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Students may be home schooled at any time. However, in order to comply with the compulsory school attendance law, parents of students between the ages of 6-18 must notify their local Education Service District (ESD) of their intent to home school within 10 days of beginning to home school or withdrawing their child from school or moving to a new ESD region. ORS 339.030, 339.035, OAR 581-021-0026(4)
A parent whose child is 6 years old on or before September 1, and who is to be home schooled, must notify the local ESD of their intent to home school their child within 10 days of beginning to home school or moving to a new ESD region. ORS 339.010, OAR 581-021-0026(4)
Although the child may be home schooled at any time, it is not necessary to notify the ESD until the beginning of school year following the child’s sixth birthday.
The parent must notify the ESD of their intent to home school within 10 days of withdrawing the child from school. OAR 581-021-0026(4)
A student who is withdrawn from school and is not registered with the ESD as being home schooled within 10 days of being withdrawn is truant. Any gap of more than 10 days between withdrawal and registration equals truancy. OAR 581-023-0006(4)(b)
Home schooled children must be tested before the end of grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. The end of the grade is defined as before August 15 following the end of that school year. OAR 581-021-0026(5)
The rule presumes that a parent’s notification of their intent to home
school a child at age 6 will begin with kindergarten. The testing requirements
will be based on that presumption unless otherwise notified by the parent. For
example, a student who was 6 on September 1, 1998 will be considered to be in
2nd grade for the school year beginning September 2000. OAR 581-021-0026(6)
The compulsory school attendance law requires that all students between the ages of 6-18 years attend public school or be exempted as allowed by law in ORS 339.030. One of the options is home schooling [ORS 339.030 (1) (c-d)]. If a child is not in school and is not exempt under one of the provisions of the compulsory school attendance law, the child’s parent may be reported by the school district as in noncompliance with the compulsory school law and court action may follow.
No, a parent is only required to notify the ESD when the student is first withdrawn from school or otherwise begins home schooling or if the student moves to a new ESD. OAR 581-021-0026(4)
No. Parents are not required by law to provide advance notification to their local school district of intent to educate their children at home. OAR 581-021-0026(4)
Yes. Parents or guardians are required to register a child as home schooled when they withdraw the student from the public school intending to home school. There is no exemption for students who may have previously been home schooled. OAR 581-021-0026(4)
Yes. Students taught by a parent, legal guardian or private teacher at home using materials purchased from a “correspondence school” are considered to be home schooled and must register as required in OAR 581-021-0026. The exemption under ORS 339.030(1) (a) requires that the student be “in attendance” in a private or parochial school. Further, the definition of “private school” as set out in ORS 345.505 (2) specifically excludes from that definition the option for home schooling under ORS 339.030 (1) (c and d).
Homeschooling parents must notify the new ESD in writing if they move to a new ESD and continue to homeschool. Parents are encouraged to notify the ESD if they enroll their child in a public or private school. OAR 581-021-0026(4)
Required testing for home school students focuses on satisfactory progress in academic areas. Academic content standards and curriculum goals have been developed by the Department of Education and are available on the department’s website. These content standards provide a framework for all content areas and are arranged as standards for grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. The department’s website address is www.ode.state.or.us. Parents are not required to use the state content standards and may teach programs other than those taught in public school. A list of support groups and test publishers has been included in the appendix.
ESDs and local school districts are not required by law to provide educational materials or services for students who are being home schooled. Acquisition of these materials is the responsibility of the parent. However, some school districts may be able to provide materials on loan. A deposit may be charged. Various instructional materials and other resources are available on the Department of Education’s website.
No. A school district may allow home school students to attend academic classes, but is not required by law to do so. A home school student who attends classes in a local school district is subject to the same rights and responsibilities as any student enrolled in the district.
Yes. Parents may purchase instruction materials from any source, including a correspondence school. See Question 1.12.
Yes, as long as the following statutes and administrative rules are followed: ORS 339.460, Interscholastic Activities; and OAR 581-021-0033, Interscholastic Activities Eligibility Requirement for Home School Students. Interscholastic activities include those activities administered by the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA).
Home schooled students must be tested every year and must score at or above the 23rd percentile to be eligible to participate in interscholastic activities. Assessment scores must be submitted annually to the school district by the student’s parent or legal guardian. A school district may adopt alternative methods to determine eligibility, including a portfolio of work samples.
Parents or guardians should contact the school district athletic director and the OSAA for specific eligibility requirements. The home school parent is responsible for any fees charged for participation in such activities.
Yes, home schooled students must be tested at grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. OAR 581-021-0026(5)
If the child never attended public or private school, the child must be tested before August 15 following the end of grade 3. OAR 581-021-0026(5)(a)(B)
If the child was withdrawn from public or private school, the first test is not required in the first 18 months of home schooling even if the child is in grade 3, 5, 8, or 10. OAR 581-021-0026(5)(a)(A)
For example, if a student completed grade 4 in a public school and was then withdrawn to be home schooled, the student would not be required to be tested at grade 5 because grade 5 is within the 18 month period. The child would not be required to be tested until August 15th following grade 8.
The home schooling Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) list approved tests for assessment of satisfactory progress by home school students. Parents or guardians must make sure that their home schooled child is tested no later than August 15th, using a test from the following list that is appropriate for the child’s grade level. Please work with a neutral qualified tester and test publishers to use one of the two most recent editions of these comprehensive tests currently approved for testing a home schooled child. Further details about the examination of children instructed by parent, legal guardian or private teachers is provided in OAR 581-021-0026.
