Washington State Homeschool Laws

WA State Homeschool Laws

RCW 28A.200.010

Home-based instruction – Duties of parents – Exemption from high school assessment requirements.

(1) Each parent whose child is receiving home-based instruction under RCW 28A.225.010(4) shall have the duty to:

(a) File annually a signed declaration of intent that he or she is planning to cause his or her child to receive home-based instruction. The statement shall include the name and age of the child, shall specify whether a certificated person will be supervising the instruction, and shall be written in a format prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction. Each parent shall file the statement by September 15th of the school year or within two weeks of the beginning of any public school quarter, trimester, or semester with the superintendent of the public school district within which the parent resides or the district that accepts the transfer, and the student shall be deemed a transfer student of the nonresident district. Parents may apply for transfer under RCW 28A.225.220;

(b) Ensure that test scores or annual academic progress assessments and immunization records, together with any other records that are kept relating to the instructional and educational activities provided, are forwarded to any other public or private school to which the child transfers. At the time of a transfer to a public school, the superintendent of the local school district in which the child enrolls may require a standardized achievement test to be administered and shall have the authority to determine the appropriate grade and course level placement of the child after consultation with parents and review of the child’s records; and

(c) Ensure that a standardized achievement test approved by the state board of education is administered annually to the child by a qualified individual or that an annual assessment of the student’s academic progress is written by a certificated person who is currently working in the field of education. The state board of education shall not require these children to meet the student learning goals, master the essential academic learning requirements, to take the assessments, or to obtain a certificate of academic achievement or a certificate of individual achievement pursuant to RCW 28A.655.061 and 28A.155.045. The standardized test administered or the annual academic progress assessment written shall be made a part of the child’s permanent records. If, as a result of the annual test or assessment, it is determined that the child is not making reasonable progress consistent with his or her age or stage of development, the parent shall make a good faith effort to remedy any deficiency.

(2) Failure of a parent to comply with the duties in this section shall be deemed a failure of such parent’s child to attend school without valid justification under RCW 28A.225.020. Parents who do comply with the duties set forth in this section shall be presumed to be providing home-based instruction as set forth in RCW 28A.225.010(4).

[2004 c 19 § 107; 1995 c 52 § 1; 1993 c 336 § 1103; 1990 c 33 § 178; 1985 c 441 § 2. Formerly RCW 28A.27.31 0.]

RCW 28A.200.020

Home-based instruction – Certain decisions responsibility of parent unless otherwise specified.

The state hereby recognizes that parents who are causing their children to receive home-based instruction under RCW 28A.225.010(4) shall be subject only to those minimum state laws and regulations which are necessary to insure that a sufficient basic educational opportunity is provided to the children receiving such instruction. Therefore, all decisions relating to philosophy or doctrine, selection of books, teaching materials and curriculum, and methods, timing, and place in the provision or evaluation of home -based instruction shall be the responsibility of the parent except for matters specifically referred to in this chapter.

[1990 c 33 § 179; 1985 c 441§ 3. Formerly RCW 28A.27.320.]

I. Compulsory Education. RCW 28A.225.01 0

Compulsory education age in the state of Washington is 8 years old OR the age at which a child is officially enrolled in public school. RCW 28A.225.015

A. If a child is under 8 and has been officially enrolled in public school, the parent must formally withdraw the child to homeschool.

B. The Home-Based Instruction law affects children 8 years old and older.

II. To qualify to homeschool you must fulfill one of the following: RCW 28A.225.010 (4)

  • Have earned 45 quarter units of college level credit.
  • Attend a Parent Qualifying Course. This is highly recommended even if you are already qualified to homeschool.
  • Work with a certified teacher who meets with your student on the average of an hour a week.
  • Be deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction by the superintendent of your local school district.

III. A declaration of intent to homeschool must be filed annually. RCW 28A.200.01 0 (1)

A. This form can be obtained from and must be returned to the school district’s District Office. You may turn in your Letter of intent to any school district that will accept it. It does not have to be your home district.

B. The information you need to include on the form is your children’s names and ages, parents name, address, and indicate if qualifying to homeschool by using a supervising certified teacher (see IIC.), sign and date. Any other information you include is at your own discretion.

C. This form protects the school- they are not responsible for the education of the child. This form protects the parent your child(ren) are not truant.

D. Your declaration of intent does not limit your ability to use the public school as a resource for classes and activities.

IV. The 11 required subjects need to be included in your curriculum. RCW 28A.225.010 (4)

A. The 11 required subjects are reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation.

B. These do not have to be taught separately. A unit study on frogs could include reading, writing, spelling, science, math, art and occupational education.

V. Your students must participate in annual testing. RCW28A.200.01O (3)

A. Testing can be accomplished one of two ways: Non-test assessments – an assessment of the student’s academic progress is written by a Washington State certified teacher who is currently working in the field of education. Standardized testing -‘ a standardized achievement test approved by the State Board of Education is administered annually to the child by a qualified individual.

B. Test results are part of your private homeschool record, no one else receives a copy.

VI. You must keep records. RCW 28A.200.010 (2)

A. Your homeschool records should include the student’s annual test scores or assessment report (see V) and immunization records, together with any other records that are kept relating to instructional and educational activities.

B. The law is not specific on how or in what form these records are to be kept.

C. These are your private records and do not need to be shared with any state agency .

D. These records can, and probably will be, requested by school administration if your child is later enrolled in a traditional school setting.

The homeschool law also states that the legislature recognizes that home-based instruction is less structured and more experiential than the instruction normally provided in a classroom. Therefore, the provisions relating to the nature and quantity of instructional and related educational activities shall be liberally construed.

“The information on this page was found at: http://www.washhomeschool.org/homeschooling/law.html and is used with permission.”