What is Home School Education?
Pennsylvania Department of Education
HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
A notarized affidavit of the parent/guardian or person having legal custody of the child or children shall be filed with the Superintendent prior to commencement of the home education program and annually thereafter on or before August 1. The affidavit will include:
- Name of the supervisor of the home education program responsible for providing instruction.
- Name and age of each child participating in the home education program.
- Address and telephone number of the home education program site.
- Affirmation that subjects required by law are offered in the English language, including an outline of proposed education objectives by subject area.
- Evidence, with documentation attached to the affidavit, that the child has received required immunizations and the health and medical services required for students of the child’s age or grade level, unless the child has a documented medical or religious exemption.
- An acknowledgment that the home education program will comply with applicable law.
- A certification signed by the supervisor that the supervisor, all adults living in the home and persons having legal custody of a child or children in the home education program have not been convicted of criminal offenses enumerated in section 111(e) of the PA School Code within five (5) years immediately preceding the date of the affidavit.
- If a child in the home education program has been identified as a student with a disability in need of special education services, the affidavit must also include written approval from a teacher with a valid Pennsylvania certificate to teach special education, a licensed clinical psychologist or a certified school psychologist that the program addresses the specific needs of the student.
A student enrolled in a home education program meets the compulsory school attendance requirements if the program provides a minimum of 180 days of instruction, or 900 hours of instruction per year at the elementary level, or 990 hours per year at the secondary level.
At the elementary level, the following courses must be taught in the home education program: English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; civics; safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health and physiology; physical education; music; and art.
At the secondary level, the following courses must be taught in the home education program: English, to include language, literature, speech and composition; science; geography; social studies, to include civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra and geometry; art; music; physical education; health; and safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires.
Courses of study at the secondary level may include, at the discretion of the supervisor: economics; biology; chemistry; foreign languages; trigonometry; or other age-appropriate courses contained in Chapter 4 of the State Board of Education Regulations.
Student Portfolio and Evaluations
In order to demonstrate that appropriate education is occurring, the supervisor of the home education program will provide and maintain on file a portfolio of records and materials and an annual written evaluation stating whether an appropriate education has occurred for each student.
The portfolio will consist of a log, made contemporaneously with the instruction, which designates by title the reading materials used; samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student; and in grades 3, 5 and 8 results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests in reading/language arts and mathematics or the results of statewide tests administered in these grade levels.
The supervisor will ensure that the nationally normed standardized tests or the statewide tests are not administered by the child's parent/guardian.
Portfolios will be evaluated by a qualified home education evaluator, as specified in law. An evaluator may be found by asking other homeschooling friends or searching the Internet for "PA homeschool evaluators."
An annual written evaluation of the student's educational progress will be conducted by a qualified home education evaluator. A home education evaluator may be: a licensed clinical or school psychologist; a Pennsylvania certified teacher with at least two (2) years of experience at the elementary level to evaluate elementary students or at the secondary level to evaluate secondary students; or a nonpublic school teacher or administrator with at least two (2) years of teaching experience in a Pennsylvania public or nonpublic school within the last ten (10) years, the required experience must be at the elementary level to evaluate elementary students or at the secondary level to evaluate secondary students.
At the request of the supervisor, persons with other qualifications may conduct the evaluation with the prior consent of the Superintendent.
In no event will the evaluator be the home education supervisor or their spouse.
The evaluation will be based on an interview of the child and a review of the portfolio, and will certify whether or not an appropriate education is occurring.
The following minimum courses in grades 9 through 12 are required for graduation from a home education program: four (4) years of English; three (3) years of mathematics; three (3) years of science; three (3) years of social studies; and two (2) years of arts and humanities.
The district will provide the student’s home education program supervisor with a grade for each district cocurricular activity and academic course completed by a home education student, in accordance with Board policy and administrative regulations. The home education program supervisor will be responsible for maintaining the material in the student’s portfolio of records and recording it as part of the student’s graduation requirements.
Diplomas may be awarded by the supervisor of the home education program or by a diploma-granting organization approved by the PA Department of Education.
