October 2020

Every parent in New York State has the right to home school their child and, given the myriad uncertainties presented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, districts are formally offering this opportunity to parents of registered students as an alternative to remote or hybrid instruction. The prospect of shielding their children from the ongoing changes expected from districts as the pandemic response continues to evolve may seem attractive to parents. 

However, home schooling is not easy and requires parents to take certain steps. You do not have the right to pull your child out of school without notifying your school district. Parents must notify their school district and show that they can provide “substantially equivalent” instruction to what the child would be receiving in school. While some districts have simplified the notice requirement by presenting the choice directly to parents as an alternative to remote or hybrid learning for each student, parents should consider the responsibilities home schooling will place upon them (and will remove from their district) to determine whether it is the right choice for their family. 

Here are questions that parents often ask us about home schooling. The answers are based on the Regulations and Guidance from the New York State Education Department:

Is home schooling different than home bound instruction?

Yes. If your child is unable to attend school because of physical, mental, or emotional illness or injury, your school district will consider the medical verification and, if appropriate, will provide home bound instruction to a student of one hour a day for elementary students and two hours a day for secondary students. This is different from home schooling in several respects:

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