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Iowa Homeschool Laws & Requirements

Iowa Homeschool Laws & Requirements
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The legal requirements for homeschooling in Iowa will vary depending on the option you choose to homeschool under. Each option has a set of rules that need to be followed to avoid any issues. On this page you’ll learn more about Iowa’s homeschool laws, graduation requirements and more!

This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.

Iowa Homeschool Requirements

In Iowa, all homeschoolers have a few requirements they must comply with. All children ages 7-15 are required to receive educational instruction. The first thing you need to do is choose the option that best suits your family and follow the rules for homeschooling under that option.

Below are the guidelines for homeschooling in Iowa under each option:

  1. Independent Private Instruction method (IPI):
    • Upon written request from local superintendent, provide a report containing homeschool location, names of students, primary instructor and name of the authority responsible for the independent instruction.
    • Teach the required subjects (math, reading, language art, science, and social studies)
    • No annual assessments are required, but district shall provide courtesy standardized testing at no cost with advance notice from parent/guardian.
    • Dual-enrollment or participation in extracurricular activities are not allowed to homeschoolers (including special education) under this option.
  2. Competent Private Instruction, with Opt-Out Reporting:
    • Teach for 148 days per year and 37 days per school quarter.
    • There are two ways you can meet the requirements for homeschooling under this option:
      1. “By or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner”
        1. Required to submit Form A to the school district by September 1 of the year of enrollment.
        2. Required to submit evidence of immunizations.
        3. Students progress SHALL be monitored by teacher.
        4. Dual-enrollment or participation in extracurricular activities ARE allowed (including special education and athletics).
      2. “By a non-licensed person”
        1. MAY submit Form A to the school district by September 1st of the year of enrollment, but NOT required.
        2. Students MAY participate in annual evaluations but are NOT required.
        3. Dual-enrollment or participation in extracurricular activities is allowed ONLY if Form A and annual assessment results are submitted.
  3. Competent Private Instruction, with Opt-In Reporting:
    • This option must file a Form A by September 1 of each year.
    • Assessments must be filed with the local school district by September 15 of the year the child turns seven. If the student is older than seven, assessments must be filed after the first year of homeschooling.
    • Annual assessments must be completed by May 1 and filed with the school district by June 30. Assessments in reading, language arts and math should be administered for grades 5 and below.
    • Reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science should be assessed for grades 6 and above.
    • Under this option, students are allowed to participate in dual enrollment in a local public school. If the application for dual enrollment is filed by September 15, the student has access to public school classes and public school extracurricular activities.
  4. Competent Private Instruction with Teacher You Select:
    • If a homeschool starts up after the beginning of the public school year, parents must file a Form A within fourteen (14) calendar days of starting a homeschool.
    • The supervising teacher/instructor or tutor must be licensed by the State of Iowa.
    • A parent who holds an Iowa teaching license can function as the supervising teacher.
    • Under this option, students are allowed to participate in dual enrollment in a local public school. If the application for dual enrollment is filed by September 15, the student has access to public school classes and public school extracurricular activities.
  5. Competent Private Instruction with Home School Assistance Program (HSAP):
    • An HSAP is a public school program. Individual public school districts have the option of offering HSAPs to families. A student in an HSAP is not a public school student.
    • This option must file a Form A by September 1 of each year.
    • If you are moving into the state or starting homeschooling after the school year has begun, you need to submit Form A that is at least partially completed within 14 calendar days of starting homeschooling and a fully completed form within 30 days of starting homeschooling.

More information relating to the home education rules for Iowa can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.
More Iowa State Homeschool Laws Info

Filing a Notice of Intent to Homeschool in Iowa

The state of Iowa does not require a filing of a notice of intent to homeschool.  Under Iowa state education laws parents have 5 options to legally homeschool their child,  depending on the homeschool option you decide to go with there may or may not be a form that needs to be filed in lieu of the notice of intent to homeschool.

Homeschool Recordkeeping in Iowa

Recordkeeping is an important part of homeschooling.  Homeschooling families in Iowa are not required to submit their records, but maintaining records may be requested for a variety of different reasons ranging from your child’s desire to participate in sports to college applications. For those reasons it is a good idea to maintain the following records:

  • Attendance records
  • Health Records
  • Completed Assignment records
  • Test scores, assessment records, and grades
  • Transcripts for the High school students

Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Iowa

Homeschoolers are not subject to the same requirements for receiving a diploma as traditionally schooled students. The state of Iowa does not mandate requirements for graduation.  Parents are free to set their own graduation requirements, create their own transcripts, and certify their own homeschool high school diploma.

It is important to keep in mind that college and universities have certain requirements for students who wish to apply.  Be sure you are fully aware of those requirements to ensure your child meets both the credit hours as well as specific courses necessary to apply.

Returning to Public School after Homeschooling

Are you wondering how to transfer from homeschool to public school in Iowa? The transition might initially seem overwhelming for both you and your child. However, simply reach out to the school where you want to enroll your child and find out the steps required for the specific school.  Typically, schools will request a review of your child’s records, such as attendance records, coursework completed, test records, etc. They may also require a placement test in order to determine both grade level and credits that will be accepted.

Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Iowa

Have other questions about homeschooling in Iowa State? You may find the following pages helpful.

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