Home-schooling

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is to inform implementation of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1375.01, Home-School Students dated April 10, 2018.

Policy

    A host nation, state, commonwealth, territory, or possession where a DoD sponsor is stationed may impose legal requirements on home-schooling practices. Sponsors are responsible for complying with applicable local requirements and should consult with installation Staff Judge Advocates concerning these requirements.

    Eligibility

      Proof of eligibility to access DoDEA auxiliary services', including extracurricular and interscholastic activities, requires independent proof of the dependent's identity. Preferred forms of identification for a dependent are a birth certificate, a valid passport, a DoD identification card, or other photo identification. In addition, proof of eligibility is required and is established in the following ways:

      • For dependents of members of the armed forces residing on a military installation in the continental United States, or a territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States, proof of eligibility is established by:
        • a copy of the sponsor's orders; and
        • written affirmation by the installation family-housing manager that permanent quarters have been assigned, or will be assigned within 90 school days.
      • For dependents of DoD civilian employees residing on a military installation in the continental United States, or a territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States, proof of eligibility is established by:
        • written affirmation by the DoD agency certifying the employee's employment and duty station; and
        • written affirmation by the installation family-housing manager that permanent quarters have been assigned, or will be assigned within 90 school days.
      • For dependents of members of the armed forces not residing on a military installation in a territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States, proof of eligibility is established by a copy of the sponsor's orders.
      • For dependents of DoD civilian employees not residing on a military installation in a territory, possession or commonwealth of the United States, proof of eligibility is established by the DoD agency providing:
        • written affirmation certifying the employee's employment and duty station; and
        • certification that the employee occupies a transferable position. A transferable position is one subject by policy and practice to transfer or reassignment to a location where English is the language of instruction in the schools normally attended by dependent children of Federal personnel.
      • For dependents of members of the armed forces assigned to a remote location or unaccompanied tour of duty, whose dependents reside, on or off a military installation, in a territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States as authorized by the member's orders, proof of eligibility is established by a copy of the member's orders.

      Eligible DoD dependent home-school students using or receiving auxiliary services must meet the same eligibility requirements applicable to dependents enrolled in DoDEA schools. These eligibility requirements may include, but are not limited to: age certification; maintaining scholastic eligibility; providing documentation of current immunizations, physical exam, and proof of insurance coverage; and signing a Standards of Conduct form and Internet Access Agreement. Documentation establishing eligibility will not be maintained as a permanent record and will be returned to the sponsor after the DoD dependent student is no longer using or receiving auxiliary services. In order to ensure the safety of all students and to account for permitted access to DoDEA schools and activities, students using "auxiliary" services are registered in the DoDEA Student Information System (SIS) under the auxiliary code, documenting eligibility to attend DoDEA schools.

      For each academic quarter, the sponsor must provide a certified statement of progress or other form of evaluation from an accredited home-school provider attesting to the dependent student's satisfactory progress in the course of study that he or she is enrolled in. If the dependent student is not enrolled in an accredited home-school program, the sponsor must provide a self-certified statement attesting to the dependent student's satisfactory progress in the course of study that he or she is taking.

      For each academic quarter, the sponsor must provide the appropriate documentation required by state law to verify academic progress in order to establish his or her child's scholastic eligibility for interscholastic or extracurricular activities. In the absence of a state requirement, the sponsor must provide a certified statement of progress or other form of evaluation from an accredited home-school provider attesting to the dependent student's satisfactory progress in the course of study that he or she is enrolled in. If the dependent student is not enrolled in an accredited home-school program, the sponsor must provide a self-certified statement attesting to the dependent's satisfactory progress in the course of study that he or she is taking.

      Yes. At overseas/international locations where there is not a DoDEA school, NDSP supports a variety of options for students to include home-school programs. Home-school dependent students must meet NDSP eligibility program requirements. To determine eligibility, upon receipt of assignment orders to an overseas location where there is no DoDEA school, the sponsor should contact the NDSP Liaison at the gaining command/new location. The NDSP Liaison will provide information on available schooling options at that location. NDSP has a team of education specialists who are available to provide transition and educational support and coordination for all students, including those who wish to home school. To find out more information about home schooling options under NDSP please visit the NDSP website at http://www.dodea.edu/nonDoD/index.cfm.

      DoD dependent students who are educated in a home-school setting but are eligible to enroll in DoDEA-Europe and DoDEA-Pacific and live within the commuting distance of the DoDEA school are entitled to use or receive the specified auxiliary services without being required either to enroll in or register for a minimum number of courses offered by the school. Depending on the eligibility category of the students as determined by DoDEA Regulation 1342.12, tuition may be required.

      Proof of eligibility to access the specified auxiliary services, including extracurricular and interscholastic activities, is established by a copy of the sponsor's orders and independent proof of the dependent's identity. Preferred forms of identification for a dependent are a birth certificate, a valid passport, a DoD identification card, or other photo identification.

