Home Instruction

The purpose of this narrative is to establish procedures to assist school authorities in fulfilling their responsibility under Education Law, sections 3204(2) and 3210(2)(d), and to assist parents who exercise their right to provide required instruction at home to such students in fulfilling their responsibilities under Education Law, section 3212(2).

Notice of Intention to Instruct at Home

  1. Parents or other persons in parental relation to a student of compulsory school attendance age shall annually provide written notice to the Superintendent of Schools of their school district of residence of their intention to educate their child at home by July 1st of each school year.  The school year begins July 1st and ends June 30th for all purposes within this section.
  2. Parents who determine to commence home instruction after the start of the school year, or who establish residence in the school district after the start of the school year, shall provide written notice of their intention to educate their child at home within 14 days following the commencement of home instruction within the school district.

Procedures for Development and Review of an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP)

  1. Within 10 business days of the receipt of the notice of intention to instruct at home, the school district shall send to the parents information regarding home instruction and a form on which to submit an individualized home instruction plan (IHIP) for each child of compulsory attendance age who is to be taught at home.
  2. Within four weeks of the receipt of such materials, the parent shall submit the completed IHIP form to the school district. The district shall provide assistance in preparation of the forms, if requested by the parents.
  3. Within 10 business days of the receipt of the IHIP, the school district shall either notify the parents that the IHIP complies with Educational Law or shall give the parents written notice of any deficiency in the IHIP.
  4. Within 15 days of receipt of a notice of the deficiency in the IHIP, the parents shall submit a revised IHIP which corrects any such deficiencies.
  5. The Superintendent of Schools shall review the revised IHIP and shall notify the parents, within 15 days of receipt of the revised IHIP, as to whether the revised IHIP complies with Education Law. If the revised IHIP is determined not be to in compliance then the parents shall be notified in writing of the reasons for such determination. Such notice shall also contain the date of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education that will be held at least 10 days after the date of mailing the notice, and shall indicate that if the parents wish to contest the determination of noncompliance the parents must so notify the Board of Education at least three business days prior to such a meeting. At such board meeting, the parents shall have the right to present proof of compliance, and the board of education shall make a final determination of compliance or non-compliance.
  6. The parents shall have the right to appeal any such final school district determination of non compliance to the Commissioner of Education within 30 days after receipt of such determination.

Each Child's IHIP Shall Contain

  1. the child, name, age and grade level.
  2. a list of the syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks or plan of instruction to be used in each of the required subjects listed in subdivision (e) of this section;
  3. the dates for submission to the school district of the parents' quarterly reports. These reports shall be spaced in even and logical periods;
  4. the names of the individuals producing instruction; and required courses.


Required Courses

For the purpose of this subdivision, a unit means 6,480 minutes of instruction per school year.
Instruction in the following subjects shall be required:

  1. For grades one through six: arithmetic, reading, spelling, writing, the English language, geography, United Stated history, science, health education, music, visual arts, physical education, bilingual education and/or English as a second language where the need is indicated.
  2. For grades seven and eight: English (two units); history and geography (two units); science (two units); mathematics (two units); physical education (on a regular basis); health education (on a regular basis); and library skills (on a regular basis).  The units required herein are cumulative requirements for both grades seven and eight.
  3. The following courses shall be taught at least once during the first eight grades: United States history, New York State history, and the Constitutions of the United States and New York State.
  4. For grades 9 through 12: English (four units); social studies (four units), which includes on unit of American History, one half unit in participation in government, and one half unit of economics; mathematics (two units); science (two units); art and/or music (one unit); health education (one half unit); physical education (two units); and three units of electives.  The units required herein are cumulative requirements for grades 9 through 12.

Education Law also requires the following subjects to be covered ruling grades kindergarten through 12:
a) patriotism and citizenship;
b) health education regarding alcohol, drug and tobacco misuse;
c) highway safety and traffic regulations, including bicycle safety; and
c) fire and arson prevention and safely.

Attendance Requirements

Each child shall attend upon instruction as follows:

  1. The substantial equivalent of 180 days of instruction shall be provided each school year.
  2. The cumulative hours of instruction for grades 1 through 6 shall be 900 hours per year.  The cumulative instruction for grades 7 through 12 shall be 990 hours per year.
  3. Absences shall be permitted on the same basis as provided in the policy of the school district for its own students.
  4. Records of attendance shall be maintained by the parent and shall be made available to the school district upon request.

Quarterly Reports

On or before the dates specified by the parent in the IHIP, a quarterly report for each child shall be furnished by the parent to the school district.  The quarterly report shall contain the following:

  1. the number of hours of instruction during said quarter;
  2. a description of the material covered in each subject listed in the IHIP;
  3. either a grade for the child in each subject or a written narrative evaluating the child's progress; and
  4. a written explanation in the event that less than 80 percent of the amount of the course materials as set forth in the IHIP planned for that quarter has been covered in any subject.

Annual Assessment

At the time of filing the fourth quarterly report as specified in the IHIP, the parent shall also file an annual assessment.  The annual assessment shall include the results of a commercially published norm referenced achievement test or an alternative form of evaluation.

  1. Commercially published norm-referenced achievement tests.
    1. The test shall be selected by the parent from one of the following: the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, the California Achievement Test, the Stanford Achievement Test, the Comprehensive Test of basic Skills, the Metropolitan Achievement Test, a State Education Department test, or another test approved by the State Education Department.
  2. Alternative evaluation methods. Al alternative form of evaluation shall be permitted to be chosen by the parent only as follows:
    1. for grades one through three, a written narrative prepared by a person specified in sub paragraph (3) of this paragraph;
    2. for grades four through eight, a written narrative prepared by a person specified in subparagraph (3) of this paragraph. This alternative form of evaluation may be used no more often that every other school year for these grades;
    3. for the purposes of this paragraph, the person who prepares the written narrative shall be a New York State certified teacher, a home instruction peer group review panel, or other person who has interviewed the child and reviewed a portfolio of the child's work. Such personal shall certify either that the child has made adequate academic progress or that the child has failed to make adequate progress. In the event that such child has failed to make adequate progress, the home instruction program shall be placed on probation pursuant to subdivision (1) of this section. The certified teacher, peer review panel or other person shall be chosen by the parents with the consent of the superintendent. Any resulting cost shall be borne by the parent.

Home Instruction Forms