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 October 2018 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 the state maintains a student database. Home educated students may be included in the student database when they notify the SAU or 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 Letter of Intent must be sent within five days of starting a home ed program and contain the following information:
- child’s name, address, birth date
- parents’ names and addresses as well as daytime phone numbers
- date the home education program will begin
A template for a Letter of Intent is available here. The NH Department of Education also created a form that families may use for notification. Families may use these documents, or create their own Letter of Intent. 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.
It is highly recommended to send the Letter of Intent by certified mail because it provides proof when you mailed notification as well as when your chosen Participating Agency received it. 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 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.
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 per Ed 315.05 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 have 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, Ellie Riel, Program Assistant, at Ellie.Riel@doe.nh.gov or 603-271-0076.
This list is not an endorsement or recommendation of any school.
Bethlehem Christian School
PO Box 303
Dublin Christian Academy
106 Page Road
Dublin, NH 03444
Estabrook Christian School
Plainfield, NH 03781
Laconia Christian School
1386 Meredith Center Road
Mount Royal Academy
26 Seven Hearths Lane
Sunapee, NH 03782
New England Classical Academy
59 Old Church Road
Claremont, NH 03743
Tabernacle Christian School
242 Derry Road
Tri-City Christian Academy
150 West High Street
Somersworth, NH 03878