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Home Instruction Maryland   

 

.01 Home Instruction Program under the Count Supervision   

 

.02 Voluntary Participation in Standardized Testing

 

.03 Noncompliance with Requirements

 

.04 Placement in Public School

 

.05 Home Instruction Under Supervision of Nonpublic School

 

Fact Sheet Regarding Home Instruction in Maryland

 

Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article§ 7-301, Compulsory attendance

 

Chart Reflecting Local School System Phase-in of Age of Eligibility

 

Fact Sheet Regarding the Mandatory Kindergarten Attendance Law

 

Direct links to all 24 Maryland Local Education Agencies' web sites

 

Mail Contact Information

 

Maryland State Department of Education Fact sheet for Nonpublic Schools

 

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Home Instruction Maryland

Comar laws govern under the county   

Authority: Education Article, §7-301, Annotated Code of Maryland

.01 Home Instruction Program.

A. Purpose. The purpose of this regulation is to establish a procedure to be used by the superintendent of each local school system to determine if a child participating in a home instruction program is receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age.

B. Written Agreement. A parent or guardian who chooses to teach a child at home shall sign a statement on a form prescribed by the State Department of Education which:

(1) Indicates consent to the requirements set forth in §§C, D, and E; and

(2) Shall be submitted to the local superintendent at least 15 days before the beginning of a home instruction program.

C. Instruction Program. The home instruction program shall:

(1) Provide regular, thorough instruction in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age;

(2) Include instruction in English, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education; and

(3) Take place on a regular basis during the school year and be of sufficient duration to implement the instructional program.

D. Educational Materials. A parent or guardian who chooses to teach a child at home shall maintain a portfolio of materials which:

(1) Demonstrates the parent or guardian is providing regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the areas specified in §C(1) and (2);

(2) Includes relevant materials, such as instructional materials, reading materials, and examples of the child's writings, worksheets, workbooks, creative materials, and tests;

(3) Shall be reviewed by the local superintendent or the superintendent's designee at the conclusion of each semester of the local school system at such times as are mutually agreeable to the local superintendent or designee and the parent or guardian.

E. A parent or guardian shall agree to permit a representative of a local school system to review the portfolio of educational materials, discuss the instructional program, and observe instruction provided that all of the following requirements are met:

(1) The review is at a time and place mutually agreeable to the representative of the local school system and the parent or guardian;

(2) The purpose of the review is to ensure that the child is receiving regular, thorough instruction as set forth in §C;

(3) There are not more than three reviews during a school year.

F. Additional Requirements. A local school system may not impose additional requirements for home instruction programs other than those in these regulations.

Comar Laws  13A.10.01.01  Governing home instruction by the County

 

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.02 Voluntary Participation in Standardized Testing

Upon request of a parent or guardian, a child receiving home instruction may participate in the regularly scheduled standardized testing programs that are administered in the public school the child is eligible to attend.

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.03 Noncompliance with Requirements.

A. Failure to Consent. If a parent or guardian does not agree to the requirements of Regulation .01B, C, and D, above, a child shall be enrolled promptly in a public school or nonpublic school as defined in COMAR 13A.09.09.02B(4)(a).

B. Deficiencies in the Program. If a local superintendent determines on the review of the home instruction program or inspection of the portfolio that a child is not receiving a regular, thorough instruction program in conformity with Regulation .01C and D, the local superintendent shall notify the parent or guardian in writing of any deficiencies in the program. The following apply:

(1) Within 30 days of receipt of notification of any deficiencies, the parent or guardian shall provide evidence to the local superintendent that the deficiency has been or is being corrected.

(2) If a local superintendent determines there is not a satisfactory plan to correct a deficiency or if a deficiency is not corrected, a child shall be enrolled promptly in a public school or a nonpublic school as defined in COMAR 13A.09.09.02B(4)(a).

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.04 Placement in Public School
Upon application of a child for admission to a public school from a home instruction program, the local superintendent shall determine by an evaluation the placement of the child and any credits to be awarded toward high school graduation. The evaluation may include administration of standardized tests and examinations and interviews with the child.

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.05 Home Instruction Under Supervision of Nonpublic School.

.05 Home Instruction Under Supervision of Nonpublic School.

