Home Education

  • Home Education

    Prior to commencing a home education experience, the following documents must be provided to the Director of Curriculum & Assessment at the District Office:  

    • A notarized affidavit or an unsworn declaration given under penalty of perjury for each child you will be homeschooling when he or she is between the ages of 8 to 17. You must file an affidavit or unsworn declaration when you begin the home education program and annually thereafter by August 1st..
    • The components of the affidavit are stipulated in 24 P.S. § 13-1327.1(b)(1), including:
      • 1. The name of the supervisor of the home education program,
      • 2. The name and age of the student,
      • 3. The address and telephone number of the home education program site,
      • 4. A statement that the mandatory subjects will be taught in the English language,
      • 5. An outline of proposed education objectives by subject area,
      • 6. Evidence that the child has been immunized in accordance with section 1303(a),
      • 7. Evidence that the child has received the health and medical services required for students of the child’s age or grade level in Article XIV,
      • 8. Assurance that the home education program will comply with the law, and
      • 9. A certification that the supervisor, all adults living in the home and persons having legal custody of the student have not been convicted of the criminal offenses enumerated in subsection (e) of section 111 within five years preceding the date of the affidavit.

    Sample Affidavits/Unsworn Declarations

    The sample affidavits shown below may be used by the supervisor of the home education program for children at the elementary school level (kindergarten through sixth grade) or at the secondary school level (seventh through twelfth grade). These documents must be notarized.  The unsworn declarations shown below may also be used by a home school supervisor.  They are similar to the affidavits, however, unsworn declarations do not need to be notarized but instead, are governed under perjury statutes.

    Immunizations and Health/Dental Exams and Screenings

    The law requires all students, including students in a home education program to comply with 24 P.S. § 13-1303(a) and Article XIV School Health Services. For updates in policies regarding immunization, visit the Department of Health’s website. For all students enrolling in a home education program for the first time, the record of the student’s immunization (certificate of immunization) must be submitted to and reviewed by the school nurse of the local school district. After this initial review, evidence of immunizations is required for all public school, private school, nonpublic and homeschool students every year. In lieu of the standard certificate of immunization (green and white form) and medical certificate forms (red and white form), homeschool parents/legal guardians must submit at least one of the three documents listed below to satisfy the immunization record requirement:

    1. The actual records, which show the record or history of immunization, including the month, day and year that immunizations were given, or

    2. (After the initial records or certificate of immunization has been reviewed by the school nurse of the local school district) A letter from a physician or physician’s designee stating the legal requirements have been fulfilled or that there exists a medical condition that prevents immunization, or

    3. A letter stating that the parent/legal guardian objects to immunizations on religious grounds or on the basis of strong moral or ethical convictions, similar to religious beliefs.

    The certificate of immunization form used by many school districts also has a ‘Statement of Exemption’ section that can be completed by a physician (medical exemption) or by a parent/legal guardian (religious/strong moral or ethical conviction exemptions).

    Health Screenings, Physicals, and Dental Exams

    All public, private, nonpublic, and homeschool students of school age must have certain health screenings (vision, hearing, height/weight for calculation of body mass index, tuberculosis, and scoliosis), comprehensive physicals, and dental examinations at specified time frames as set forth in Article XIV (School Health Services) and in regulations (28 Pa. Code Chapter 23). A complete schedule of exams has been furnished under the Resources section below. The Department of Health’s website provides information on the requirements, guidelines and sample forms for the required exams and screenings that can be accessed using the links listed in the Resources section.

    Homeschool families may schedule appointments for these screenings with the local school district nurse or the district’s contracted health care professional when the screenings/exams are being conducted at the schools. Homeschool families may also schedule comprehensive physicals and dental examinations with private health care providers, but these physicals and dental examinations must be performed no more than four months prior to the year in school for which the exam is mandated. (See 24 P.S. § 14-1419 for other considerations related to exams).

    As with immunizations, the results of these screenings OR a letter stating that the parent/legal guardian objects to the required health screenings on religious grounds or on the basis of strong moral or ethical convictions, similar to religious beliefs must be submitted to the school district at the beginning of a home education program or by August 1 for subsequent years of the home education program along with the affidavit and other required documentation. Click the following link to view the required schedule of required screenings/exams -  Mandated Health Services

    Click here to view requirements, guidelines, and sample forms. 

    Timeline for Submitting Documents

    Homeschool parents must submit this information before starting a home education program and by August 1 for subsequent years of the home education program, along with the affidavit and other required documentation, such as a medical certificate (known as the red and white form), which sets out a schedule of any remaining doses of immunizations.

    Exemptions to Immunizations

    The only exemptions to this regulation are based upon medical exemptions (i.e., a child undergoing chemotherapy and scheduled for a dose of a live virus immunization as this would not be medically appropriate) or on religious grounds or on the basis of strong philosophical, moral or ethical convictions, similar to religious beliefs (See 28 Pa. Code § 23.84).

    Standardized Testing

    Standardized testing is required for home education students in grades 3, 5, and 8. A nationally normed standardized achievement test or the PSSA is acceptable. The results of these assessments must be maintained in the home education portfolio.

    Home Education Portfolio & Evaluation

    The law requires that each home education student be interviewed and their portfolio reviewed by a qualified home education evaluator each school year. The evaluator’s written certification that an appropriate education is occurring must be submitted by the home education supervisor to the superintendent of the student’s district of residence by June 30 of each school year.

    Yearly Evaluation Requirements

    The evaluation of the student's educational progress must be annual and written. The evaluation must be based on an interview of the child and a review of the portfolio and accompanying documentation. The evaluation must certify whether an appropriate education is occurring.

    An appropriate education is defined in 24 P.S. § 13-1327.1(a) as:

    -          A program consisting of instruction in the required subjects (see the Home Education Curriculum subsection)

    -          The time required in this act (see the Portfolio – Tracking a Home Education Program subsection)

    -          The student demonstrates sustained progress in the overall program

    Sustained progress in the overall program would indicate that the student is progressing through the mandatory courses such that the student will complete all mandatory courses during their current interval (elementary or secondary).

    Since no time can be recorded toward the mandatory hours or days until the affidavit is submitted to the school district (the affidavit begins the program), the evaluator can consult the notarized affidavit to determine the start date of the program if questions arise.


    Questions About Home Education

    For more information, explore the related files and related links at the bottom of this webpage. Please contact the Assistant Superintendent with home education questions - 610.264.5571. 

Related Files