As August approaches, homeschool parents all around Columbus, Ohio are preparing for the new school year. Whether you follow a structured approach or are more interest-led in your homeschooling, every family has to complete the required notification paperwork in order to be exempt from the compulsory attendance laws. For those new to homeschooling, this can seem daunting. Never fear! By following a few simple steps you can be finished with the process before you know it.
1. Know the state regulations.
The State of Ohio spells our homeschool rights and responsibilities very clearly in Ohio Administrative Code 3301-34: Excuses from Compulsory Attendance for Home Education. Don’t let the legal jargon fool you. The process is simple. However, you must be familiar with the information contained in the Administrative Code so that you know your rights as home educating parents in Ohio. Find more information here: http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/3301-34
2. Prepare your notification paperwork.
There are no set forms to use (and if your district claims otherwise refer them to the code listed above!) As home educators in Ohio, we must provide some basic information about our planned school year such as a list of basic teaching materials available to your student as well as subjects that will be covered during the school year. This is for “informational purposes only,” so don’t let it scare you. You can find information and examples of forms on the following websites:
- Christian Home Educators of Ohio (CHEO): Steps for Notification
- Home School Legal Defense Association: Homeschooling in Ohio
- A 2 Z Home’s Cool: Ohio Education Code for Homeschooling
3. Submit your paperwork by the first day of the new school year.
For Columbus, Ohio homeschooling families, the notification paperwork must be submitted to the local school district by the first day of school on 22 August 2012. Other surrounding school districts may have different start dates for the 2012/2013 school year. Please refer to the district calendar to find your local start date. Notification paperwork should be submitted to the office of the superintendent for your school district.
4. Save copies and receipts of all notification paperwork.
When preparing your notification paperwork, be sure to keep photocopies of the original paperwork you are submitting. This includes photocopies of your signed notification form. If you choose to hand-deliver your form, be sure that you write a simple receipt to be signed by the school district representative accepting your paperwork. Another suggestion shared by many families is to send your notification paperwork by mail using both certified mail and return receipt. These receipts will show proof of submission should there be any dispute about paperwork lost in transit or processing. Keep these copies with your important papers until you receive your letter of exemption from compulsory attendance.
5. Wait for your letter!
After the processing of your notification paperwork, your homeschool family will receive a letter stating that your child is exempt from the compulsory attendance requirement as a homeschool student. Depending on the school district, this can be received in a matter of days or a matter of weeks. Not only does this letter exempt your student from attending public school, but it also allows you to receive educator discounts from various local and national businesses. Be sure to read upcoming articles to learn more about these discounts. Keep your letter in a safe place, and enjoy your school year!
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