A parent or guardian may provide instruction for a child at home without compliance with the requirements of this regulation, other than the requirements of Regulations .01B(2) and .04, if that instruction is offered through correspondence courses and is under the supervision of a:

A. School or institution offering an educational program operated by a bona fide church organization, and the supervision includes at a minimum all of the following components:

(1) Pre enrollment conferences with parents or guardians,

(2) Textbooks, lesson materials, and other instructional    
materials or equipment designed to be used independently 
by the pupil at a site other than a school,

(3) Annual visits by supervisory personnel to the site where 
the pupil is receiving instruction, and

(4)Conferences with parents or guardians at appropriate 
intervals during the period of enrollment; or

B. Nonpublic school with a certificate of approval from the 
State Board of Education, and the supervision includes at a 
minimum all of the following components:

(1) Textbooks, lesson materials, and other instructional materials or equipment designed to be used independently by the pupil at a site other than a school, and

(2) Assignment of a school-based teacher to assist the home teacher in using the correspondence courses and to assist the pupil by issuing progress reports, marking papers, and grading tests.

 Comar Laws 13A.1-.01.05 Governing home instruction under a Umbrella

Fact Sheet Regarding Home Instruction in Maryland

      Does Maryland law permit a student of mandatory school age to be home schooled instead of attending a public or a nonpublic school?

Yes. Maryland law, Education Article, §7-301, Annotated Code of Maryland, Compulsory Attendance, states that each child who resides in Maryland and is 5 years old or older and under 16 shall attend a public school regularly during the entire school year unless the child is otherwise receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public school to children of the same age. Maryland recognizes nonpublic schools and home instruction as alternatives to public school enrollment as a means for students to receive regular, thorough instruction.

Are there regulations that govern home instruction in Maryland? 
Yes.
COMAR 13A.10.01 Home Instruction, are the regulations that govern home instruction in Maryland. The purpose of COMAR 13A.10.01 is to establish a procedure to be used by the superintendent of each local school system to determine if a child participating in a home instruction program is receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age.

What must a parent do before beginning home instruction? 
At least 15 days before the beginning of a home instruction program, a parent or guardian who chooses to teach a child at home must sign a written statement on a form prescribed by the State Department of Education. The parent should contact their local school system for a copy of the consent form and COMAR 13A.10.01.

Does the local school system or the Maryland State Department of Education provide a curriculum to parents to use for the purpose of home schooling? 
No. A parent or guardian who elects to provide instruction to his/her child (ren) must select the curriculum to be used. The home instruction regulation does, however, specify the subjects that must be taught by the parent or guardian.

What subject areas of home instruction are mandatory?  English, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education are the subject areas that parents or guardians must teach their child (ren) who are home schooled. [COMAR 13A.10.01.01C.(2).]

Must home instruction be supervised in Maryland?   Yes. Home instruction must be supervised in Maryland by one of the following entities:

1. The local school system.
2. A nonpublic school that holds a Certificate of Approval from the
Maryland State Board of Education.
3. A church-exempt nonpublic school.
4. An education ministry of a bona fide church organization.

What must a nonpublic school or education ministry of a bona fide church organization do before beginning to supervise home instruction of Maryland students?  Before beginning to supervise home instruction, the head of the legal authority of a nonpublic school or the chief officer of a bona fide church organization that elects to supervise home instruction must contact the Maryland State Department of Education for registration procedures. Registration procedures include the completion of an official registration form that can be obtained by calling the Nonpublic School Approval Branch at the Department at (410) 767-0407.

Can a tutor or someone other than the parent or guardian be hired to teach a child who is home schooled?   No. The Home Instruction regulations (COMAR 13A.10.01) are clear that the parent or guardian is to be the primary provider of the home instruction. Other adults may assist with a special area of interest but such adults are not permitted to replace the parent or guardian as the primary provider of instruction.

Is a home schooled student prohibited from being tutored?  No. A home-schooled student may be tutored in a particular subject just as a student enrolled in a public or nonpublic school may be tutored. Regardless of whether a student is enrolled in home schooling or in a public or nonpublic school, tutoring is supplemental to each of these primary forms of instruction. Tutoring may not be substituted for the instruction that is provided by the parent or legal guardian to his/her home schooled student or the instruction provided by a public or nonpublic school to students enrolled.

