Overview

Requirements

Every parent, guardian, or other person residing within this state, having control or charge of any child or children between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays, shall enroll and send such child or children to a public school, a private school, or a home study program (Official Code of Georgia Annotated [OCGA] § 20-2-690.1).

  1. The institution must provide a basic academic educational program which includes, but is not limited to, reading language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.
  2. The institution is privately controlled and operates on a continuing basis and provides instruction each twelve months for the equivalent of 180 days of education with each school day consisting of at least four and one-half hours of instruction.
  3. Within thirty days after the beginning of each school year, it shall be the duty of the administrator of each private school to report the names, ages, and residence of each student enrolled to the local superintendent of the district in which the student resides. Changes in enrollment should be reported each month to the superintendent of the district in which the student resides.
  4. Any building used must meet all health and safety standards under state law and local ordinances.
  1. The declaration must include the names and ages of the students, the address where the program is located, and the dates of the school year.
  2. Parents or guardians may teach only their own children in the home study program provided the teaching parent or guardian possesses at least a high school diploma or a general educational diploma (GED) equivalency diploma, but the parents or guardians may employ a tutor who holds at least a high school diploma or GED to teach such children.
  3. The home study program must include, but is not limited to, instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.
  4. The school year must include the equivalent of 180 days of at least four and one-half hours of instruction per day unless the child is physically unable to comply with this requirement.
  5. Monthly attendance reports must be sent to the local school system at the end of each month. The local school system will, upon request, provide the reporting forms.
  6. Students in home study programs shall be subject to an appropriate nationally standardized testing program administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm referenced tests. The student must be evaluated at least every three years beginning at the end of the third grade. Records of such tests shall be retained by the parent/guardian.
  7. The instructor shall write an annual progress assessment report in each required subject area for each student. These reports shall be retained for at least three years by the parent/guardian.
If further information is needed, contact the Georgia Department of Education at 404.656.2093.

Faq

Every parent, guardian or other person residing within this state having control or charge of any child(ren) between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays must enroll and send such child(ren) to a public school, a private school or a home study program that meets requirements.
Parents or guardians may operate a home study program for their child(ren) only, provided the parents or guardians meet specific requirements of the law.
It is the duty of the local board of education and each local school system to contact juvenile authorities if the forms are not sent to the local school system as required by law.
Within thirty (30) days after a program is established and by September 1st annually thereafter, the parents or guardians must file a declaration of intent with the local school system. This declaration must include the names and ages of the students, date of birth, the parents or guardians address and the dates of the school year. Upon request, the local school system will provide the parent with the proper form. Forms may also be accessed by clicking on the Operating Procedures tab.
Yes. If the teacher is a parent or guardian, he/she must have a high school diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
Yes. Any employed tutor must have a high school diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
Yes. The program must provide a basic academic education which includes, but is not limited to, instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.
No. The law only requires the program to operate the equivalent of 180 days or at least four and one-half hours of instruction per day unless the child is physically unable to comply with this requirement.
The law does not specify any promotion requirements. However, it does stipulate that an “appropriate” nationally standardized testing be administered in consultation with a person trained in the administration and interpretation of norm-referenced test. The law further states that the student must be evaluated at least every three years, beginning at the end of the third grade. Nationally-normed assessments must be given at the end of grades 3, 6, 9, and 12. Additionally, the records of such tests must be retained for at least three years.
The law states that the instructor must write an annual progress assessment report in each required subject area for each student and that the reports must be retained for at least three years.
Yes. The law requires that monthly attendance reports be submitted to the local school system at the end of each month. Forms are available from your local school system or by clicking on the Operating Procedures tab.
Local boards of education are required to adopt policies and procedures for validating credit for courses taken in a home study program. The procedures, at a minimum, must include the following:
  • probationary placement and satisfactory performance for at least one grading period
  • acceptable scores on tests focused on group placement, subject area and/or grade level
Yes. All students graduating from any state-supported Georgia high schools must meet all state requirements in regard to attendance, Carnegie Units and passing scores on the state assessment requirements.
The public school may either test the student to place at the appropriate level OR the school may accept the school records to place for a probationary period of at least one grading period to see if the student is successful.
Any person in violation of this law is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $100 (one hundred dollars).
The law requires the local school system to notify the parent or guardian of the child and then to report to the juvenile, or other court, having jurisdiction.

