Massachusetts Homeschooling Laws
In Massachusetts, every district has unique approval policy for new homeschoolers. The program has to be approved by the superintendent or school committee. The compulsory school age in Massachusetts is 6 years to 16. To legally homeschool, you will need to follow these requirements:1. Submit an annual notice of intent to the school district.
· Requirements to Homeschool in Massachusetts
· Transfer from public school to Homeschool
· Record-keeping for homeschoolers in Massachusetts
· Requirements for Homeschool Graduation in Massachusetts
· Switching from Homeschool to Public School
*This information is by no means intended as legal advice; its purpose is merely informational. It is each parent’s responsibility to get informed and understand the applicable homeschooling laws which regulate homeschooling in his or her state.
Requirements and Laws on Homeschooling in Massachusetts
Although every district has its own homeschool requirements, Massachusetts as a state has its laws pertaining homeschooling:
· The law provides that the local approval requirements must be conditioned to ensure that children receive an education.
· The tutors are required to be competent and of good morals.
· The following subjects must be taught; English language and grammar, drawing, health education, music, orthography, reading, physical education, writing, good behavior, the history & constitution of the U.S. and the duties of citizenship.
· The yearly submission which includes the evaluation agreed upon such as progress report, standardized tests or work samples to the local school.
Parents may be requested to give an education plan by the local school district while seeking approval to homeschool. The education plan should have information on:
· The parents educational credentials
· The subjects the child will cover
· The materials to be used to teach
· The method chosen for evaluation
Massachusetts’ homeschool laws in detail
How to Transfer from Public School to Homeschool in Massachusetts
It is advisable that parents withdraw formally so as not to trigger any truancy concerns. It is not a legal obligation on the parent. The withdrawal may be either a letter or an email addressed to the principal, attendance clerk and the counselor informing them that the educational plan has been submitted for review and that you are formally withdrawing the student from the school.
One may begin homeschooling as they wait for the approval and if the educational plan is not approved then the school district has the burden of proof to show the reasons why it was denied. The child shall not be considered truant even when the plan fails the approval process. Students who wish to participate in interscholastic activities should first check with the local school district for approval.
Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in Massachusetts
The law requires an annual proof of educational process of the student, though not specific proof is stipulated, it varies from district to district. It is advisable to check with the local superintendent office what requirements are specific in your district. Many parents prefer the standardized tests or dated work samples and progress reports. A homeschool portfolio is another option parents may choose from which shows the work samples and child’s progress. A portfolio is beneficial in that:
· It assists parents when making homeschool transcripts
· It serves as proof of the coursework covered during homeschooling which is useful in case the student may consider going back to a private/public school or when applying to college
Requirements for Graduation in Massachusetts
Parents establish the requirements for their child to graduate, give a homeschool transcript and proceed to give a homeschool diploma. A detailed transcript with the child’s GPA in place of a high school diploma is crucial for students considering college. Universities on the other hand will consider a detailed transcript instead of an accredited high school diploma. Students interested in an equivalent high school diploma may take the HiSET test. This test is accepted by the department of education in Massachusetts as an equivalent to grant a diploma.
The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in Massachusetts.
Diploma requirements in Massachusetts
To graduate, the student must complete 22 units or 24 credits to be awarded a diploma in Massachusetts.
Parents in Massachusetts have the liberty to determine when their student will graduate. They then proceed to award the high school diploma under their own terms.
|Testing requirements in Massachusetts||Students must earn a passing score on the MCAS tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, and one of the Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) tests (Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, and Technology/Engineering) to meet their CD requiremen.||
There is no law in Massachusetts that compels or forces homeschoolers to undertake a test as a requirement in order to graduate high school.
Massachusetts high school transcripts
Transcripts shall include particulars of the student, information on the attendance of the student, the totals of the credits taken, the test scores, a conclusive history of records that includes the grades awarded, the titles of the courses and the overall grade for each course taken.
Parents in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts
To graduate in Massachusetts, high school students must complete the following:
4 units of English, 3 units of history including US and world history
4 units of math up to Algebra II, 3 units of science with 2 units involving labwork
1 unit of arts, 2 units of same foreign language, 5 units of core electives
Many parents in Massachusetts choose to specify or assign academic credits to the courses taken during the homeschooling period as this may aid during the transcript creation process.
Eligibility for GED in Massachusetts
To take the Massachusetts GED test, you must be 18 years of age or older to take the GED® test. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you cannot schedule any GED® test until an official Letter of Withdrawal from the last school you attended has been approved by the Massachusetts High School Equivalency Office.
Homeschoolers in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts
When considering returning to a public school, the process includes writing to the local superintendent informing the office of the termination of the homeschool program. This should be done within 30 days. The decision on which grade the child will be placed rests with the school; it is common to test the child to reach an informed decision.
Students who have homeschool and public school credits will be required to submit both transcripts while applying to college. Public schools often decline homeschool credits towards an accredited diploma granted via the school.
Lernsys Homeschooling makes it easy to keep a summary of the curriculum used including grades, topics covered, quiz and test scores, teacher credentials, etc.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Massachusetts
Have other questions about homeschooling in Massachusetts? You may find the following pages helpful.