The District of Columbia Homeschooling regulations establish procedural rules for homeschooling for District of Columbia residents from age 5 to 18. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) provides guidance and approval for homeschooling in the District of Columbia.
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. For any year a parent/legal guardian chooses to continue a homeschooling program, they must complete a Notification of Homeschool Continuation by Aug. 15. For more information about applying to homeschool your child and notifying OSSE of continuation of homeschooling, select the Apply to Homeschool button at the end of this page.
Additional information about homeschooling in the District of Columbia is available in the family and local education agency (LEA) guides below.
- Homeschool Information for District of Columbia Families
- Homeschooling in the District of Columbia: An Informational Guide for LEAs
Instructional Subjects and Portfolios
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.
Parental Requirements for Homeschool Approval
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.
Specialized Instruction and FAPE
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services while enrolled in public school are no longer eligible to receive those services once the student has been withdrawn from public school.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, or 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.
Additional Homeschool Information
For additional information about homeschooling in the District of Columbia, please select the links below.
For questions or additional information, please email [email protected].
Homeschool policy and guidance are managed within OSSE’s Division of Systems and Supports, K-12.
[Date Posted: Jan. 4, 2023]