The qualified home education evaluator's certification stating that an appropriate education is occurring for the school year under review will be provided by the supervisor to the Superintendent by June 30 of each year. If the supervisor fails to submit the certification due on June 30 to the Superintendent, the Superintendent will send a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the supervisor of the home education program, stating that the certification is past due and notifying the supervisor to submit the certification within ten (10) days of receipt of the certified letter. If the certification is not submitted within that time, the Board will schedule a hearing.
Appropriate Education –
If the Superintendent has a reasonable belief, at any time during the school year, that appropriate education may not be occurring in the home education program, the Superintendent may submit a letter to the supervisor, by certified mail, return receipt requested, requiring that an evaluation be conducted and that an evaluator's certification stating that an appropriate education is occurring for the school year under review be submitted to the district by the supervisor within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the certified letter. The certified letter will include the basis for the Superintendent's reasonable belief. If the statewide or nationally normed tests have not been administered at the time of the receipt of the certified letter by the supervisor, the supervisor will submit the other required documentation to the evaluator. The test results will be submitted with the completed documentation at the conclusion of the school year. If the certification is not submitted to the Superintendent within thirty (30) days of receipt of the certified letter, the Board will schedule a hearing.
Compliance with School Code –
If the Superintendent has a reasonable belief that the home education program is out of compliance with the requirements in section 1327.1 of the PA School Code, the Superintendent will submit a letter to the supervisor, by certified mail, return receipt requested, requiring a certification to be submitted within thirty (30) days indicating that the program is in compliance. The certified letter will include the basis for the Superintendent's reasonable belief. If the certification is not submitted to the Superintendent within thirty (30) days of receipt of the certified letter, the Board will schedule a hearing.
If a hearing is required, the Board will schedule a proper hearing by a duly qualified and impartial hearing examiner within thirty (30) days. The hearing examiner will render a decision within fifteen (15) days of the hearing except that the examiner may require the establishment of a remedial education plan mutually agreed to by the Superintendent and supervisor of the home education program to continue the home education program.
The decision of the hearing examiner may be appealed by either the supervisor or the Superintendent to the Secretary of Education, the Commonwealth Court or the Court of Common Pleas.
If the hearing examiner finds that the evidence does not indicate that appropriate education is taking place in the home education program, the home education program for the child will be deemed out of compliance and the student will be promptly enrolled in an appropriate public school, a nonpublic school or a licensed private academic school. The home education program may continue during the time of any appeal.
If a home education program has been determined to be out of compliance, the supervisor or spouse of the supervisor of the home education program is prohibited by law from supervising a home education program for that child or children for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of such determination.
When documentation is required to be submitted to the hearing examiner, the hearing examiner will return, upon completion of the review, all such documentation to the supervisor of the home education program. The hearing examiner may photocopy all or portions of the documentation for the files.
When a home education program is relocating to another Pennsylvania school district, the supervisor must request from the Superintendent a letter of transfer for the home education program. The request must be made by registered mail thirty (30) days prior to relocation.
The Superintendent will issue the letter of transfer within thirty (30) days after receipt of the supervisor’s registered mail request. The supervisor will file the letter of transfer with the Superintendent of the new district of residence.
When a home education program is not in compliance with section 1327.1 of the PA School Code, the Superintendent will inform the home education supervisor and Superintendent of the new district of residence of this status and the reason for denial of the transfer letter.
When a home education program is in hearing procedures, the Superintendent will inform the home education supervisor, hearing examiner and Superintendent of the new district of residence of this status and the reason for denial of the transfer letter.
When the Superintendent is informed of pending proceedings related to a home education program relocating from a previous district to this district, the Superintendent will continue the home education program until the appeal process in the previous district is finalized.
Home Education and Private Tutoring Guide, PA Department of Education:
Home Education Program Basic Education Circular (BEC) December 23, 2022:
Get your affidavit here:
Shamokin Area School District Policies for Home School Education can be found HERE.
- 137. Home Education Programs (PDF)
- 137.1 Extracurricular Participation by Home Education Students (PDF)
- 137.2 Participation in Cocurricular Activies and Academic Courses by Home Education Students (PDF)
- 137.3 Participation in Career & Technical Education Programs by Home Education Students (PDF)