Must the parent/guardian be a certified teacher?  No. Present regulations do not require parents/guardians to have teacher certification in order to home school their child(ren). [COMAR 13A.10.01.] 

Can a student who is home schooled participate in other aspects of the instructional or extracurricular programs that are offered by a Maryland public school?   No. Present regulations indicate no provision which allow homeschooled students to participate in courses or activities that are offered by a Maryland public school other than the standardized testing program. [COMAR 13A.10.01]

May a home-schooled student participate in the standardized testing program that is offered by the student’s local school system?  Yes. A child receiving home instruction may participate in the regularly scheduled standardized testing programs that are administered in the student’s assigned school. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to contact the public school that the child is eligible to attend to find out the testing schedule and to make arrangements for participation prior to the testing date. [COMAR 13A.10.01.01.02]

What are the procedures for a home-schooled student to return to a public school? 
The parent must contact the local school for procedures regarding returning from home instruction to enrollment in a public school. The local superintendent of schools or designee shall determine the placement of the child and any credits to be awarded toward high school graduation. The evaluation may include administration of standardized tests, examinations, and interviews with the student. [COMAR 13A.10.01.04]

How can a home-schooled student receive a diploma?  If the home-schooled student returns to a public school and meets their secondary school graduation requirements, yes, the student may receive a Maryland issued state diploma.

 

If the home-schooled student returns to a nonpublic or church-exempt school and meet’s that school’s secondary school graduation requirements, the student may receive a diploma issued by that school’s legal authority. Note: COMAR 13A.09.09.09E states that the diploma of a nonpublic secondary school may not imply that the requirements for graduation from a Maryland public secondary school have been met.

Another alternative for the home-schooled student is to successfully complete the
General Educational Development (GED) test and be issued a GED by the Maryland State Department of Education. For more information regarding GED contact the General Educational Development office at (410) 767-0538.

Does the Maryland State Department of Education provide information about home instruction support groups?
  No. The Maryland State Department of Education does not collect information about home instruction support groups. The Department, however, maintains the names and addresses of the nonpublic schools and bona fide church organizations that are registered to supervise home instruction in Maryland.

Whom should I call if I have more questions?   For questions about filing the consent form with the local school system, curriculum, portfolio reviews, standardized testing, special education services, returning to the public school system, contact the Pupil Personnel Office of your local school system.


For questions about the requirements of the home instruction regulations and other matters of concern pertaining to home instruction, contact the Student Services and Alternative Programs Branch of the Maryland State Department of Education in Baltimore at (410) 767-0311.


For questions about nonpublic entities that are registered to supervise home instruction, contact the Nonpublic School Approval Branch of the Maryland State Department of Education in
Baltimore at (410) 767-0407.

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Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article,
§ 7-301, Compulsory attendance.

(a) Who must attend. -

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, each child who resides in this State and is 5 years old or older and under 16 shall attend a public school regularly during the entire school year unless the child is otherwise receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age.

(2) In accordance with regulations of the State Board of Education, a child who resides in this State and is 5 years old may be exempted from mandatory school attendance for 1 year if the child's parent or guardian files a written request with the local school system asking that the child's attendance be delayed due to the child's level of maturity.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section or in regulations of the State Board of Education, each child who resides in this State shall attend a kindergarten program regularly during the school year prior to entering the first grade unless the child is otherwise receiving regular, thorough instruction in the skills and studies usually taught in a kindergarten program of a public school.

(b) Excused absences. - A county superintendent, school principal, or an individual authorized by the county superintendent or principal may excuse a student for a lawful absence.

(c) Duty of parent or guardian. - Each parent who has legal custody or crae and control of a child who is 5 years old or older and under 16 shall see that the child attends school or receives instruction as required by this section.

(d) Application of section. -

(1) This section applies to any child who has a mental, emotional, or physical handicap.

(2) This section does not apply to a child:
(i) Whose mental, emotional, or physical condition makes his instruction detrimental to his progress; or
(ii) Whose presence in school presents a danger of serious physical harm to others.

(3) With the advice of the school principal, supervisor, pupil personnel supervisor, or visiting teacher and with the written recommendation of a licensed physician or a State Department of Education certified or licensed psychologist, the county superintendent may:
(i) Make other appropriate provisions for the free education of any student excepted from attendance under paragraph (2) of this subsection; or
(ii) Permit the parents or guardians of that student to withdraw him from public school, for as long as the attendance of the child in a public school would be detrimental to his progress or his presence in school would present a danger of serious physical harm to others.

