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 ages 5 and 17 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. 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. 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services while enrolled in public school are no longer eligible to receive those services once the student has been withdrawn from public school. For additional details on the requirements of homeschooling in the District of Columbia, visit the OSSE Policy and Guidance page linked below.
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, visit the Apply to Homeschool page linked below.
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
AP Exam Access for Homeschooled Students
Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, students homeschooled in the District of Columbia are permitted to take Advanced Placement (AP) exams at their local DC Public Schools (DCPS) high school (see details here). To request that OSSE inform DCPS of an individual student’s homeschool status as confirmation of their eligibility, please contact Stephanie Thomas at [email protected].
For more information on AP testing at DCPS for homeschooled students, see Advanced and Enriched Instruction.
For questions related to homeschooled students’ access to AP testing, please contact [email protected].
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]