Several states have taken action to modify—or even waive—certain homeschool requirements to help parents and students remain safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our attorneys have been monitoring the situation and have shared what they’ve learned with homeschool families through email, social media, and the HSLDA website.
In case some of you still have questions, we wanted to provide a quick recap of what has happened so far.
Of course, things may change again. And the guidance offered by officials hasn’t always been perfectly clear.
Just remember that Home School Legal Defense is here for you. You can visit our website for updates or subscribe to our email list to receive homeschool news right in your inbox.
And as always, members may contact our legal team with specific questions.
If your state is not listed, please know that HSLDA continues to work with the relevant parties on developing appropriate modifications due to the current crisis. More updates could be coming in the weeks ahead, but for now stay the course in your homeschool program!
Governor Brian Kemp has signed an executive order giving homeschooling families until the end of the 2020–2021 school year to comply with testing that normally would have been required this year.
Governor Janet Mills has issued a statewide waiver of school attendance requirements. This means that for the 2019–20 school year, it is not necessary for public school, private school, or home instruction students to receive the customary number of days of instruction.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has clarified that her order to “suspend” kindergarten through 12th-grade “in-person” instruction does not interfere with homeschooling.
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has said: “Schools will not be required to make up the days/hours lost due to COVID-19 this school year, and missed calendar hours will not affect the calculation of average daily attendance.” This announcement was not limited to public schools.
The New York Board of Regents has voted to temporarily change the annual assessment requirements for homeschool students. Parents may now select the alternative written narrative evaluation for their students, regardless of grade level.
The state Department of Education has released guidance that conflicts with the information we previously passed on to families about annual homeschool reporting requirements. The department’s latest statement appears to indicate that homeschool families will still be expected to submit certain types of assessments for the 2019–2020 academic year.
The legislature has waived homeschool end-of-year testing, evaluations, and the minimum instructional time requirements for the 2019–2020 school year. This may complicate things for homeschool high school seniors who plan to graduate at the end of the current school term.
Governor Kristi Noem waived homeschool testing requirements for the 2019–2020 school year by signing Senate Bill 189.
The legislature passed a bill with two major changes for homeschoolers during the 2019–2020 school year. It waives the requirement that homeschools provide 180 days of instruction, and for families using the independent homeschool option, it waives the standardized testing requirement.
The West Virginia Department of Education has recommended that county boards give homeschoolers a sort of grace period until December 31, 2020 if they submit a standardized test as their annual assessment. This grace period does not apply to those submitting other forms of assessment.