      In DoDEA-Americas, DoD dependent home-school students eligible to enroll in DoDEA-Americas on a tuition-free basis are eligible to use or receive auxiliary services without being required either to enroll in or register for a minimum number of courses offered by the school. In the continental United States, this includes dependents of members of the armed forces and dependents of DoD civilian employees residing on a military installation served by a DoDEA-Americas school. In territories, possessions, and commonwealths of the United States, this includes:

      1. (1) Dependents of members of the armed forces and dependents of DoD civilian employees residing on a military installation; or (2) dependents of members of the armed forces and dependents of DoD civilian employees not residing on a military installation; or (3) dependents of members of the armed forces assigned to a remote location or unaccompanied tour of duty, whose dependents reside, on or off a military installation, in a territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States as authorized by the member's orders.

      Auxiliary Services

        Interscholastic activities are those activities that are conducted between two or more schools. Activities may be athletic or academic in nature.

        After hours use of school facilities is defined as use of a specific school's facilities after the school day has ended. After hours use of school facilities is made available to Eligible DoD dependent home-school students on the same basis as other dependents enrolled in DoDEA schools.

        Eligible DoD dependent home-school students using the specified DoDEA auxiliary services must comply with the same standards of conduct applicable to DoD dependents enrolled in the DoDEA school. Students have the responsibility for conducting themselves in a manner that does not violate the rights of other people. They share the responsibility for developing and maintaining a school climate conducive to productive learning. Standards of conduct that students are expected to adhere to include, but are not limited to: maintaining textbooks and equipment, respecting property, obeying school rules, and accepting reasonable and appropriate consequences if responsibilities are not fulfilled. Individual schools have standards of conduct outlining policies on student dress and grooming, drug use, smoking, alcohol use, possession of weapons, etc. Student conduct expectations can be found in the each school's Student Handbook.

        Auxiliary services include access to academic resources, access to the school information center (i.e., library), after-hours use of school facilities, and participation in music, sports, and other extra-curricular activities and interscholastic activities. Auxiliary services do not include participation in DoDEA commencement ceremonies.

        Academic resources include textbooks, workbooks, library books, scheduled standardized tests, software, etc. Academic resources also include Internet access that is obtained through the Media Center/Library of the school. Academic resources do not include consumables, calculators, pens, paper, or other supplies normally provided by a parent. Items, such as textbooks and workbooks, may be limited to use within the school based on resource availability.

        Extracurricular activities are any school-sponsored program where students from one or more schools meet, work, perform, practice under supervision outside of regular class time or curriculum, or are competing for the purpose of receiving an award, rating, recognition, or criticism, or qualification for additional competition. Examples include, but are not limited to, inter/interscholastic athletics, cheerleading, band, choral, math, or science competitions, field trips, and club activities.

        Courses and/or SPEDs

          Yes. An eligible DoD dependent home-school student may receive ESOL services if he or she meets the eligibility criteria for ESOL services. Each DoDEA school has a copy of the eligibility criteria for ESOL services. ESOL services are provided in the context of a course or class during the defined school day. Therefore, sponsors of home-schooled dependents eligible to receive ESOL services at a DoDEA school must complete a registration form for the courses or classes to be attended by the dependents and comply with other registry procedures and requirements of the school.

          Yes. An eligible DoD dependent home-school student may receive GE services if he or she meets the eligibility criteria. Each DoDEA school has a copy of the eligibility criteria for GE services. GE services are provided in the context of a course or class during the defined school day. Therefore, sponsors of home-schooled dependents eligible to receive GE services at a DoDEA school must complete a registration form for the courses or classes to be attended by the dependents and comply with other registry procedures and requirements of the school.

          Yes. Eligible DoD dependent home-school students may access DoDEA special education services and related services (e.g., occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, clinical psychology, etc.) if he or she meets the eligibility criteria for receipt of special education and related services. Each DoDEA school has a copy of the eligibility criteria for special education and related services. Special education and related services (including transportation arrangements) will be provided in accordance with applicable regulations (i.e., DoDEA Regulation 1342.13 and DoDI/DoDM 1342.12). Special education services may include initial testing and development of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) (if the student is found eligible for services). Eligible DoD dependent home-school students who need initial testing and/or development of an IEP, but are not enrolled in a DoDEA school or course, should be registered under the Child Find code. Sponsors of home-school dependents eligible to receive special education services at a DoDEA school must complete a registration form and comply with other registry procedures and requirements of the school.

