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Home School in Colorado
How does the Governor's Executive Order impact homeschooling?
The Governor’s order to suspend in-person instruction in all of the state’s public and private schools through the remainder of the school year also includes a message that encourages remote learning. Homeschooling should be well situated for remote learning.
When a homeschool program operates larger gatherings, it is reasonable to interpret these types of activities as falling under both the Governor’s order to suspend in-person instruction as well as the public health order to limit gatherings.
Consistent with the social distancing objectives, parents/guardians are encouraged to continue homeschool activities, but should avoid activities that involve public gatherings.
The requirement that children in home-based education be evaluated in grades 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 (22-33-104.5(3)(f), C.R.S.) was not addressed by the Governor's Executive Order, which was very specific to the state's obligation to administer assessments under 22-7-1006.3. If parents or adult relatives running a nonpublic home-based education program can meet the requirements of 22-33-104.5(3)(f) without violating state or local health orders related to public gatherings, they should.
Nonpublic Home School Programs
Getting Started-Letter of Intent to Home School
Pursuant to Colorado law, parents who wish to begin home schooling must provide written notification of the establishment of the home school program 14 days before beginning the home school program to a Colorado school district. The written notification must include the name, age, place of residence, and number of attendance hours for each child that will be participating in the home school program. Written notification must be re-submitted to a Colorado school district each year.
Subjects to Teach
Colorado law states that home school programs must include, but are not limited to, the subjects of communication skills of reading, writing, and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, and regular courses of instruction in the constitution of the United States. The selection of curriculum is at the discretion of the parent who is overseeing the home schooling program. The state cannot offer any guidance in this area, and encourages contacting the district that received the written notification if there are further questions.
Home school programs must have no less than 172 days of instruction, averaging 4 contact hours per day.
Records for each child participating in a home school program must be kept on a permanent basis by the parent who is overseeing the home school program. The records must include, but are not limited to, attendance, test and evaluation results, and immunization records as required by C.R.S sections 25-4-901, 25-4-902, and 25-4-903. The records must be produced and provided to the school district that received the written notification, not the state of Colorado, at the school district’s request.
Students that are participating in a home school program must have academic progress evaluated in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. Students can take a nationally standardized achievement test or a qualified person, as described in C.R.S. 22-33-104.5(3)(f), can be selected by the parent to evaluate the student’s academic progress. The results of the evaluation, whether by assessment or qualified person, must be submitted to the school district that received the written notification.
The state cannot provide guidance regarding assessments or evaluation. Please contact your local school district for resources or specific deadlines for submitting evaluation results.
Other Things to Know About Home School
Home school is considered nonpublic and is not regulated by the state of Colorado. The parent who oversees the home school program is taking on the responsibility of obtaining books, supplies, tests, and is responsible for any costs associated. Because home schooling is considered nonpublic education, home school is not accredited by the Colorado Department of Education or by a local school district.
The links below include a copy of Colorado Home School Law, how to get started home schooling your child, and a resources link to home school organizations that provide information on networking, support groups, curricula, and testing.
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