FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about Home Schooling
What should I know?
“The general assembly hereby declares that it is the primary right and obligation of the parent to choose the proper education and training for children under his care and supervision. It is recognized that home-based education is a legitimate alternative to classroom attendance for the instruction of children and that any regulation of nonpublic home-based educational programs should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate a variety of circumstances. The general assembly further declares that nonpublic home-based educational programs shall be subject only to minimum state controls which are currently applicable to other forms of nonpublic education.” Colorado Revised Statutes § 22-33-104.5(1)
In essence – Homeschooling is deregulated in the state of Colorado, therefore you’re taking on all of the responsibility for your student’s education including acquisition of books, supplies and tests.
How do I get started, what do I do first?
22-33-104.5(3)(e) Prior to establishing your home school, you must provide a 14 day written notification explaining your intent to homeschool to any Colorado public school district office (not the state) and do so each year thereafter for each year the program is maintained. Click Here for a Sample Notice of Intent You should make your school district of residence aware of the district where you’ve registered to avoid truancy action. The notification must list the child’s name, age, place of residence and number of hours of attendance of each child enrolled. If you live in the Mesa County School District 51, you can send your notice of intent to:
School District 51
Basil T Knight Center
attn: Home School Secretary
596 N. Westgate Drive
Grand Junction, CO 81506
What requirements or qualifications must I have to homeschool my child?
You must be the parent, guardian, or adult relative of the child. There are no other qualifications or requirements.
What are the requirements for attendance?
Your program shall include no less than 172 days of instruction, averaging four instructional contact hours per day.
What subjects do I have to teach?
Colorado Law requires that your program must include, but is not limited to: communication skills of reading, writing and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science and the Constitution of the United States.
What kind of records do I have to keep?
Your records must include but are not limited to, attendance data, test and evaluation results and immunization records.
Do I have to test my child and who pays for the test? Where do I get the test?
Your child must be tested or evaluated every two years beginning at the third grade level (third, fifth, seventh, ninth, and eleventh) at your expense. If you are a subscriber to SPICE, you can take advantage of the SPICE testing program (see the Testing Page on this website). Alternatively, you may be able to contact the school district where you’ve registered to ask if they will include your child during the testing of public school students, but the district is not obliged to do so, and may charge for the service.
“Each child participating in a nonpublic home-based educational program shall be evaluated when such child reaches grades three, five, seven, nine, and eleven. Each child shall be given a nationally standardized achievement test to evaluate the child’s academic progress, or a qualified person shall evaluate the child’s academic progress. The test or evaluation results, whichever is appropriate, shall be submitted to the school district that received the notification required by paragraph (e) of this subsection (3) or an independent or parochial school within the state of Colorado. If the test or evaluation results are submitted to an independent or parochial school, the name of such school shall be provided to the school district that received the notification required by paragraph (e) of this subsection (3). The purpose of such tests or evaluations shall be to evaluate the educational progress of each child. No scores for a child participating in a nonpublic home-based educational program shall be considered for awarding academic performance grades pursuant to section 22-7-604 or for accreditation pursuant to Article 11 of this title.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5(3)(f)
Is my homeschooled child required to take the CSAP test?
No. They may take the CSAP if you wish, but be aware that the CSAP is not a nationally standardized test, and it does not meet the testing requirements of Colorado Law.
Is there a state diploma or can my child earn one from the district?
There is no state diploma and district diplomas are presented only to students who have attended a public high school in the district. Some companies selling homeschooling curricula offer a diploma at the completion of their program or the parent can make a diploma to present at completion of the program.
Does my homeschooled child have to take the GED?
Taking the GED is an option but the adult in charge of the program may graduate the student by making a diploma.