General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in Vermont
Vermont state law stipulates that a child must attend school from the day they turn 6 years old until they are 16 years of age. Parents or legal guardians are permitted to homeschool their children, but only if certain requirements are met, both to start with, and throughout the duration of the child’s homeschooling education.
Notification of Intent to Homeschool in Vermont
The process of notification and subsequent granting of permission for a child to be homeschooled in Vermont is considerably more complicated than in many other states. The first step is for the parent or legal guardian of the child to send a written enrollment notice to the commissioner of education.
This letter must be submitted every year that you wish to homeschool any child. In the enrollment notice, you must include each child’s details, details of the child’s parents or legal guardians, a report assessing the progress the child made in the previous year, and the details of any person who has been or will be giving the child lessons. The letter must be signed by all parents or guardians of the child or children in question.
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In addition, you must submit a narrative which details the content you will be teaching the child in each subject. This is not required if your child is 12 years old and older, or if you have already homeschooled your child for two successive years.
After you have submitted all the required documents and information, you cannot homeschool your child until you have received an ‘acknowledgment of compliance’ from the commissioner of education. This notice confirms that your child can be enrolled for homeschooling within 45 days from the date you receive the notice.
Qualifications Required to Homeschool in Vermont
Vermont’s state laws in relation to homeschooling children do not require any parent or legal guardian to have formal education or teaching qualifications in order to teach their child at home.
Number of Days/Hours of Instruction Required for Homeschoolers in Vermont
Vermont has no state education laws which compel parents or legal guardians to teach their homeschooled children for any minimum numbers of hours or days throughout the school year.
What Subjects Need to Be Covered in Home Education (and for how long) In Vermont?
In Vermont, there a long list of no fewer than eleven subjects which you are obliged to teach a child under the state’s laws as they pertain to homeschooling. The law states that the teaching level should be appropriate for the age of the child, and also take account of the child’s ability in that subject. The list of subjects is as follows:
- Natural sciences
- Fine arts
- Citizenship, history, and government of Vermont
- Citizenship, history, and government of the United States
- English, American and other literature
- Basic communication skills
- Use of numbers
- Physical education
- Health education especially the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, drugs
What Are the Recordkeeping Requirements for Homeschoolers in Vermont?
Each child who is homeschooled must be assessed annually, and all assessments must be sent to the commissioner of education when you send your written enrollment notice for the following year. There are set guidelines for the methods by which a homeschooled child may be assessed. The first is for a certified teacher in Vermont to write a report which assesses the child. This report will be in a format which is approved by the education commissioner.
The second method of assessment is for the person or persons (normally the parents) to write a report and submit it along with a portfolio of the work which has been completed by the child. The samples of work should include examples of the child’s progress in each subject.
The third and final form of assessment is for the child to sit standardized tests which have been approved by the commissioner, and for which the child receives a mark. For those subjects which do not have a standardized test, a portfolio of the child’s work in that subject may suffice.
Is Part-time Enrollment Permitted in Vermont?
Vermont’s state laws allow homeschooled children to enroll part-time in public schools, however, if that child has special needs that will normally not apply.
Are Homeschoolers Permitted to Participate in Extracurricular Activities in Vermont?
Vermont’s state laws have made plenty of provisions for homeschooled children to be able to participate in interschool and extracurricular activities as well as being able to use the facilities of public schools. This can include being able to use the facilities in a public school building, being able to undertake courses that the public school is running, and participate in competitions such as team sports and athletics.
Any homeschooled child wishing to participate in these activities must meet minimum standards for their progress assessments and if a situation arises where an event or activity is oversubscribed then regulations state that preference will be given to full-time students of the public school.