Withdrawing Your Student to Homeschool
Many families come to the conclusion that they need to homeschool as a result of unpleasant experiences in public schools.
Our public schools certainly have a number of obstacles to overcome. Although many teachers are truly dedicated to their profession and their students, unfortunately the system itself has experienced numerous failures and challenges that homeschooling can alleviate.
If you are withdrawing your student from a public school in order to begin a home education program, you need to follow the individual school’s procedure for withdrawing your child.
Here are some tips and recommendations from me, based on the information from the NC Division of Non-Public education, the information from the NC State Board of Education, and the experiences of other homeschoolers.
This is not legal advice, I am simply sharing my research and observations.
Students Under Seven
If you have never operated a homeschool and your child is not seven years old, and will NOT be turning seven prior to June 1, of that school year, you will need to follow your local school’s procedures for withdrawing them.
That is because the NC State Board of Education, states that if you are withdrawing your student to homeschool, you must give proof that the Notice of Intent to Operate a Home School form (NOI) has been received by the Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE).
You won’t have this yet. Since your child is not of compulsory attendance age, you can’t file a NOI with the NCDNPE. You will file it before the school year in which they turn seven. (see How to Homeschool page)
What can you do to avoid confusion on the part of school officials and social workers?
According to state documentation on codes and proper school withdrawal procedure for schools in the state of NC, dated July1, 2016, if you are withdrawing a student to homeschool them and do not have a NOI because of the child’s age, you may alternatively provide them with an email or letter signed by the parent/guardian.
- Contact the school administration and submit, in writing, (email or letter) the information that you are withdrawing your student to begin a home education program – include whatever information you feel comfortable revealing about your home education program.
- If they have questions, educate them on the homeschooling and compulsory attendance laws
- Keep copies of any documentation you receive from the school or send to the school
- Complete withdrawal forms if they request them and follow the local school’s policies for withdrawing your child
- Begin homeschooling!
Do not send in your NOI to the Division of Non-Public Schools until the school year in which your child will turn 7. Then they request that you submit it at least 30 days before they will turn seven, so that you will be able to remain in compliance with NC’s compulsory attendance laws.
Students, Seven Years of Age and Older
If they are seven, or will turn seven this school year, you will need to visit the NC Division of Non-Public Education’s website to complete your Notice of Intent to Homeschool:
- If you have never opened a homeschool before, complete the NOI. You only have to complete one NOI to open your homeschool, even if you later add more children to your homeschool. Your homeschool stays open until you officially close it with the NCDNPE.
- You will get an email shortly from the DNPE detailing how you should submit your proof of high school graduation. This includes documentation such as: your GED, high school or college diploma, high school or college transcripts, DD214, Professional Licenses (examples from the NCDNPE website)
- You will receive an official acknowledgement of your completed NOI from DNPE by email, so make sure they have the email you want to use.
- You can submit a copy of your email acknowledgement to the school administration.
- Complete withdrawal forms if they request them, and follow the local school’s policies to withdraw your child
- Keep copies of all documentation you receive or send to the school
- Begin homeschooling!
If at some point your child needs to be re-enrolled in the local school, the local school should be able to use the records you have kept of your homeschooling and proper annual testing to determine your child’s grade placement. (see NC statutes below re: double testing of students)
§ 115C-288 …A principal shall not require additional testing of a student entering a public school from a school governed under Article 39 of this Chapter if test scores from a nationally standardized test or nationally standardized equivalent measure that are adequate to determine the appropriate placement of the child are available.
When your child re-enrolls in a school, if you have no other students attending your homeschool, you will need to close your homeschool with the NCDNPE.
You can report closings, address changes and other updates to your homeschool online HERE. You can also print out a verification record there.