South Dakota Homeschool Laws

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South Dakota Homeschooling Laws

South Dakota Homeschool Laws
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Homeschooling in South Dakota

Homeschooling in South Dakota is classified under alternative instruction by the education department. The rules to legally homeschool in South Dakota include:

1. Submit your notice of intention to homeschool with the official of your local school on the department of education form.

Parents must submit the form every year to the official of the local school and fill in the blank requiring alternative instruction as homeschool. The form should be signed by two witnesses and be notarized. As soon as you file your notice, one may start homeschooling as they await a response from the school. Notification becomes effective as soon as it is filed.

2. Provide instruction in the mandatory subjects.

The subjects include: math and language arts.

3. Provide instruction for the required amount of time as public schools.

All schools are required to teach for at least a 9 month normal term and keep attendance records of every child for every year.

4. Submit to the local school in your district the results of standardized tests taken by the child.

Students in 4th, 8th and 11th grades are subjected to standardized tests used locally or nationally.

5. Maintain accurate records which may be reviewed in case the state requests to assess the records.

6. Limit the size of the homeschool to no more than 22 children per homeschool.

7. Provide records upon request by the secretary of education.

The secretary of education may request to inspect the records if she/he has reason to believe that the homeschool is in violation of the law.

This page provides information on homeschooling in South Dakota including:

· Requirements to Homeschool in South Dakota

· Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in South Dakota

· Requirements for Graduation

· 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 South Dakota

The requirements to homeschool in South Dakota are:

1. Submit your annual notice for a certificate of exemption from public school

2. Teach for the required amount of time as public schools

3. Teach the mandatory subjects. That is, maths and language arts

4. Maintain accurate records of every student

5. Have students in 4th, 8th and 11th grades take standardized tests

The form on exemption from public school should be for students below 18 yearsand must be filed every year of homeschooling with the office of local school administration. The homeschool shall have a maximum of 22 students at a go and there is no prerequisite to be certified as a teacher. Every child must demonstrate adequate academic success to have the exemption certificate renewed.


Exemption from Public School Form to Homeschool in South Dakota

This is the first requirement that should be fulfilled by parents willing to homeschool their children. The form is filed with the office of the local superintendent in the district. The form should have the following details:

· The name, age and address of every child in the homeschool

· The local school district

The form must be accompanied by either of the following documents:

· A certified copy of every child’s certificate of birth which must be submitted not later than 30 days of homeschooling or not more than 30 days from the official date of withdrawing the child from a public school.

· For those parents who fail to produce a birth certificate, an affidavit from the health department should be submitted instead.

· A notarized affidavit or witnessed by not less than 2 people stating that the child identified on the form matches the one on the certificate. This affidavit is mostly at page 2 of the exemption form.

As soon as one submits the exemption form, he/she may start homeschooling; one does not have to wait approval. Submission of the form becomes effective immediately.


Testing Requirements for Homeschoolers in South Dakota

Standardized tests for fundamental skills are compulsory for students in 4th, 8th and 11th grades. The standardized tests are free in South Dakota but for nationally standardized tests, there is a fee that must be paid. The local school notifies the homeschool of this requirement in January of every year. The education department provides the math and reading tests to homeschoolers free of charge. These tests help assess the child’s learning abilities compared to other students in the same grade.

The tests have to be picked from the local district and have the results mailed to the local school since they cannot be mailed out of the country. Renewal of the child’s exemption letter is subject to improvement of the child.

Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in South Dakota

There are no requirements for parents to keep records since the local school in your district maintains the student’s test records. The education department may inspect the homeschool records, attendance records or academic progress if there is reason to believe the homeschool is defying homeschool laws. This is to ensure that the homeschool instruction provided is adequate and sufficient as per rule 13-27-3.

Requirements for Graduation in South Dakota

The requirements for graduation are not overly strict. Parents are not subjected to any requirements since homeschool graduation is not overseen by the state. Parents are free to award their homeschool diplomas and determine when the child will graduate. Students willing to pursue further education should research on the required courses to join those institutions before applying to those schools. Parents are however advised to inquire on the requirements to join colleges or universities to align the homeschool goals with those.

The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in South Dakota.

 Public/Private SchoolHomeschool

Diploma requirements in South Dakota

To receive a diploma in South Dakota, a minimum of 22 credit courses must be completed.

Parents in South Dakota 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 South Dakota N/A

There is no law in South Dakota that compels or forces homeschoolers to undertake a test as a requirement in order to graduate high school.

South Dakota high school transcripts

Students can choose to contact their school or use E-transcript system to submit a duplicate of the student’s transcript to the college they wish to join. Unless prices are offset, there is a reasonable charge.

Parents in South Dakota 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 South Dakota

Graduation requirements include 4 credits in language arts, 3 credits in math, 3 credits in science and 3 credits in social studies. Additional credits in physical ed, art, and electives are also required.

Many parents in South Dakota 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 South Dakota

South Dakota’s minimum GED testing age is 18.

Test takers 16 and 17 years old must have permission from the school district and hold parental consent.

The South Dakota GED fee is $130 for all four tests or $32.50 per testing subject. At retakes, the fee is reduced by $20 per subtest.

There is no South Dakota residency requirement.

Homeschoolers in South Dakota 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.

Download the transcript template


Switching from Homeschooling to Public School in South Dakota

Well maintained records area necessity while transferring your child from a homeschool to a public school to show the child’s progress through the years. Some homeschoolers may choose to take an exam to determine the credits that might be transferred and accepted by the public school. This option is mainly utilized where the child has never received instruction on the course but gets tested on the course for credit. The child takes the exam despite not having been taught to show mastery of the subject and in turn receive transcripts and credit in that course. This is aimed to prove the child has an understanding of the subject taught in the homeschool.

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 South Dakota

Have other questions about homeschooling in South Dakota? You may find the following pages helpful.



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