Rhode Island Homeschool Laws & Requirements
The homeschool laws in Rhode Island are unique. Unlike most states, a family’s decision to homeschool a child or children in Rhode Island is submitted to and approved by the local school district committee where that family lives. On this page you will learn what that process might look like, what other state and local home education laws you need to observe, what records you’ll need to keep, and what you should know about graduating as a homeschooler in the Ocean State.
- Rhode Island Homeschooling Laws
- Notifying your Local School District of Your Intent to Homeschool
- Homeschool Recordkeeping in Rhode Island
- Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Rhode Island
- How to Transfer from Homeschool to Public School in Rhode Island
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Rhode Island
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.
Rhode Island Homeschooling Laws
Most regulations regarding homeschooling in Rhode Island are decided at the local school district level. The only Rhode Island homeschool laws that apply statewide are:
- Schooling is compulsory for any student ages 6-17.
- Attendance in a home-based school should be substantially equal to that of public school requirements
- Attendance records should be kept by parents and submitted to the local school district
- Students should receive instruction in the subjects of reading, writing, geography, arithmetic, the history of the United States, the history of Rhode Island, and the principles of American government
- The instruction in these subjects should be in English and should be “thorough and efficient”
Individual public school districts may prescribe additional homeschooling requirements beyond those above, so it is important to communicate with your local district to discover what (if any) those might include.
More information relating to the home education rules for Rhode Island can be found at can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.
Notifying your Local School District of Your Intent to Homeschool
Once you have made the decision to homeschool one or more children, your next step is to notify your local school district committee. Your notice of intent to homeschool in Rhode Island usually includes the name(s), age(s), and grade level(s) of each student wishing to be homeschooled, but may also include a copy of the proposed curriculum for the year, and a written agreement to follow all state and local requirements relating to homeschooling.
If you are unsure which district to notify, or how to contact the local district committee, each district’s contact information is available via the Rhode Island Department of Education website. Examples of letters of intent to homeschool in Rhode Island can be found at the Rhode Island Guild of Home Teachers website. It is important that you not withdraw your child from his or her current school until you have received your approval letter from your local district. This can help prevent any truancy questions during the transition.
Homeschool Recordkeeping in Rhode Island
State law requires that all Rhode Island homeschooling families keep attendance records and submit those to their local school district. Local school districts may have additional recordkeeping requirements beyond those (such as submitting and end-of-year report), so make sure you are aware of any other records you are asked to keep.
Aside from state and local requirements, however, all homeschooling families can benefit from keeping a homeschool portfolio of their activities and accomplishments. Not only do these come in handy if a student decides to return to public school after a period of homeschooling, but they can also be helpful in creating future transcripts. Some families also appreciate having a physical memory book of their home education adventures.
In addition to attendance tracking, a homeschool portfolio also often includes:
- Curriculum or lesson plans
- Samples of each student’s yearly work
- Report cards or progress reports (if applicable)
- Results of standardized educational tests (if applicable)
Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Rhode Island
Because homeschooling is completely legal in Rhode Island, students who have completed the requirements set forth by their parents for graduation are considered homeschool graduates. Parents may create and issue their own diploma to a student who has fulfilled the obligations of graduating.
There are no state requirements in Rhode Island regarding homeschool graduation, however, it is a good idea to explore requirements of any higher education institutions your child may be interested in. Knowing what colleges require in terms of coursework, testing scores, and extracurricular activities can help immensely when designing your high school homeschool curriculum plan.
How to Transfer from Homeschool to Public School in Rhode Island
The decision to educate your child at home is usually a year-to-year one. Not every family chooses to homeschool long-term. Many families decide to homeschool due to temporary circumstances. When this is the case, you will want to notify your local school district committee that your child will be returning to the public school system. When registering your child with your local school, be aware that each one may have different requirements in terms of assigning your child’s grade level. Some may simply accept the grade level you request, while others may require that student’s complete placement testing to determine which grade to assign them to.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Rhode Island
Have other questions about homeschooling in Rhode Island? You may find the following pages helpful.
- Homeschooling in Rhode Island
- Rhode Island Homeschooling Groups & Co-ops
- Homeschool Field Trips in Rhode Island
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