In New Hampshire the age of compulsory school attendance is six (as of September 30) to 18. Within five days of starting a home ed program, parents or guardians are required to notify their intent to homeschool one time per child, not annually, to one of three Participating Agency options: 1) their local SAU office; 2) a private school that offers these services; or 3) the Department of Education. The NH Department of Education issued a technical advisory in September 2018 and another in September 2020 clarifying the requirements of Participating Agencies regarding home education programs.
Local SAUs are required to offer Participating Agency services to home educators in their districts at no fee.
Alternatively, private schools offer distance between the student’s personal information and the state. One reason this separation is valued by many families is because districts and the state maintain a student database. Home educated students may be included in the student database when they participate in classes, extra curriculars, or statewide assessments. Many private schools charge a fee and offer additional optional services including field trips, transcript services, sports participation, graduation ceremonies, and more. Homeschool families may work with any school that offers Participating Agency services and are not limited to ones in their local area. Below is a list of private schools that offer Participating Agency services to the homeschool community. Contact the schools directly for more information.
The notification letter, or Letter of Intent (LOI), must contain the following information as specified in RSA 193-A:5 II for each child who is beginning a home education program:
- the children's names
- birth dates
- parent(s)' name(s)
- daytime phone number
- date the home ed program will begin
- signature of the parent(s)
As of May 2006, it is no longer required to include curriculum or scope and sequence information. It is also not required to provide the child’s grade level, language spoken at home, local district assigned school, or race.
The NH Department of Education created a form that families may use for notification or families may write their own Letter of Intent. Districts cannot require families to use their form.
The PA must send an acknowledgement letter within 14 days of receiving your notification. Note that it should not be specific to a single year because home ed law changed in 2012 to require one-time only notification. It is very important to save copies of both letters, your Letter of Intent and the acknowledgement letter from your PA, as a precaution against truancy or educational neglect concerns; they are your proof that your family is complying with compulsory attendance and home education laws. You do not need to wait until you receive the acknowledgement letter from your selected PA to begin your home ed program; you can begin immediately. This 2020 technical advisory from the NH Department of Education underscores the Participating Agency legal requirements.
Families should notify their Participating Agencies if they move or end their home education program prior to the student turning 18 or completes the equivalent of 12th grade (graduates). If the student graduates and is not yet 18, the state Department of Education must be notified with the following information:
- name and address of student, date of birth
- name and address of parents, daytime phone numbers
- date the home education program completed
- parent signature
Again, parents are strongly advised to keep a record and consider sending it certified mail. The state DOE’s mailing address is 101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301-3860.
Any private school may serve as a Participating Agency to the homeschool community. They do not need to register with the department to provide these services. Participating Agencies are required to maintain a list of children that file a Letter of Intent with them. The only reporting requirement is to notify the state DOE by October 1st of each year of the number of students for which they provide PA services -- they do not need to supply birth dates, grade levels, names of individual children, copies of the Letter of Intent letters, or other details. In order to protect their homeschooling families' privacy, they should not share more than required.
We compiled more information for schools that may wish to consider offering Participating Agency services to the homeschool community. Interested schools can also contact the NH DOE's homeschool contact.
This list is not an endorsement or recommendation of any school.
Crossroads Christian School
43 Atwood Road
Pelham, NH 03076
Estabrook Christian School
PO Box 249
Plainfield, NH 03781
Mount Royal Academy
26 Seven Hearths Lane
Sunapee, NH 03782
Tabernacle Christian School
242 Derry Road
Tri-City Christian Academy
150 West High Street
Somersworth, NH 03878