Homeschooling and Private Tutoring
The decision to have a home education program (22 Pa. Code § 11.31a) or a private tutoring program ( 22 Pa. Code § 11.31(b)(1)) is a right; school district permission is not needed to commence either program, as long as the required documentation is submitted. More information about home education and private tutoring programs can be found in the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Home Education and Private Tutoring website.
Home Education Programs (Homeschooling)
Home education programs (also known as homeschooling) are programs where the education of the student is directed by the parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children.
- The supervisor of the home education program must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Examples include such things as a diploma awarded by a home education supervisor after October 31, 2014, or a diploma awarded by an approved diploma-granting organization (Act 196 of 2014); successfully passing the GED tests and/or receiving a Commonwealth secondary school diploma 22 Pa. Code § 4.72).
- All adults living in the home and persons having legal custody of a child or children must not have been convicted of the criminal offenses itemized in 24 Pa. Code § 1-111(e) within five years immediately preceding the date of the affidavit.
Private tutoring is another option for satisfying compulsory school attendance requirements. For families interested in hiring a private tutor (PA certified teacher) rather than having a parent-directed education for their children, we include a section in this guide on Private Tutoring Programs, along with the related laws and regulations. A parent or guardian may act as a private tutor for their own children if they are a PA certified teacher. Background checks and other regulations apply.
Affidavit – Beginning a Home Education Program
The notarized affidavit and accompanying attachments must be submitted to the ELCO High School Counseling Office for a home education program to begin. Without this documentation, a home education program does not legally exist.
When to Submit an Affidavit
The initial affidavit may be submitted any time during the school year, but all subsequent affidavits are due by August 1st (24 Pa. Code § 13-1327.1(b)(1)).
Evaluation - Closing Out a Home Education Program
An appropriate education is defined as “a program consisting of instruction in the required subjects for the time required in this act and in which the student demonstrates sustained progress in the overall program.” The portfolio evaluation certifies whether an appropriate education occurred.
- What: A written evaluation by a qualified evaluator must be submitted for each student. See the Home Education Evaluators section regarding a qualified evaluator.
- Who: The evaluation must be submitted by the home education supervisor to the ELCO High School Counseling Office
- When: The evaluation must be submitted by June 30 of each year.
- Basis: The evaluation must consist of a portfolio review and interview with the student.
- Contents: The evaluation must certify whether an appropriate education is occurring for that student.
- Law: See 24 Pa. Code § 13-1327.1(e).(h.1).
The ELCO School District does not verify or recommend any evaluators. A list of evaluators can be found at this link (this list is not all-inclusive).
Changes to Compulsory School Age
Effective in 2020-2021, all children from the age of six (6) through the age of eighteen (18) must comply with compulsory school attendance requirements. To meet these requirements, parents must ensure that their child between the ages of 6 and 18 is attending or participating in one of the following: a public elementary, middle, or high school; a public charter or cyber-charter school; a private licensed academic or private religious school; home tutoring by a certified teacher; or an approved program of home schooling. Children may be excused from compulsory attendance for documented medical or other compelling reasons as outlined in District attendance policy and procedures.
For additional information, contact the High School Counseling Office at 717-866-7447, X20520.