Q: What is the definition of home education?
A: A program of education supervised by a child's parent.
- "Parent" means a child's legal guardian
- "Supervise" means the selection of materials, determination of an educational philosophy, and oversight of the method, manner, and delivery of instruction.
Q: Can a parent start a home education program at any time; before or during a school term?
A: Yes; however, there is a waiting period after the Statement of Intent Form (SFN 16909) is submitted to the school superintendent. A parent must wait 5 days from the time the Statement of Intent is submitted before beginning home education.
Q: Where does a family that is home educating a high school-aged child submit the statement of intent form when they reside in a school district that does not have a high school – with the school district of residence, with the school district that the child would attend high school, or both?
A: The statement must be submitted to the superintendent of the child’s school district of residence or if no superintendent is employed, the county superintendent of schools for the child’s county of residence.
Parent Qualifications and Responsibilities
Q: What qualification does the parent need to have to supervise a child in home education?
A: A parent is qualified to supervise a program of home education if the parent holds a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED). A parent who does not hold a GED or high school diploma can still supervise their child's home education, but would require monitoring from their school district.
Q: What are the responsibilities of the parent when providing home education?
A: It is the responsibility of the parent to:
- File a Statement of Intent annually with the local superintendent for each student who is to receive home education.
- Supervise the courses required by statute, as well as methods of instruction.
- Conduct classes for the required length of time and number of days.
- Maintain a student academic record for each student receiving home education.
- Arrange for testing using a nationally-normed standardized testing instrument required by statute.
- Serve on a multidisciplinary assessment team for the purpose of evaluating the student who scores below the thirtieth percentile (30%) on the nationally-normed standardized achievement test.
- Transfer the student record, upon request of the local superintendent, if the student enrolls in a public or nonpublic school.
Q: What are the parental requirements for maintaining academic records?
A: A parent supervising home education shall maintain an annual record of courses taken by the child and the child’s academic progress assessments, including any standardized achievement test results.
Q: When does state law require that a monitor is provided for home education?
A: Monitoring is required if the parent has less than a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, monitoring is required if a child scores below the fiftieth (50% percentile on the nationally normed standardized assessment.
Q: Does the school have to provide a monitor when the parent is providing home education for a child?
A: Yes, if requested by the parent or if the parent qualification to supervise a child requires monitoring by law, the school must provide a licensed teacher to monitor at the school’s expense. However, if the parent wishes to obtain his or her own monitor, the parent is responsible for the expense.
Q: What information needs to be submitted to the school superintendent if parent qualifications do not require monitoring?
A: The statement of intent form (SFN 16909) with supporting documents as indicated on the form, and the standardized achievement test results.
Q: What are the mandated testing grades for home educated students?
A: North Dakota Century Code states, “While in grades four, six, eight, and ten, each child receiving home education shall take a standardized achievement test used by the school district in which the child resides." If the parent does not wish to have their child take the district's standardized achievement test, they will be required to take a nationally normed standardized achievement test of their choice and submit the test scores, including the composite score, to the superintendent or county superintendent if the district does not employ a superintendent.
Q: Can a parent opt-out of the state mandated testing?
A: Yes. A parent can choose to opt-out their child from the state mandated testing requirement if they have "a philosophical, moral or religious objection to the use of standardized achievement tests or the parent: is licensed to teach by NDESPB, holds a baccalaureate degree, or has met or exceeded the cutoff score of a national teacher examination given in this state or any other state if this state does not offer such an examinations."
Parents who choose to opt-out of state testing shall file the notification and necessary documentation required with the school district at the same time a parent files the statement of intent.
Q: Who is responsible to pay for test materials for home educated students in the required testing grades?
A: If a child receiving home education takes the standardized achievement test used by the school district in which the child resides, the school district is responsible for the cost of the test and for the cost of administering the test. However, if the child takes a nationally normed standardized achievement test not used by the school district in which the child resides, the child's parent is responsible for the cost of the test.
Q: Who is responsible for administering mandated tests to home educated students?
A: If the child takes a nationally normed standardized achievement test not used by the school district in which the child resides, the child's parent is responsible for the cost of the test. In addition, the cost of administering a test is the responsibility of the child's parent if the test is administered by an individual who is selected by the parent. An individual selected by the child's parent to administer a test must be licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board. The cost of administering a test is the responsibility of the school district if, at the request of the child's parent, the school district administers the test. The school district shall ensure that the test is administered by an individual who is employed by the district and who is licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education standards and practices board.
