In the District of Columbia, parents and legal guardians may elect to homeschool their children. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) provides information, resources and monitoring to families that choose to homeschool. Homeschooling is a private, parent/legal guardian-directed education program for children who are subject to the compulsory education laws in their state. Compulsory education requires that all children between the ages of five and seventeen who reside in the District of Columbia receive an education.
In the District of Columbia, homeschooling programs must provide thorough and regular instruction of sufficient duration and, at a minimum, include language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education. Parents/legal guardians are required to maintain a portfolio of the student’s education materials, which includes evidence of the student’s current work in a range of subjects (e.g., writing, completed work in mathematics, and assessments). This portfolio must be maintained for at least one year and be available to OSSE for review, upon request.
To administer a homeschooling program in the District of Columbia, parents/legal guardians must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, or they may petition OSSE for a waiver by providing evidence that they can provide the student with a thorough and regular education. Parents/legal guardians may not provide home instruction to the students of other parents, are not required to use a specific curriculum, and may include the use of an online curriculum, administered by a third party provider.
To homeschool, parents/legal guardians must complete a Notification of Intent to Homeschool at least 15 business days prior to the first date of home instruction. Additionally, for any year the parent/legal guardian chooses to continue a homeschooling program, they must complete a Notification of Homeschool Continuation by Aug. 15. Parents/legal guardians may choose to discontinue a homeschooling program at any time and, to do so, must complete a Notification to Discontinue Homeschooling at least 15 business days prior to discontinuation.
Students who receive specialized instruction and/or related services while enrolled in public school are no longer eligible to receive those services once the student has been withdrawn from public school. The right to receive special education and related services (otherwise known as a free and appropriate public education (FAPE)) applies only to students who are enrolled in a public school in the District of Columbia. At any time, you may request an evaluation to determine if your child is eligible for special education services. If your child is eligible for special education services, you will receive information on what services would be provided to your child if you enroll them in a District of Columbia public school. To request an evaluation for special education services please contact District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) at [email protected]. For additional information please visit the DCPS website on referrals for K-12 children and pre-K children.
For more information on homeschooling, please contact [email protected].