Connecticut is a state located in the northeastern region of the United States, known for its charming small towns, picturesque scenery, and rich history. Connecticut has a diverse population, and the state’s educational system is highly regarded for its rigorous academic standards and innovative programs.
High School of America is an online homeschooling program that provides students in Connecticut with a comprehensive and flexible education that can be tailored to their individual needs and interests. The program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and provides assurance that the program meets high-quality educational standards.
High School of America offers many homeschooling programs, including standard high school courses, advanced placement (AP) courses, and credit recovery programs. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for college and beyond, emphasizing developing critical thinking skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.
Continue reading to learn more about homeschooling requirements in the state of Connecticut.
Homeschooling Laws in Connecticut
In Connecticut, parents have the constitutional and statutory right to teach their students at home, and they aren’t mandated by law to start any contact with government officers prior to their homeschooling.
Depending on you place or residence, school officials might ask you to do one of the following. Note, both are voluntary.
- Filing a notice of intent (optional)
The Department of Education in Connecticut has recently adopted homeschool guidelines that allow families to file a notice of intent to homeschool with their local school superintendent within 10 days of starting their homeschool program. By doing so, families can create a presumption that they are providing equivalent instruction to their children.
However, it is important to note that filing a notice of intent is optional and may not be necessary for most families. Some school districts may request a notice of intent, but families should assess their own circumstances to determine if it is beneficial to file one.
- Attending an annual portfolio review meeting (Optional)
According to the guidelines, school administrators may request that you attend a yearly meeting to ensure that you have received instruction in the required courses. However, this annual review is not mandatory, and some schools may not conduct it. If your school district has not organized such a review, you don’t need to initiate contact with them.
Although there might be situations where it might be advantageous to file one, it’s not required for many families.
If you choose to submit an optional portfolio for review, include brief examples of the required subjects you taught during the school year. If you decide to submit the portfolio by mail, we suggest sending it through Certified Mail with a Return Receipt Requested by the school district. On the other hand, if you prefer to hand-deliver it, have the superintendent’s office acknowledge the date of receipt, provide a signature or stamp as proof of receipt, and give you a photocopy of the letter.
There are state-mandated courses that parents must include in their homeschool curriculum.
In order to adhere to homeschool law in Connecticut, parents and legal guardians must make sure their students are taught the following courses:
- English Grammar
- U.S. History
- Citizenship (including a study of Town, State and Federal Government)
- Science (recommended)
The state of Connecticut doesn’t have attendance requirements for homeschoolers. Notably, the notice of intent asks about the number of days in the academic year, but there is no requirement for the number of hours and instructional days.
Record Keeping in Connecticut
Connecticut does not mandate record keeping of homeschooling children’s learning. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep records of all crucial information concerning your homeschooled child’s education, specifically if you decide to participate in the annual portfolio assessment.
The Connecticut homeschooling law doesn’t necessitate homeschoolers to undertake standardized assessments. However, some parents might opt to have their children participate in standardized tests so as to measure their progress and determine potential gaps in the curriculum.
Homeschool Graduation Requirements
Once a homeschooling student is ready to graduate in Connecticut, they are issued a homeschool diploma and transcripts showing that they have been taught the required courses.
It’s crucial to ensure that your homeschooled child’s portfolio includes times and dates to ensure the availability of mandatory attendance proof.
Changing to Homeschool from Public School
You must withdraw your student who is currently registered in a private or public school officially so as to start home education. Some schools or districts might have specific forms to be signed and withdrawal procedures; hence, it’s important to check with your child’s individual school for more information.
In addition, parents can write a withdrawal letter that is delivered via certified mail or in person to the school’s superintendent.
Transferring from Homeschool to Public School
Parents should know the procedure for transferring their children to a public school if they intend to homeschool for a short period.
Transfer policies differ based on the school district or individual school.
Some schools might request the homeschool portfolio of your child, or they might offer a placement test, while others might ask you to register your student without additional information.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a letter of intent for homeschooling in CT?
A notice of intent for homeschooling in Connecticut is a form that parents or guardians can fill out and submit to their local school district, indicating their intention to educate their child at home for a particular school year. This form also outlines the subjects that will be taught to the child.
Is homeschooling in Connecticut easy?
