Colorado Homeschooling Laws
Families in Colorado considering to homeschool their children have 3 options available to them. To homeschool under this statute, you’ll need to follow these guidelines.
Option 1: Homeschooling under Colorado’s homeschool statute
1. Decide who will be homeschooling the student(s)
2. Notify your school district that you are homeschooling
3. Teach the required subjects
4. Maintain proper records
5. Test or evaluate the student(s)
Option 2: Homeschooling with an independent school
1. Indepedent schools. The law in Colorado allows homeschooled children to be enrolled in "independent schools" (must be established in Colorado). Parents are then able to instruct their children at home while being under the supervision of the independent school.
This page will provide you additional information on:
· Homeschooling requirements in Colorado
· Requirements for testing in Colorado for homeschoolers
· Recordkeeping for homeschoolers in Colorado
· Filing a notice of intent to homeschool
Requirements and Laws on Homeschooling in Colorado
The law in Colorado states that every child between 6-17 years must attend school, private, public or homeschool to avoid truancy issues. Each option has its guidelines that are specific for students and parents to observe. Those who choose homeschooling will have their guidelines to follow as well as those who choose independent schools will follow that specific school’s policies. Those who choose having a licensed teacher enjoy the least requirements, that is, no standardized tests, no keeping records is required of them and there are no requirements regarding attendance of the student.
Transferring from Public School to Homeschool in Colorado
Notice of IntentFamilies in Colorado who choose to homeschool are required to file their notice of intent (NOI) every year the homeschool program is going on with the school district in Colorado. For this method, one is required to ensure:
· The notice is filed 14 days prior to the start of the program
· The instruction given must include writing, mathematics, civics, science, literature, the U.S. constitution ,speaking and reading
· The instruction is given by the parent or a relative who is of age chosen by the parent or a legal guardian
· The parent maintains a record of the attendance, immunization records, tests taken as well as the results of the tests
· The instruction should not be less than 172 days a year and about 4 hours each day
· The student takes a nationally standardized test in the 3rd,5th, 7th, 9th and 11th grades or have a qualified person examine the student
· The school district has all test scores of the student which the parents are obligated to submit
· The parent has signed the notice and has included the particulars of the child; that is age, name and address, and indicate the amount of time in hours the instruction was given during homeschooling
Testing Requirements for Homeschoolers in Colorado
Tests given in the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th grades are nationally standardized which include the ITBS (Iowa test of basic skills), the SAT (Stanford Achievement Test) and the CAT (California Assessment Test). The student must get 13% and above and have the result sent to the school district where the notice was filed.
Parents may prefer having an academic evaluation done by a professional instead of having their child take the tests. The professional may range from a psychologist, a teacher who is licensed to a degree holder in advanced education.
Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in Colorado
A homeschool portfolio is a good method for parents to keep record of the child’s progress and achievements. It is often used as a backup in cases where records kept by umbrella schools get lost or are erred, when the student wants to enroll to a public school and when applying to colleges. Parents should consider having the following in the portfolio;
· A high school transcript for those in high school
· Work done for every grade
· Report cards showing individual grade per subject
Requirements for Graduation in Colorado
Each option of homeschooling has its own requirements for graduation. For umbrella school, the school provides the guidelines to be observed. For homeschoolers, the parents make the rules for their homeschool graduation and award their own diploma. The parents determine the coursework needed and the credits that qualify the student for graduation. In planning the student’s goals, parents are advised to have knowledge of the graduation requirements so as to align the goals with those. They should also consider the following while choosing the goals and courses for homeschooling program;
· Comparing the high school requirements stipulated by the board of the local school with what they have for homeschool so as to remain relevant in an event the child may consider furthering his/her education or join the military
· Have a coursework that goes in handy with future interests in workplaces
· Having knowledge of what is required to join college and align his/her goals accordingly for those students who might want to go to college
The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in Colorado.
Diploma requirements in Colorado
To receive a diploma in Colorado, 22 completed credits are required.
Parents in Colorado have the liberty to determine if and when their student will graduate. They then proceed to award the high school diploma under their own terms. Institutions also give diplomas to students in private/online schools.
|Testing requirements in Colorado
|In addition to the credits above, students must also demonstrate a minimum level of proficiency in language arts and math by scoring above 470 and 500 in the SAT (English, math) or passing a college level course.
There is no law in Colorado that compels or forces homeschoolers to undertake a test as a requirement in order to graduate high school.
Colorado high school transcripts
The transcripts include the name of the student, the standardized test scores, a credit history of courses with course titles, the totals of the credits, the grade per semester and the average grade for each semester.
Parents in Colorado can create the homeschoolers’ transcripts which may include information they considered relevant to institutions the homeschoolers may intend to apply to. This may include schools, colleges, workplace organizations, or the military.
High school course credits in Colorado
Each student must attain:
Some parents assign credits to individual courses. Parents decide when it is time for their student to graduate and proceed to create transcripts.
Eligibility for GED in Colorado
To apply for the GED test one has to be 18 years or older and one who has not received a high school diploma from either a private or a public high school.
Homeschoolers in Colorado are eligible if the meet the same criteria as public school students.
Homeschool High School Transcript Template
Track your homeschooler’s credits, courses, and accomplishments with this free homeschool high school transcript template.
Switching from Homeschooling to Public School in Colorado
The Law on School Attendance in Colorado provides that students from homeschool who want to join a public school will be tested to determine the appropriate grade level they will be placed. The test is administered by the school district. The specific school may require the parent to provide the student’s transcripts and records of attendance. If the student’s assessment test does not allow, the transcripts will not guarantee placement in a specific level.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Colorado
Have other questions about homeschooling in Colorado? You may find the following pages helpful.