(4) If a child is withdrawn from a public school under this subsection, the county board shall make other appropriate provisions for the education of the child.

(5) If an appropriate educational placement is not available immediately, the county board shall make interim provisions for the education of the child until an appropriate placement becomes available.

(e) Penalties. -

(1) Any person who induces or attempts to induce a child to absent himself unlawfully from school or employs or harbors any child who is absent unlawfully from school while school is in session is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $500 or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both.

(2) Any person who has legal custody or care and control of a child who is 5 years old or older and under 16 who fails to see that the child attends school or receives instruction under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and:
(i) For a first conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $50 per day of unlawful absence or imprisonment not to exceed 10 days, or both; and
(ii) For a second or subsequent conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $100 per day of unlawful absence or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both.

(3) As to any sentence imposed under this subsection, the court may suspend the fine or the prison sentence and establish terms and conditions which would promote the child's attendance. The suspension authority provided for in this subsection is in addition to and not in limitation of the suspension authority under Article 27, § 641A of the Code.

(f) Exemption from attending kindergarten. - A child may be exempted from attending kindergarten if a parent or guardian of the child files a written request with the local school system and verifies that the child is enrolled:
(1) Full time in a licensed child care center;
(2) Full time in a registered family day care home; or
(3) Part time in a Head Start 5 year old program.
(g) Minimum days or hours for kindergarten programs. - Kindergarten programs are not subject to the requirements of § 7-103 (a) of this title relating to minimum days or hours of operation.

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Fact Sheet Regarding the Mandatory Kindergarten Attendance Law

Fact sheet  Regarding Mandatory Kindergarten Maryland State Department

Fact Sheet Regarding the Mandatory Kindergarten Attendance Law

1. What does the mandatory kindergarten attendance law require? The mandatory kindergarten attendance law requires a child who resides in Maryland to attend a public or nonpublic kindergarten program regularly during the school year before entering the first grade unless the child is enrolled in an alternative program or is receiving home instruction as specified in question #4 of this fact sheet.

2. Does the change in the age of eligibility for enrollment in kindergarten affect the admissions criteria of a nonpublic school?  Yes. The change in the age of eligibility for enrollment in kindergarten affects nonpublic schools as follows:

• Nonpublic schools that are approved under COMAR 13A.09.10 to receive public pay students are required to adopt the age of eligibility dates shown on the attached "Chart Reflecting Local School Phase-in of Age of Eligibility for Enrollment in Public School Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade."

• Until the 2006-2007 school year, nonpublic schools that hold a Certificate of Approval under COMAR 13A.09.09 and church-exempt schools that are registered with the Maryland State Department of Education may elect to follow this chart when establishing the age of eligibility for enrollment in its kindergarten, or may establish September 1 as the date by which a child must be 5-years-old to be age eligible for enrollment in kindergarten.

• For the 2006-2007 school year and thereafter, all nonpublic schools (schools holding a Certificate of Approval and those registered as "church-exempt", must establish September 1 as the date by which a child must be 5-years-old to be age eligible to enroll in kindergarten.

3. Does attendance in a nonpublic kindergarten satisfy the requirements of this law?  Yes. Attendance in any of the following nonpublic kindergarten educational programs satisfies the requirements of the mandatory kindergarten attendance law:

(a) A kindergarten educational program in a nonpublic school that holds a Certificate of Approval from the Maryland State Board of Education;

(b) A kindergarten educational program in a licensed child care center that holds a Certificate of Approval from the Maryland State Board of Education; or

(c) A kindergarten educational program in a church-exempt nonpublic school that is registered with the Maryland State Department of Education as exempt from the requirement to hold a Certificate of Approval because the Legal Authority responsible for governing and operating the school is a bona fide church organization.

4. Are there ways to satisfy the mandatory kindergarten attendance law other than by attending a public or nonpublic kindergarten?  es. The mandatory kindergarten attendance regulations permit kindergarten-age children, who are not attending a public or a nonpublic kindergarten, to be enrolled in either an alternative program setting or supervised home instruction.

(a) Alternative Program Setting (see note below):

   (i.) Full time in a licensed child care center;
    (ii.) Full time in a registered family day care home; or,
    (iii.) Part time in a Head Start 5-year-old program.