Yes, Connecticut is considered a low-regulation state when it comes to homeschooling. This means that there are very few requirements that need to be met by homeschooling families, making it relatively easy to homeschool in Connecticut.
Do parents need to be certified to homeschool in Connecticut?
No, there is no requirement for homeschooling parents or guardians to have any special certification or educational qualifications to educate their child at home.
Are there any eligibility criteria for homeschooling in Connecticut?
As long as parents or guardians are able to provide an education that is equivalent to that received in a public school, they can opt to homeschool their child.
Connecticut requires homeschooling to be reported to the local school board, but the process of starting homeschooling in the state is generally quite straightforward.
Can someone else homeschool my child in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, the responsibility for ensuring that a child attends school or is homeschooled lies with the parents or guardians. While there are no restrictions against hiring a tutor or teacher to help with homeschooling, the legal responsibility remains with the child’s parents or guardians.
At what age is school mandatory in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, children are required to attend school from the ages of 5 to 18.
Online Homeschooling Statistics in Connecticut
The estimated number of K-12 homeschool students in Connecticut during March of 2021 was between 40,000 to 45,000, which was a significant increase from the 22,000 estimated in the spring of 2019. This increase was largely due to families’ responses to government lockdowns of schools regarding Covid-19, as homeschooling became a more attractive option for parents who were concerned about their children’s health and safety.
It is worth noting that the increase in homeschooling was not unique to Connecticut and was observed across the United States. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of homeschooled students in the country doubled from the spring of 2020 to the fall of 2020, with an estimated 11.1% of households homeschooling their children in 2020, up from 5.4% in 2019.
It is clear that homeschooling has become a more popular option for families, and it will be interesting to see how this trend evolves in the coming years.
How to Homeschool Online in Connecticut
Those are great steps to start homeschooling in Connecticut. Here are some additional details on each step:
- a) Submit a notice of intent to homeschool form: Connecticut requires parents or guardians who wish to homeschool to submit a notice of intent to homeschool to their local superintendent of schools. This form should be submitted within 10 days of starting to homeschool and should include information such as the child’s name, birthdate, and the subjects to be taught.
- b) Choose the ideal curriculum: Homeschooling parents in Connecticut are responsible for choosing the homeschool curriculum they will use to teach their children. Many options are available, including online homeschooling programs like High School of America. Consider your child’s learning style, interests, and academic goals when choosing a curriculum.
- c) Keep a portfolio of your child’s progress: Connecticut law does not require homeschooling parents to keep a portfolio of their child’s progress. However, parents need to keep such records. This portfolio includes samples of the child’s work in each subject area, as well as any assessments or evaluations that have been completed.
- d) Start homeschooling: Once you have submitted your notice of intent to homeschool form, chosen a curriculum, and set up a portfolio, you are ready to start homeschooling! Remember to create a schedule that works for your family and to stay organized with lesson plans and progress tracking.
Benefits of Homeschooling Online in Connecticut
There are several benefits to homeschooling online in Connecticut. Here are some of the key advantages:
- Flexibility: Online homeschooling allows families to create a schedule that works for them. Students can work at their own pace, meaning they can spend more time on challenging subjects or take a break when needed.
- Customization: With online homeschooling, parents can customize the curriculum to meet their child’s unique needs and interests. This level of customization can help students learn more effectively and stay engaged in their studies.
- Safety: In today’s world, safety is a concern for many families. Online homeschooling allows students in Connecticut to learn from the safety of their homes, which can give parents peace of mind.
- Access to quality education: Online homeschooling provides quality education regardless of location. Families living in rural areas or with limited access to traditional schools can still provide their children with a high-quality education.
- Cost-effective: Online homeschooling can be a cost-effective option for families. There are often no transportation costs or expenses associated with traditional schools, such as uniforms or supplies.
Homeschooling online has emerged as a viable and effective educational option for families in Connecticut. It offers flexibility, personalized instruction, and the ability to tailor curriculum to meet individual needs.
Connecticut families have embraced this alternative approach to education, which promotes independent thinking, fosters creativity, and encourages self-paced learning.
While it may not be suitable for every family, homeschooling online provides an excellent solution for those seeking a personalized and adaptable education for their children.
As technology continues to evolve, so will the opportunities and benefits of online homeschooling in Connecticut.