***Attention all Home School Parents***
As of July 1, 2012, Home school services are coordinated by the Georgia Department of Education. You must go through the Georgia Department of Education (GADoE) in order to register your child for the 2014-2015 school year and for all other home school requests. Declarations of Intent and monthly attendance forms should NOT be submitted to Colquitt County School System.
Changes have been made to the homeschooling law in Georgia. There are two major changes that homeschoolers need to be aware of:
· The first is that they will no longer turn in their paperwork to their local school districts. Now they will report directly to the Georgia Department of Education.
· The second major change is that homeschoolers will only be required to turn in attendance forms once a year to the Georgia Department of Education instead of turning in a monthly attendance form to their local school district.
The Georgia Department of Education has instructions and forms on the GADoE website (www.doe.k12.ga.us/curriculum-instruction-and-assessment/pages/home-schools.aspx) by mid-June where students, parents and local homeschool associations can obtain and submit homeschool documents electronically. A physical mailing address is also available for submitting homeschool documents.
Students, parents and local homeschool associations may choose to submit their new homeschool required documentation electronically via HomeschoolCompliance.com (Mr. Scott Meadows – 706-353-3548). Neither Mr. Meadows nor HomeschoolCompliance.com are associated with the Georgia Department of Education; however, the Georgia Department of Education has entered into an agreement with Mr. Meadows allowing him to accept this documentation in order to better serve those choosing the homeschool option. Utilizing HomeschoolCompliance.com is not free. Parents should check HomeschoolCompliance.com for fees.
To request a Certificate of Attendance for a driver's license, learner's permit, work permit, or as needed for other purposes, please contact Patrick Blenke at firstname.lastname@example.org or Judy Serritella at email@example.com. Thank you for your patience as we move forward to comply with the new homeschool requirements.
Questions should be directed to the following people at the Georgia Department of Education: Patrick Blenke at (404) 463-1765 or Judy Serritella at (404) 657-9800.
With these changes in mind, the following are the requirements that parents or guardians must follow in order to homeschool in Georgia:
•Parents or guardians of homeschoolers are required to submit a declaration of intent to homeschool within 30 days of establishing such a program and thereafter by September 1 each year. Compulsory attendance is for children between the ages of six and sixteen, but any child under seven who has been enrolled in public school for 20 days or more will need to submit a declaration of intent to homeschool.
•The declaration needs to list the names and ages of the students, the address of the home study program, and a statement of the 12-month period that is to be considered the school year.
•Parents or guardians may teach only their own children, and they must possess at least a high school diploma or GED, but they can employ a tutor who holds a high school diploma or GED.
•The law states, “The home study program shall provide a basic academic educational program which includes, but is not limited to, reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.”
•The home study program must provide instruction each 12 months equivalent to 180 school days with each day consisting of at least 4.5 hours unless the child is physically unable to comply.
•Attendance records must be kept and submitted annually to the Department of Education.
•The law states, “Students in home study programs shall be subject to an appropriate nationally standardized testing program administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm reference tests…” beginning at the end of the third grade and every three years after that. The GADoE recommends that parents use a nationally recognized test. Homeschoolers can find a list of such tests here: http://www.ghea.org/pages/testing/standardizedTests.php. Note that a parent can administer the test after consulting with someone at the test’s publisher, or they could ask a local teacher to administer the test. The results of the tests do not need to be shared with anyone, and parents need only retain them for their own records.
•Finally, the home study program instructor needs to write an annual progress assessment report which will include her assessment of the student’s academic progress in each of the subject areas listed above, and parents need to retain these reports for at least three years.