The mandate placed on the public education system calls for each local school system to enforce the compulsory attendance of all children between the ages of six and sixteen in a public school, a private school or a home study program that meets legal requirements. Therefore, the declaration of intent form and the monthly attendance form must be completed for each student enrolled in a home school program and submitted to the office of the local home school department. The Declaration of Intent must be submitted by September 1st each year. The Monthly Attendance Report must be submitted at the close of each month.

Operating Procedures

To register a child in the home school program, the parent/guardian will be required to fill out and submit a declaration of intent form. You may also request a copy of this form from the home school department by calling 678.676.0218. It will be mailed to you, along with a blank monthly attendance report form ( view sample report).

Monthly attendance reports should be completed and mailed to the home school department at the end of each month (no later than the first week of the following month).

If cumulative attendance reports are sent at the end of the school year they will be returned to you for your records. Monthly attendance reports may be mailed to the address above or faxed to 678.676.0229.

A certificate of attendance will not be issued unless attendance for the student is current and the student has been registered as a home school student for at least two (2) full months. Please notify the Home School department by phone to request a certificate of attendance. Once attendance is verified, the parent/guardian may pick up the certificate of attendance from the Board of Education between the hours of 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon or 1:30 PM and 4:00 PM.

The parent/guardian must present a picture ID at the time of pick up. For your convenience the certificate of attendance will be notarized by the home school liaison.

If a student is withdrawn from the Home School program, the Home School department should be notified. The reason for withdrawal should be stated (e.g. family is moving out of district or child is returning to DeKalb County School District). The parent/guardian will need to come to the Board of Education in order to sign the withdrawal form.
  • Elementary

    Once it has been verified that the child(ren) was a registered home school student in DeKalb County, the parent/guardian would then need to present standardized test scores for the child(ren). The law requires that students take a national standardized test every three years beginning at the end of third grade. If the parent/guardian cannot produce information or has no records, then the parent/guardian will be informed by the principal or principal’s designee that the recommended grade level placement will be honored but is temporary until a testing and observation period has been completed to ascertain the student’s ability to work at the recommended grade level.
  • Middle

    Once it has been verified that the child(ren) was a registered home school student in DeKalb County, if the child(ren) has been home schooled for one (1) year or more, they would be given a placement test from the previous grade level in order to determine the academic status of the child(ren) and to determine if he/she is ready to proceed to the next grade level. If the child(ren) has been home schooled for less than one (1) year, official transcripts, grades, and/or standardized test scores that the child(ren) had accumulated prior to being withdrawn from public school, will be used to determine placement.
  • High

    A home school student entering the 9th grade for the first time must receive verification that the child was registered as a home school student in DeKalb County. The parent/guardian must present the appropriate documentation (grades, report cards, transcripts and standardized test scores) to the local school. The student will be placed in the ninth grade because the student has not taken any high school courses.
A home school student entering grades 9–12 who has taken high school courses must receive verification that the child was registered as a home school student in DeKalb County. The parent/guardian must present the appropriate documentation (grades, report cards, transcripts, and standardized test scores) to the local school. Students who have taken high school core courses must take assessment tests (EOCT exams and/or final exams [see note below]) to earn Carnegie units for courses taken. Students may take placement test(s) only for the classes in the core subject areas (English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and World Languages).

Should a home school parent/guardian require proof of registration and attendance, please notify the home school liaison by phone or in writing. The student’s full name, date of birth, and current address will be needed as well as the parent/guardian’s full name. This form can be mailed or picked up from the Board of Education.
DeKalb County Schools offers state assessment services only to those students who are enrolled in the district. This is based upon the following rationale:

  1. It is the practice of the Georgia Department of Education to advise school systems to assess only those students reported for state full time equivalent (FTE) funds. State assessment results for each student must be reported back to the school that earns their FTE funding.
  2. If testing services were offered to students not enrolled in the district, the scores for those students would be included in school- and system-level results by the testing vendor. This would potentially affect the integrity and accuracy of these reports, particularly at the school level.
  3. State assessments are based upon the Georgia Quality Core Curriculum (QCC) or the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). Thus, it is not appropriate to administer these assessments to students who do not receive instruction based upon the QCC or GPS.
  4. In the interest of consistency with other Georgia school systems, DeKalb County Schools has informally surveyed its neighboring “peer” systems and the results indicate that these systems do not offer state assessment services to students other than those enrolled.
Home school students may be considered for participation in the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP). Home school parents and students interested in GHP should immediately contact the local system GHP coordinator for the school system in which they reside and to whom they report for attendance.