Q: What if a home educated student does not score in the proficient level?
A: If the child’s basic composite score on a standardized achievement test is less that the thirtieth (30%) percentile nationally, a multidisciplinary assessment team shall assess the child for a potential learning problem under rules adopted by the superintendent of public instruction.
If the multidisciplinary assessment team determines that the child is not disabled and the child’s parents wish to continue home education, the parent, with the advice and consent of an individual who is licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or approved to teach by the education and standards practices board, shall prepare a remediation plan to address the child’s academic deficiencies and file the plan with the superintendent of the school district or with the county superintendent if the district does not employ a superintendent. The parent is responsible for any costs associated with the development of the remediation plan. If the parent fails to file a remediation plan, the parent is deemed to be in violation of compulsory school attendance provisions and may no longer supervise the home education of the child.
The superintendent of the school district shall use the remediation plan as the basis for determining reasonable academic progress. The remediation plan must remain in effect until such time as the child achieves on a standardized achievement test a basic composite score at or above the thirtieth (30%) percentile or a score, which when compared to the previous year’s test score, demonstrates one year of academic progress. At the option of the parent, the test may be one required or one administered in a higher grade level. The child’s parent, with the advice and consent of an individual who is licensed to teach by the education standards and practices board or who is approved to teach by the education standards and practices board, may amend the remediation plan from time to time in effect the child fails to demonstrate reasonable academic progress on a subsequent test, a remediation plan must again be developed and implemented.
Q: What are the responsibilities of the local school district with regard to home education?
A: After receiving the Statement of Intent to Home Educate (SFN 16909), the local superintendent will:
- Inform the parent about parental responsibility to maintain the student’s academic record for each home-educated student.
- Explain resources and support for students who are experiencing learning difficulties and who may need special education and related services, as well as the responsibility of the local school district to identify and appropriately serve such students.
- Provide the local school district’s expectations for each student at the appropriate grade level in the subjects required by statute.
- Provide information regarding the standardized achievement test administered by the district and the parent’s options regarding the test.
- Provide a copy of the state law on home education.
Q: Does the school district receive state aid payments for home education students if they are taking a course or courses at the school?
A: Yes, the school district is entitled to proportionate state payment. The total amount may not exceed the equivalent of one full state aid payment.
Q: Does the school district receive state aid payment when they provide a home education monitor?
A: For purposes of allocating state aid and other state assistance to local school districts, a student receiving home education is deemed enrolled in the school district in which the student resides if the student is monitored by a licensed teacher employed by the public school district in which the parent resides. A school district is entitled to fifty percent (50%) of the per student payment provided times the appropriate factor for each student.
Q: Who determines reasonable academic progress of the home-educated child?
A: The local superintendent, who also sees that a district academic record is maintained for each home-educated child.
Q: Where does a child being home educated obtain a high school diploma?
A: Typically, the parent overseeing the home education is responsible for issuing the child's high school diploma. North Dakota Century Code does allow the option of the school district of residence, an approved nonpublic high school, or the North Dakota Center for Distance Education to issue diplomas, but this decision is made locally at the district level and is not required by state law. Policies regarding issuance of high school diplomas to home educated students are established by the local school boards.
Participation in Extra-Curricular Activities
Q: Can a home-educated student take part in extra-curricular activities?
A: Yes. A child receiving home education may participate in extra-curricular activities either:
- Under the auspices of the child's school district of residence; or
- Under the auspices of an approved nonpublic school, if permitted by the administration of the school.
* The child participating under the auspices of the child’s school district of residence is subject to the same standards for participation in extra-curricular activities as those required of full-time students enrolled in the school. The child is subject to the transfer rules as provided in the constitution and by-laws of the North Dakota High School Activities Association.
North Dakota Academic/CTE Scholarship
Q: Is a home-educated student eligible to apply for the Academic/CTE Scholarship?
A: Yes. The window for applications to be submitted is January through the first Friday in June. Home-educated students must file with the NDDPI the Home Education Transcript for the North Dakota Scholarship Program form. The form must be notarized and submitted with the supporting documentation requested in the form.