Homeschoolers may end their home ed program at any time for any reason. We’ll explain how to officially close out your homeschool program and give specific information for enrolling in other educational opportunities.
Notifying the End of Your Home Ed Program
If you end your home ed program for any reason prior to your child’s completion of high school, it is necessary to notify your Participating Agency (the education entity to whom you originally filed your notification when you started) and the NH Department of Education within 15 days of the conclusion of your home ed program per RSA 193-A:5 and Ed 315 rules. You do not need to give an explanation or say where your child will be enrolled. The state DOE’s mailing address is 101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301-3860.
If your child is graduating and completing the equivalent of a 12th grade education, but is not yet 18 years old, then homeschoolers must notify the NH Department of Education. In NH, homeschoolers self-certify the graduation of their high-school students. The NH DOE has a sample self-certification form, and GSHE created a sample high school graduation letter that families may use. We recommend mailing it by certified mail so you have proof of delivery. The state DOE’s mailing address is 101 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301-3860. If the student is 18 years of age or older, no notice is required because the student is above the mandatory education attendance age per RSA 193:1.
Enrolling in Another Educational Option
If you are ending your home ed program to enroll your child in a different educational setting, you are required to meet the new school’s enrollment requirements and follow their procedures in addition to formally notifying your Participating Agency and the NH DOE that you concluded your home ed program.
If you are choosing a nonpublic (private) school, then you must satisfy whatever their requirements are for enrollment and placement decisions. It will vary greatly so check with the intended private school ahead of time to find out if they need documentation about your child’s homeschool experience or want placement tests. They may require participation in an admissions event or registration months ahead of the school year, so check with the individual school about their process and expectations.
If you are enrolling your child in a chartered public school, know that all of NH’s charters are part of the public school system. They do not charge tuition, may not discriminate against students, and are not limited by zip codes; however, they may have limited availability of seats per grade. Also, they may require participation in an Open House event or admission information session. Again, be informed about their enrollment requirements and procedures ahead of time.
If the plan is to enroll in the local public school, it may be useful to follow the state standards for your home ed program. These standards, which are College and Career Readiness Standards (aka Common Core), are available on the NH Department of Education’s website. They are listed by subject and grade level. The Health and PE curriculum guidelines are available here, and information about the Arts guidelines is available here. Homeschoolers are not required to adhere to public school pedagogy, curricula, scope/sequence, schedules, or other requirements of public education, but families may want to be informed of these instructional frameworks if the goal is to enter the public school system.
The process to enroll at the elementary-grade level is simple and usually involves a phone call to the appropriate local school. Students are typically assigned to their grade level based on age and rarely require a transcript or any other documentation from the student’s home education program.
It is more complicated at the high school level, especially for students entering at or above the 10th grade level. In NH, local public high school principals have the discretion to approve or deny credits towards graduation from any educational provider outside the district, including VLACS or other NH charter schools, accredited private institutions, and home education. To avoid unpleasant surprises, we encourage families to have an open discussion with the high school about their plans so you know the school’s expectations and requirements. The SAU may have their graduation policy and requirements posted on their website.
GSHE produced this video with suggestions to maximize credits that may be awarded towards graduation at their local public high schools.
By Michelle Levell