To view the list of local school system GHP coordinators, and to access general information pertaining to the program and the nomination process, please visit the GHP website.

The state of Georgia does not have a law granting home-schooled students the right to participate in extracurricular activities; therefore, DeKalb County Schools does not allow participation for home-schooled students in these activities. Policies may vary from district to district.
Do not confuse the Home School program with the Hospital/Home Bound program. The Hospital/Home Bound program should be utilized when a student is unable to attend school because of a serious injury or illness, but has not been withdrawn from the public school system. The Hospital/Home Bound program information may be obtained from Ms. Antoinette Friday at 678.676.1808.

The Home School program does not issue work release forms. Please contact Ms. Joyce Johnson at 678.676.0173, for information regarding this process.

Resources

This department and the Georgia Department of Education does not monitor, evaluate, nor endorse products or services from any of the listed organizations or companies. This is provided for informational purposes only, and individuals should investigate to determine the value and appropriateness for each home-schooling situation.
Bob Jones University Press
Greenville, SC 29614-0062
800.845.5731 / e-mail
provides curriculum and test materials

Core Curriculum of America
14503 South Tamiami Trail
North Port, FL 34287
888.689.4626
sells home school products

PSC Edventures
800.429.3110
engineering/science-based curriculum, K–12

Home Tutors
598 Newlin Court
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
770.339.4613 / e-mail
year-round, private/small grouped classes

Home School Academy
334 Second street
Catasauqua, PA 18032
800.863.1474 / e-mail
an academy using the “school of tomorrow”

Calvert School Education Services
10713 Gilroy Road, Suite B
Hunt Valley, MD 21031
888.487.4652 / e-mail
curriculum for home school

Curriculum Services
26801 Pine Avenue
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
877.702.1419
provides programs for home school, K–12

Home Study International
P. O. Box 4437
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20914-4437
800.782.4769
courses and programs, preschool–college

The Sound of Music
1980 Buford Highway
Buford, GA 30518
770.831.7432
offers music lessons (private and group)

Homeschool.com
materials and resources

Georgia Home Education Association (GHEA)
141 Massengale Road
Brooks, Georgia 30205
770.461.3657 / e-mail

Home Education Information Resource (HEIR)
P. O. Box 1128
Tucker, Georgia 30085-1128
e-mail

North Georgia Home Education Association
P. O. Box 5545
Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia 30742
706.861.1795 / e-mail
provides beginner’s packet; mail or e-mail

Atlanta Alternative Education Network (AAEN)
770.463.6348

Testing

Information on the required nationally standardized testing programs may be obtained from sources below, from the local public library, or the home education support groups.

Bob Jones University

The Sycamore Tree

Some private school administrators may be willing to assist home study parents in obtaining and administering the required tests. State law does not require public school systems to provide testing services. However, if a local school system voluntarily wishes to offer a service to parents for testing students not enrolled in that school system, the test instruments and materials used for these students should not be paid for with state funds. In addition, careful consideration should be given to keeping this test data separate from that of the public school system so that validity of the public school reports will not be compromised in any way.

When a student enrolls in a public school in this state from a non-accredited education program, the public school must validate the credit that is being transferred in one of the following ways, as a minimum:
  • Place the student according to records of prior educational programs for a probationary period of time covering at least one grading period. If the students show satisfactory performance, transfer credit is awarded.
  • Administer standardized or locally developed tests to the student and place the student according to the test results.
Georgia public schools accept student course credit from non-public programs if the program is accredited by the Georgia Accrediting Commission, the Georgia Private School Accreditation Council (GAPSAC), or one of the following regional accrediting agencies:
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)
  • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact

  • 678.676.0210