(b) Supervised Home Instruction (see note below):

Parents/guardians who home school their children must register with their local school system in order to be in compliance with home instruction regulations.

Note: The parent or guardian who elects to meet the mandatory school attendance requirement through (a) or (b) above, must file a written notification of this fact with the local public school system.

5. Can kindergarten be deferred on the basis of maturity?  Yes. State Board of Education regulations allow parents/guardians to file a request for a one-year level of maturity waiver for a kindergarten-age child, if the parents/guardians believe that a delay in kindergarten attendance is in the best interest of their child. Such a child, however, must attend kindergarten the next school year.

6. What must a parent or guardian do to defer kindergarten attendance for one year?  If a parent wants to defer a child's enrollment in kindergarten for one year due to the child's level of maturity, the parent must do the following:

(a) File a written request with the local Superintendent of Schools before the opening of the school year in which the child becomes 5-years-old, asking that the child's attendance be delayed due to the child's level of maturity, and

(b) Register that child in kindergarten the following school year.

7. Will enrollment of a 5-year-old in a nonpublic nursery school program for 4-year-olds satisfy the requirement of the mandatory kindergarten attendance law?  No. Enrollment of a 5-year-old in a nonpublic nursery school educational program approved by the State Board of Education for 4-year-olds and/or below does not satisfy the requirements of the mandatory kindergarten attendance law.

8. When a parent or guardian believes that it is in the best interest of a child who is enrolled in kindergarten to be withdrawn, what must the parent do?  If a parent or guardian feels that it is in the best interest of the child to be withdrawn from kindergarten, the parent or guardian must file a written request with the local Superintendent of Schools for a level of maturity waiver before withdrawing the child from kindergarten. This action delays kindergarten attendance until the following school year.

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Chart Reflecting Local School System Phase -in of Age of Eligibility

Kindergarten Phase-In

Public School Pre kindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade

  2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008
Pre-K 4 by 11/30/02 4 by 10/31/03 4 by 9/30/04 4 by 9/1/05 4 by 9/1/06  
Kgn.   5 by 11/30/03 5 by 10/31/04 5 by 9/30/05 5 by 9/1/06 5 by 9/1/07
Gr.1     6 by 11/30/04 6 by 10/31/05 6 by 9/30/06 6 by 9/1/07


•
For the 2006-2007 school year and thereafter, a child must be five-years-old by September 1 of the school year to be age eligible to enroll in a public school kindergarten or any nonpublic school kindergarten in Maryland. Note: For nonpublic schools, this requirement applies to those schools that hold a Certificate of Approval from the Maryland State Board of Education as well as those schools that are registered to operate exempt from the requirement to hold a Certificate of Approval (church-exempt schools).

• Local school systems will use the dates indicated on the chart below for the phase-in of children entering prekindergarten programs, kindergartens, and first grade to be consistent with the change in the age of eligibility for enrollment in kindergarten.

If a parent or guardian feels that it is in the best interest of the child to be withdrawn from kindergarten, the parent or guardian must file a written request with the local Superintendent of Schools for a level of maturity waiver before withdrawing the child from kindergarten. This action delays kindergarten attendance until the following school year.

· For the 2007-2008 school year, a child must be five years old by September 1, 2007 to be age eligible to enroll in a public or nonpublic school kindergarten.
· Local school systems will use the dates indicated on the chart below for the phase-in of children entering pre kindergarten programs, kindergartens, and first grade to be consistent with the change in the age of eligibility for enrollment in kindergarten.

· A nonpublic school approved under COMAR 13A.09.10 to receive public pay students must follow this chart.
 

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Direct links to all 24 Maryland Local Education Agencies' web sites

 

Allegany       Anne Arundel       Baltimore City       Baltimore County        Calvert        Caroline       Carroll 


Cecil       Charles      Dorchester       Frederick      Garrett      Harford      Howard     Kent     Montgomery 


Prince George's     Queen Anne's     Somerset      St. Mary's      Talbot      Washington      Wicomico      Worcester

 

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Mail Contact Information
Nonpublic School Approval Branch
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Telephone (410) 767-0408
Fax (410)333-8963
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD 21201
410-767-0100

 

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Special thanks to Maryland Department of Education for their support in gathering resources