The 1997 School’s Act gives parents the right to homeschool their children and mandates that local school boards monitor the progress of students residing in their jurisdiction. Parents must send in an application to homeschool. Each of the four regions of the Newfoundland & Labrador English School District (NLESD) have a designated Homeschool Coordinator who will approve applications and oversee the homeschool program.
The Schools’ Act Section 5(c) excuses from compulsory attendance students who have acquired approval to be homeschooled. An application to homeschool must be submitted to the district in which the child resides.
Homeschooled children will be enrolled in their assigned school district Schools’ Act 6(2). The maximum length of approval for a home school program will not exceed one academic year but may be renewed each year.
Parents must submit an Education Plan along with their application to homeschool. The Education Plan must be evaluated and receive approval from the Director of Education where the Director is satisfied that the education plan constitutes “satisfactory instruction” and is in the best interest of the child. (Section 4 NLESD Homeschooling Admin Procedures and Regulations)
The parent who provides homeschooling is not required to have an education degree, however their level of education must be sufficient to allow them to deliver the proposed education plan.
Parents may choose to use the provincial curriculum of Newfoundland and Labrador, or they may use any other curriculum which has been previously approved by the EECD. If a parent wishes to use a curriculum which has not been previously approved, information about the curriculum must be provided to the homeschool coordinator who will assess the curriculum to determine whether it meets sufficient standards.
Regardless of whether a homeschool program follows the provincial curriculum or an alternative approved curriculum, NLESD Homeschooling Admin Procedures and Regulations Appendix A outlines that instruction must be provided in 4 core subject areas:
Two additional subjects should be chosen as electives. Options include:
Students with identified special needs who require a modified program will follow an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which will be developed by a program planning team. The planning team will include the parent, homeschool coordinator, and other relevant school support staff.
Parents are responsible for keeping samples of work to submit for progress reports. The homeschool coordinator will maintain student records for each approved homeschool student.
Section 8 of the NLESD Homeschooling Admin Procedures and Regulations outlines the requirements for assessing student progress. Progress reports must be submitted regularly.
During the first year of a homeschool program, reports and samples of student work must be submitted in November, March, and June. The homeschool coordinator will communicate at the end of the year whether the homeschool program has met or not met the designated outcomes.
In subsequent years, progress reports and work samples will be submitted in January and June of each year. If a homeschool program has demonstrated success over a two year period, the director may allow the parent to submit one comprehensive report at the end of the school year.
When requested by the homeschool coordinator, other school staff and specialists may be asked to review student progress reports where extra review is needed. A homeschooled student may be required to complete an assessment if there are concerns about student progress.
It is strongly encouraged that students using the Newfoundland and Labrador curriculum write the standard exams administered to their grade level. High school students using provincial curriculum are strongly recommended to attend their locally zoned school to write their final exams.
Homeschool students following the provincial curriculum may be eligible to receive a certificate of graduation provided they have written their final exams. Parents are responsible for ensuring that reports are submitted to the district as required. This allows grades to be uploaded in a timely fashion enabling students to write the public exam.
If the homeschool program does not follow the provincial curriculum it is the parent’s responsibility to determine whether the alternative curriculum will allow the student to meet standards for high school credit. (NLESD Homeschooling Admin Procedures and Regulation section 8)
The Director of Education may require a homeschooled student to take an assessment if progress reports have not demonstrated sufficient student progress. (NLESD Homeschooling Admin Procedures and Regulation section 8.9)
If a homeschool program uses the provincial curriculum, text books, curriculum guides, and materials will be made available by the local school.
When possible, the local school in which a homeschooled student is enrolled may accommodate requests for homeschooled students to take elective classes at the local school.
For students with disabilities the Special Services Team at the zoned school will be available to help parents with creating an individual education plan. Other relevant regional staff may also be able to offer support in developing an appropriate homeschool plan.
Homeschooling in Newfoundland & Labrador – NL government
Home Schooling Administrative Procedures/Regulations
Labrador Home Schooling: Statement of Policy
Homeschool Progress Report 312B
Education Act 1997 (see sections 3-7 & 15 for homeschool legislation)