The District of Columbia does not have a law granting homeschooled students the right to participate in public school classes and activities; thus, the individual schools and school districts have the authority to decide whether to allow homeschooler participation. Policies often vary from district to district.
Students wishing to participate in public school classes or activities should contact their local school for information regarding their district’s policy.
Code of the District of Columbia § 38–381. Access to Advanced Placement Tests.
- Beginning no later than 180 days after February 23, 2023, the District of Columbia Public Schools ("DCPS") shall permit a non-enrollee to sit for an Advanced Placement test ("test") at the student's right-to-attend DCPS school; provided, that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education ("OSSE") has certified to DCPS that the non-enrollee is eligible to sit for the test.
- OSSE shall certify a non-enrollee as eligible to sit for a test where:
- OSSE has received timely notification that the non-enrollee is participating in a homeschooling program for the school year in which the test is to be administered; and
- OSSE has received a timely request from the non-enrollee to register for the test.
- DCPS may offer a reasonable alternate location for a non-enrollee to take a currently offered test where the non-enrollee's right-to-attend school will not offer that test during the relevant school year or term.
- Where OSSE has certified to DCPS that a non-enrollee is eligible to sit for a test pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section, DCPS shall provide notice to the non-enrollee at least 30 days in advance of the test. The notice shall include:
- The date, time, and location that the non-enrollee will take the test; and
- Information on testing logistics, including an e-mail address and phone number that non-enrollees may use to contact DCPS about the test, and a link to information on the DCPS website on Advanced Placement testing for non-enrollees.
- A non-enrollee shall remit payment for test fees, processing fees, or costs incurred by OSSE, DCPS, or an individual school to administer a test by check made payable to the District of Columbia Treasurer.
- Beginning no later than 30 days after February 23, 2023:
- DCPS shall make available and maintain on its website information on how a non-enrollee may register for tests with OSSE, test day logistics, and any other relevant information, including a method for non-enrollees and their parents or guardians to contact DCPS with questions about testing under this chapter; and
- OSSE shall make available and maintain on its website information on how a non-enrollee may register for tests, a link to information on the DCPS website on Advanced Placement testing for non-enrollees and any other relevant information, including a method for non-enrollees and their parents or guardians to contact OSSE with questions about testing under this chapter.
- This chapter shall not be construed to require DCPS to offer a test to a non-enrollee student when that particular test will not be offered at any DCPS school during the relevant school year or term.
- For the purposes of this section, the term:
- "Non-enrollee" means a District resident of school age participating in a homeschooling program who is eligible to enroll at a DCPS school.
- "Right-to-attend school" means the DCPS school that a District resident of school-age may attend by right, based on the child's place of residence being located in the catchment area for that school.
Things to keep in mind:
Public school access includes participation in public school classes, sports, activities, etc.
States use a unique vocabulary in this area: “extracurricular,” “cocurricular,” “curricular,” “interscholastic,” “program,” “activity,” etc. Care should be taken to distinguish one from another. When a state defines a word, it is important.
While athletic association rules are not “law,” public schools are generally constrained to operate within them, or their teams could be disqualified. We therefore refer to association rules of particular importance in a number of entries.
We strive toward keeping this information 100% up to date in this rapidly changing area of the law. However, this post should not be considered authoritative because of the possibility of unobserved changes in association rules, statutes, regulations, or case decisions, and because of lag time between changes and the publication of updates.
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.