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Age Versus Grade
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Since the affidavit is based on age, not grade, many districts are concerned about fulfilling their obligations when a parent chooses to declare only the age of the student, as the legal requirement, and not a grade. These obligations include collecting standardized testing results, collecting evidence of immunizations and health and medical services, and determining whether an appropriate education has taken place.


In a home education program, the parent sets the grade of a child. In other words, if the child is struggling, they could be in a lower grade; if the child is accelerating, they could be in a higher grade. It is not unusual for a child to span more than one grade, depending on the subject – this is the beauty and flexibility of a home education program. The mandatory courses are not grade-specific, they are level-specific. These courses are defined for the elementary grades (K-6) and the secondary grades (7-12).


Comparing the age of the child listed on the affidavit with the law and regulations, 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 provide guidance in fulfilling the district's obligations.


Home Education Divisions

24 P.S. § 13-1327.1 (c)-(d) (Home education recognized levels)

- The elementary level is grades kindergarten through six (K-6).

- The secondary level is grades seven through twelve (7-12).


Elementary Level

22 Pa Code § 4.21 (Elementary education: primary and intermediate levels)

- The primary program (grades K-3) shall ordinarily be completed by children who are approximately 8 years of age.

- The intermediate level program (grades 4-6) shall ordinarily be completed by children who are approximately 11 years of age.


Secondary Level

22 Pa Code § 4.22 (Middle level education)

- The middle level planned instruction aligned with academic standards serves children who are approximately 11—14 years of age.


22 Pa Code § 4.23 (High school education)

- High school (grades 9-12) is above age 14.



Last updated August 19, 2011

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