Home Instruction (Home Schooling)

  • From time to time, parents will choose to instruct their children at home.  The philosophy of Amherst Central School District is to cooperate with parents who wish to provide home schooling for their children realizing that the child who is educated at home should receive an education in a manner consistent with an educational plan and at least substantially equivalent to that given to students of like age and attainments in our public schools.  The required subjects should be taught in a competent, systematic, and sequential manner, specifically in relation to the required courses as enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulation Section 100.10. 

    Provision of Services to Home-Instructed Students
    Students provided home schooling are not awarded an Amherst Central High School diploma. A high school diploma may only be awarded to a student enrolled in a registered secondary school who has completed all program requirements set by the Board of Regents, the school or the District.  Please refer to District policy for further information. 

    Regarding specialized services, the District shall offer a home-instructed student with disabilities the special education services as addressed in the approved Individualized Education Program (IEP) by the Committee on Special Education.  However, there is no requirement that the services be provided in the student’s home. 

    Notice of Intent to Instruct at Home
    Parents/guardians must annually provide written notice to the Superintendent of their intention to instruct their child at home by July 1 of each school year.  Assessment of such intentions and further documentation necessary for an IHIP are managed by the Office of Special Education and Pupil Personnel. 

    If parents/guardians choose to provide home instruction or establish residence in the School District after the start of the school year, they must provide written notice to the Superintendent within fourteen (14) days following the commencement of home instruction. 

    Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP)
    The Superintendent or his/her designee (ie. Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel), then provides parents/guardians a copy of Section 100.10 of the Commissioner’s regulations addressing home instruction and a form on which to submit an individualized home instruction plan for each child of compulsory attendance age who is to be taught at home.  School administration will provide assistance, if requested, to parents/guardians in preparation of the individualized home instruction plan. The child’s IHIP and Quarterly Report submission dates must be submitted by August 15 of each school year.  

    Administrative Review
    The Superintendent or his/her designee shall review completed IHIP forms and either notify parents/guardians that the IHIP is in compliance or provide written notice of any deficiency in the IHIP.  If the individualized home instruction plan is determined not to be in compliance, parents/guardians must submit a revised IHIP which corrects any deficiencies. 

    Quarterly Reports
    On or before the dates specified by the parent/guardian in the IHIP, a quarterly report for each child shall be furnished by the parent/guardian to the School District. 

    Annual Assessment
    At the time of filing the fourth quarterly report as specified in the IHIP, the parent/guardian shall also file an annual assessment.  The annual assessment shall include the results of the commercially published norm-referenced achievement test or an alternative form of evaluation. 

    Alternative evaluation methods are also utilized in specific situations.  

    General Guidelines 

    1. Parents are not required to register their child in the public school if they plan to provide home instruction. However, the parent, if requested, must demonstrate that the child resides within the Amherst Central School District and is of compulsory attendance age.
    2. School officials may request a meeting with the parents/guardians to discuss the process of home schooling, but they may not deny parents the right to home instruct if the parents decline such a meeting.
    3. The District is obligated to reply within ten (10) business days of receiving the notice of intent for home instruction by sending to the parents a copy of the Commissioner’s Regulation Section 100.10 and a form on which to submit an individualized home instruction plan (IHIP).
    4. New York State law does not require any specific credentials for the person(s) providing home instruction.
    5. A participant in interscholastic sports must be enrolled in the public school.  Also, children educated other than public school may not participate in intramural and other school-sponsored club activities (i.e. extracurricular activities) pursuant to Board of Education policy.
    6. Home-instructed students will not be allowed to use school facilities, except as provided for community organizations in policy #3280 – Use of School Facilities.
    7. Students instructed at home are not required to meet the immunization requirements for the in-school students pursuant to the provisions of Public Health Law Section 2164.  If the Commissioner of Health notifies school officials of the outbreak of a disease for which immunization is required, however, parents of children on home instruction who seek to participate in testing or other activities on the premises of the public school must produce proof of immunization or the children must be denied access to the school building.
    8. Although not obligated to do so, pursuant to Board of education policy, the District may allow parents or students on home instruction to borrow instructional items to the extent available from the public school such as library books, microscopes, computer software, and movie projectors.
    9. In accordance with Education law and Commissioner’s regulations, the District shall  conduct a census and register of students with disabilities who reside in the District.
    10. Students instructed at home may not participate in the instructional program of    the Amherst Central School District (exceptions are listed below).
    11. The District must offer a student with disabilities the special education services as addressed in the approved Individualized Education Program (IEP) by the Committee on Special Education.  However, there is no requirement that such services be delivered at the student’s home.  If such services are provided other than at the student’s home, transportation must be offered to the extent necessary to enable the student to benefit from the instruction.  The need for special transportation must be addressed in the student’s IEP.  Further, if a student with a disability receives special education in accordance with an approved IEP, the District must provide the student with any specialized instructional materials necessary to enable the student to benefit from special education.
    12. The District shall not, pursuant to Board of Education policy, allow home-instructed students to participate in “dual enrollment” services – that is, occupational and vocational education programs (career and technical education programs) and programs for the gifted.
    13. The District is not required to furnish health services to students on home instruction.
    14. The District is not responsible for providing remedial programs for home-instructed students.
    15. Summer school programs are open to all resident students of the District.
    16. The Amherst Central School District may require home visits, upon three (3) days written notice to the parents, only when the home instruction program is on probation.  Under any other circumstances, the school official may request a home visit but the parent would not be required to consent to the request.
    17. Parents are required to keep attendance records for each student, but there is no legal obligation for them to maintain any other records.