Public school officials in Carroll County recently mailed a letter asking area homeschool families to complete the enclosed form entitled “2020–2021 Home Instruction Intention Form.”
You can safely ignore the form, which is unnecessary and not required by law.
First, if you homeschool in Maryland under the umbrella option, you never need to communicate with public school officials about homeschooling. It is the umbrella’s responsibility to communicate with school officials. So long as you share with your umbrella program your plans for each new school year—and any changes in your homeschool status—you have fulfilled your obligation.
Second, if you operate under the portfolio review option, you are required to tell the local public school superintendent before each school year starts whether you intend to keep homeschooling your child. This is called the “annual verification.” But you do not need to use any form at all, much less the school’s form. HSLDA provides a form that adheres to what the law requires for the convenience of our members.
Finally, the “annual verification” is a very simple communication. The form Carroll County sent out, on the other hand, seeks to obtain your child’s date of birth and grade level, and attempts to obtain information that duplicates what you filed on your one-time notice of consent. This is not necessary in an “annual verification.”
HSLDA reached out to a Carroll County Public Schools official who stated that parents are not required to complete the form if their umbrella program will be in communication with school administrators about the family’s plans for the upcoming school year.
For most families, the best approach is simply to ignore the letter from Carroll County Public Schools. If you still have questions, check out our explanation of Maryland homeschool law here, or contact our office.