic communication skills, including reading, writing, and the use of numbers,
- citizenship, history, and government in Vermont and the United States,
- physical education and comprehensive health education, including the effects of tobacco, alcoholic drinks, and drugs on the human system and on society,
- English, American, and other literature,
- the natural sciences, and
- the fine arts.
5. Assess your child annually.
You must submit an annual assessment to the secretary when you file paperwork for your next school year. The assessment may be by any one of the following methods:
- A Vermont certified teacher may write a report in a form designated by the secretary.
- Parents, the student’s instructor, or a teacher advisory service (from a publisher of commercial curriculum) can prepare a report. With the report, you will need to include a portfolio of the student’s work, including work samples, to demonstrate progress in each subject area in the minimum course of study. The portfolio does not need to include physical education, health, or fine arts for children over 12.
- Parents may provide the complete results of a standardized achievement test approved by the secretary, administered in a manner approved by the testing company, and scored in accordance with the law. If the test does not cover all the subjects required by law, the secretary may request a portfolio and report on those subjects.
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.