Test names and availability change frequently. Efforts are made to keep the list of tests current but in the case where changes are made by the test publisher in name or availability, please work with your local qualified tester and Education Service District Contact to assure you are using one of the two most recent versions of the tests and acting in the best interests of your child. Generally, comprehensive tests are first released for use in public, private schools, and secure testing environments and then released to testers (Home School Organizations or Testing Centers) for use with home schooled students. The list of currently approved tests includes the following, with publisher information as available:
The test examiner must be a "neutral person" and one who is "qualified" to administer such tests. A “neutral person” is defined as an individual who is selected by the parent or guardian of the child to be taught at home who has no relationship by bloodline or marriage to the child. A “qualified person” is defined in OAR 581-021-0026 (1)(i) as a person who:
A list of qualified persons is on file at each ESD and at the Department of Education.
The parent or guardian. OAR 581-021-0026(10)
Testing home school students is usually done by independent test examiners. ESDs and school districts as governmental entities do not usually administer tests for home schooled students. Some local school districts do allow testing of home-school students with their regular students. Results of tests given in the local school district may be submitted as home schooling tests. The test must be from the approved list and must be administered and submitted according to the approved timeline. It is up to the local school district to decide whether to include home schooling students in the district testing program. The local school district or ESD may charge for individual testing services.
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) reviews requests from persons who believe they meet the requirements of OAR 581-021-0026(1) (i) (A-E) (see Question 3.4). The requests describe how the person meets at least one of the qualifications in the rule and also includes copies of the appropriate evidence, such as a copy of a current teaching license. The Department maintains a database of qualified testers and prepares a list from the database each year that is sent to each ESD.
If the ESD requests that the test results be submitted, parents or guardians must submit the results of the test to the ESD within a reasonable period of time. OAR 581-021-0026 (5)© Just because an ESD does not request test results one year, does not guarantee that the ESD will not request the results at another time. Parents or guardians should maintain a cumulative record of the test results for each home schooled child.
A student must score at or above the 15th percentile on one of the approved tests, or score equal to or greater than the composite score on the previous test. OAR 581-021-0026(7) (a-b)
If a student at grade 5 does not meet the performance requirement on the test given following grade 5, the student will be required to be tested again after grade 6. If the results of the test given following grade 6 are below the performance requirement, but do not show a decline from the grade 5 test, the student meets the performance requirement and the student will not be required to be tested again until grade 8. If the results of the grade 6 test show a decline from the grade 5 results, the student will be required to be tested again following grade 7 and the ESD superintendent may require the parent or guardian to place the student under the supervision of a licensed teacher at the expense of the parent. OAR 581-021-0026(7) If the results of the grade 7 test continue to show a decline, the ESD superintendent may:
Yes. Students between the age of 7 and 18 are required to attend public school under ORS 339.010. Every person “having control of any child between the ages of 6 and 18” is required to send the child to public school under ORS 339.020. ORS 339.030 sets up several exemptions to the requirements that children attend and parents send children to public school. There is an exemption for children who are taught at home. The specific requirements for home schooling are set out in ORS 339.035. Violation of either ORS 339.020 or ORS 339.035 is a Class C violation that carries a fine of up to 150 dollars. OAR 581-021-0026(12)
Oregon law allows school districts to develop policies and procedures to review a home schooled student’s transcript and/or work samples to determine if credit can be awarded. Districts are not required to award credit for homeschool work. Therefore, the acceptance of high school credit earned in a home school program is determined by local district board policy. OAR 581-021-0210
These records will be kept in the last public/private school attended. Home-school records and documentation will not be a part of the student’s permanent public school records. Homeschool records are not kept at the Oregon Department of Education.
No. ESDs do not award diplomas to home schooled students nor do high schools generally award diplomas to home schooled high school students. Parents may, however, contact their local high school regarding local district policies, if any, on accepting credits toward a public high school diplomas, participating in graduation, and other related matters.
Yes. An applicant, who is at least 16 years of age, but not yet 18 years of age, may take the GED tests under certain circumstances. Specific GED information may be found at the Oregon Department of Education's GED page.
OAR 589-007-0400, General Educational Development Program and Certificates of High School Equivalency states in subsection (7)(b)(A)(ii) that "the Education Service District must certify to authorized Oregon GED Chief Examiner that the applicant is exempt from compulsory school attendance” because the student is being home schooled as provided in ORS 339.030 (1) (c and d). The ESD must be an approved GED option site to certify that 16 and 17-year-old students are eligible to test.
The ESD/Parent Assurance Form and the GED Testing Authorization Form, which are provided by the ESD, are both required to certify to the authorized Oregon GED Chief Examiner that the applicant is exempt from compulsory school attendance and eligible for GED Testing.
These exist in some locations. Addresses and email, where available, for home school support groups are listed on the website and at the end of this document. The Oregon Department of Education does not endorse these groups.
National Home Education Network (NHEN)
PO Box 7844
Long Beach, CA 90807
Oregon Home Education Network (OHEN)
PO Box 218
Beaverton, OR 97075,
Oregon Home Education Network
Oregon Christian Home Education Association (OCEAN)
2515 NE 37th Portland,
OR 97212 - (503) 288-1285
Oregon Christian Home Education Association
Greater Portland Homeschoolers
PO Box 82265
Portland, OR 97282
Please contact the individual publishers for information regarding the two most recently published tests as per OAR 581-021-0026. Test names and availability change frequently. Efforts are made to keep the list of tests current but in the case where changes are made by the test publisher in name or availability, please work with your local qualified tester and Education Service District Contact in the best interests of your child. Please refer to the list of approved tests with publisher information as available above.
For all questions related to Students with Disabilities and Home Schooling please contact RaeAnn Ray, Dispute Resolution Specialist, with the Oregon Department of Education at (503) 947-5722 or email her at RaeAnn Ray.
For more information on this topic, email Annie Marges or call (503) 934-0787.
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