‘Home study program’ means an educational program offered through home study which provides a minimum course of study and which is offered to not more than: (A) children residing in that home; and (B) children not residing in that home who either are two or fewer in number or who are from one family.” See V.S.A. 16, §§ 11(a)(21), 1121, 166b, and § 906.
(1) A parent or legal guardian shall send the Secretary notice of intent to enroll the parent’s or legal guardian’s child in a home study program at least 10 business days prior to commencing home study, and annually thereafter.” This notice must include the name and birthdate of the child; the names, mailing and e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of all parents or guardians with legal custody who are authorized to make educational decisions for the student; “an attestation that the academic progress of each child enrolled in a home study program will be assessed at the end of each school year and that the parent or guardian will maintain the records of such assessments;” independent professional evidence regarding whether the child has a documented disability and how the disability may affect the student’s educational progress in a home study program (if the child was not previously enrolled in public school and is new to homeschooling); an attestation that each child being enrolled in home study will be provided the equivalent of at least 175 days of instruction in the minimum course of study per year; signatures of the parents or guardians with legal custody. In the alternative, the parent seeking enrollment may provide attestation of sole primary educational decision-making authority; Parents or guardians who have provided a complete enrollment notice as described above must notify the Secretary of their intent to continue the home study program each year at least ten days prior to the intended start date of the program. See V.S.A. 16, § 166b(a). (2) Within 10 business days, the Secretary or designee will send the parents a written acknowledgement, which shall constitute sufficient enrollment verification. See V.S.A. 16, § 166b(b). (3) Parents must notify the commissioner within 10 business days of ceasing to homeschool a child, after which time the commissioner shall notify the local superintendent. See V.S.A. 16, § 166b(c).
At least 175 days of instruction.
Parents may follow their own program and methods and adapt each area of study to the age and ability of each child, but must provide a “minimum course of study” in: Basic communication skills, including reading, writing, and the use of numbers; Citizenship, history, and government in Vermont and the United States; Physical education and comprehensive health education including the effects of tobacco, alcoholic drinks, and drugs on the human system and on society; English, American and other literature; The natural sciences; and the fine arts. See 16 V.S.A. § 166b(j) and § 906.
Parents must maintain records of yearly assessments.
Annual assessment in each area of study is required. Parents have three options: (1) a standardized assessment administered by the local school district or testing service (or administered in a manner approved by the testing company); (2) a review of the student’s progress by a certified Vermont teacher; (3) a report prepared by the parents and accompanied by a portfolio of the student’s work; or (4) grades from an online academy or school; (5) evidence of passing the GED. See V.S.A. 16, § 166b(a).
(1) “After the filing of the enrollment notice, if the home study program is unable to comply with any specific requirements due to deep religious conviction shared by an organized group, the commissioner may waive such requirements if the Secretary determines that the educational purposes of this section are being or will be substantially met.” See V.S.A. 16, § 166b(j).
Definitions: V.S.A. 16, § 11(a)(21)
Homeschool statute: V.S.A. 16, § 166b
Compulsory Attendance: V.S.A. 16, § 1121
Course of study: 16 V.S.A. § 906
This overview is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the giving of legal advice. Last updated August 2023.