          Yes. Eligible DoD dependent home-school students may be eligible for a DoDEA 504 Accommodations Plan if he or she meets the criteria specified in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 2500.14 (DoDEA AI 2500.14). Evaluation, eligibility, and development of a 504 Accommodation Plan must occur in accordance with the procedures within DoDEA AI 2500.14. Most standardized assessments require that accommodations be applied consistently in all educational environments (i.e., home-school settings, DoDEA courses, and tests/ assessments). Eligible DoD dependent home-school dependent students who need a 504 Accommodation Plan developed, but are not enrolled in a DoDEA school or course, should be registered under the Child Find code in the Student Information System. Sponsors of home-school dependents eligible to receive 504 accommodations at a DoDEA school must complete a registration form and comply with other registry procedures and requirements of the school.

          Yes. DVHS courses are made available to eligible DoD dependent home-school students on the same basis as other dependents enrolled in DoD schools. If there is not an option for the eligible DoD dependent home-school student to participate in a local high school course, an eligible DoD dependent may enroll in a DVHS course. The eligible DoD dependent home-school student must be registered/ enrolled through the local DoDEA high school in order to be considered for DVHS enrollment, and must take the course at the local high school. The local high school is responsible for providing a facilitator, textbooks, resources, etc.

          DoD dependent home-school students who are eligible to enroll in a DoDEA school but choose to home school must enroll and register through the DoDEA school to be eligible for DVHS enrollment. Once enrolled, students must adhere to the same scheduling requirements as any other DoDEA student enrolled in DVHS courses.

          Bus transportation is provided to all enrolled and registered students to and from DoDEA schools at regularly scheduled times. If an eligible DoD dependent home-school students schedule coincides with the school's regular bus schedule, he or she may ride the bus. If the eligible DoD dependent home-school students schedule does not coincide with the school's regular bus schedule, the responsibility for the student's transportation resides with the sponsor.

          Courses take place during the defined school day with a classroom teacher and defined curriculum standards (e.g. math, PE, JROTC, etc.). Performance in a DoDEA course is recorded on a DoDEA report card or transcript. By statute, auxiliary services are defined as use of academic resources, access to the library of the school, after-hours use of school facilities, and participation in music, sports, and other extracurricular and interscholastic activities. Auxiliary services are not inclusive of participation in DoDEA commencement ceremonies.

          Sponsors of eligible DoD home-school dependents taking a single course or more at a DoDEA school must complete a registration form and comply with other registry procedures and requirements of the school on the same basis as DoD dependents enrolled in DoDEA schools. Eligible DoD dependent home-school students who take 3 courses or less are enrolled in the Student Information System (SIS) as a part time student. Eligible DoD dependent students who take 4 courses or more are enrolled in the SIS as a full time student.

          Graduation and Commencement

            The sponsor must provide a certified statement of progress or other form of evaluation from an accredited home-school provider attesting to the dependent's satisfactory completion of the home-school program that he or she is enrolled in. If the dependent is not enrolled in an accredited home-school program, the sponsor must provide a self-certified statement attesting to the dependent's satisfactory completion of the home school program.

            No. The Interstate Compact is a uniform agreement adopted by member states and DoDEA, as an ex-officio member, to implement educational policies which address key transition issues encountered by military families. Per the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children Model Compact Language and Rules documents, the compact is an agreement made between member states, or local education agencies which are defined as "A U.S. public authority legally constituted by a state as an administrative agency to provide control of and director for kindergarten through twelfth (12th) grade public educational institutions". Home-school programs do not meet this definition.

            DoDEA recognizes that the high-school graduation ceremony is an important milestone for every student and for the military family who has supported them throughout their academic career. Home-school seniors who have successfully completed their home school program through the 12th grade, and are registered at a DoDEA school to use or receive auxiliary services, or are enrolled to take one or more DoDEA courses, and/or receive special education services, but do not meet DoDEA graduation requirements to earn the DoDEA diploma, may be supported and acknowledged for completion of their home-school program in the following ways:

            • In coordination with the District Superintendent, DoDEA high-school principals may authorize the use of DoDEA facilities for the sponsor or command to host a home-school graduation ceremony. Such ceremonies should be held after-hours (i.e., not during the school day). Requests to use DoDEA facilities should be made in writing at least 90 days prior to the event date.
            • Within DoDEA's discretion, graduating home-school seniors may be acknowledged for the completion of their home-school program in remarks at culminating senior events in which they participate (e.g., senior awards ceremony, senior breakfast, sport awards ceremony, etc.) or from the audience during the DoDEA commencement ceremony.

            Miscellaneous

              No. DoDEA does not have the statutory authority to enforce attendance in home-school programs, certify home-school programs, nor confer home-school high school diplomas. Each state and country has its own policy on home-school. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to comply with applicable requirements of their host nation, state, commonwealth or territory.

              Questions regarding implementation of DoDEA educational policies, to include home-school, should be submitted following the chain of command. The educational chain of command includes the following levels: School Administrator, District Superintendent, Director for Student Excellence, and the Headquarters Chief of Education Policy and Operations.

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