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School District Oversight Homepage

 

 

 

Each of the following topics is covered more fully in their own section of this website. All laws and regulations that are referenced are located in the Laws and Regulations section of this Home Education website.

 

Much of the information in this section also is very important to homeschool families and there is much crossover between this section and other sections in the Home Education website. These sections on School District Oversight often reference other sections on the website.

 

Portfolio Review

Portfolios are due to the superintendent’s office by June 30 of each school year and reviews should be completed quickly so that there is time to challenge the portfolio before the new affidavit is due August 1. Additionally, Home Education and Private Tutoring Report (PDE 4097) is due to PDE by July 31 of each year for the immediately preceding school year.

 

Portfolios must demonstrate that an “appropriate education” has taken place and that the students have complied with the compulsory attendance laws. The evaluation of a Home Education Evaluator must accompany the portfolio.

 

See the Portfolio Review section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Portfolio Challenge

The superintendent is the final check in the process for determining whether an appropriate education has occurred for a homeschooled student, including that the student has complied with compulsory attendance laws.

 

Since the specific process for challenging a home education program may, according to the law, take from one month to more than two months, it is important to begin the process as soon as possible after the June 30 submission deadline of the portfolio.

 

While the final outcome of a hearing may be that the student may not homeschool for the next 12 months, another option is the establishment of a remedial education plan, mutually agreed to by the superintendent and supervisor of the home education program.

 

See the Portfolio Challenge section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Age versus Grade

Since the affidavit is based on age, not grade, many districts are concerned about fulfilling their obligation for oversight (curriculum, testing, and immunizations and medical exams) when a parent chooses to declare only the age of the student and not a grade. This is compounded by the fact that students may be in differing grades depending on the subject.

 

Comparing the age of the child listed on the affidavit with the law and regulations and the state board definition of age/grade appropriate materials, in conjunction with a yearly review of the portfolio contents, may help the school district reasonably infer the grade of the child from year-to-year and determine whether an appropriate education is taking place. This would give guidance on minimal standards, not the accelerated education which could occur.

 

See the Age versus Grade section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Transferring to another District

When a homeschool family moves from one school district to another in PA, an official letter of transfer is required. Similar to the concept of transcripts in public schools, this letter substantiates that the home education program is in compliance with the home education law and allows for credit to be given to the student in their new school district for work completed in the former school district.

 

See the Transferring to another District section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Entering Public / Private School

If a child enrolls in a public or private school after homeschooling, there must be a determination of the grade level to which the child is assigned and/or what high school credits will be awarded. The grade to which the supervisor of the home education program has assigned their child may not be the appropriate grade in the school to which the child is enrolling.

 

See the Entering Public/Private School section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

School Year

The school year is defined as July 1 to June 30 of the following year, with the exception of the Philadelphia City School District where it is defined as January 1 to December 31 of any year. These dates are the boundaries for the contents of a student’s portfolio for a given school year.

 

See the School Year section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Truancy

Homeschooled are not bound by the days and hours that public school is in session and may not be considered truant during those times. The supervisor of the home education program sets the periods of time for studies, which may be defined as evenings and weekends.

 

See the Truancy section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Dual and Concurrent Enrollment

Districts determine whether they will allow dual enrollment (participation in curricular subjects at the school) but are obligated to allow participation in a district’s concurrent enrollment program (enrollment in an institution of higher learning). These are reimbursable costs.

 

See the Dual and Concurrent Enrollment section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Work Permits

The school districts are responsible to track and issue permits for private school and homeschooling students, who are allowed to work during the day.

 

Homeschooled students who are 16 and 17 may work during the time school is in session as long as they do not work more than 6 consecutive days in one week, or work more than 8 hours per day or more than 44 hours per week. Those students may not work after midnight (Sunday through Thursday) during the school year.

 

See the Work Permits section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Records

School districts are required to maintain records for home education students in their district, just as they would for students attending their schools. These are important for letters of transfer and proof of graduation.

 

See the Records section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Private Tutoring Programs

The law provides for an alternative to homeschooling in the private tutoring laws and regulations. In this option, parents hire a PA certified teacher to provide instruction and oversight of their children’s education rather than the parents providing the instruction and oversight.

 

See the Private Tutoring Programs section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Placements by Children and Youth Services

If Children and Youth Services, or another entity, places a homeschooled student in a facility, the district is not obligated to pay for transportation or other expenses.

 

Residency

Home education supervisors must file an affidavit with the superintendent of the school in the district of residence. Establishment of residency is important because the school district of residence has obligations to homeschooled students.

 

See the Residency section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Written Policies

School districts should have written policies on attendance. This would include whether Dual Enrollment is allowed and how support for students with special needs will be handled, if allowed. 

 

Home Education Programs above Compulsory Age

The Home Education law covers students of compulsory school age, which is from the time a student enters school, but no later than eight years old by the first two weeks of school, until the student is 17. There are limitations regarding whether a student above the age of 17 may complete their education through homeschooling.

 

See the Home Education Programs above Compulsory Age section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Home Education and Private Tutoring Report

The Home Education and Private Tutoring Report (PDE 4097) is due by July 30 of each year to PDE for statistics for the immediately preceding school year. It is now filed electronically only.

 

See the Home Education and Private Tutoring Report section of this Home Education website for further details.

 

Graduation and the PHEAA Form

The home education law defines what is required for a homeschooled student to graduate from a home education program. The superintendent must comply with verifying to PHEAA that the student has completed the home education law’s requirements.

 

See the Graduation and the PHEAA Form section of this Home Education website for further details.

 


For additional information, please contact:

Suzanne Tallman |
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.214.8212
RA-home-education@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us