In New York State, you may withdraw your child from school for homeschooling at any point during the school year. Parents do not need a college degree or high school diploma to do this. However, you should be capable of understanding and abiding by state regulations regarding the curriculum and paperwork that must be submitted in a timely manner. Below are the steps for withdrawing your child from school.
In NYS, you must submit a “Notice of Intention.” This is simply written notification to the school district you reside in that you intend to withdraw your child and provide homeschooling. I would recommend that you submit this personally at the school, through certified mail, or via e-mail to the Superintendent of Schools or other person designated (varies by school district). You want to make sure you have proof that you submitted this letter of intent. Per state regulations, if you withdraw your child from school during the school year, the letter of intention must be submitted within 14 days of pulling your child from school. If during the summer break, you should attempt to submit your intent before July 1st, which is the official start of the school year in NYS (June 30th being the last day of the school year). I would strongly recommend that you submit this letter before taking your child out of school in order to avoid any miscommunications that could result in educational neglect charges by the school district.
Upon receipt of your letter of intent, the school district has 10 days to provide you with a copy of the NYS regulations regarding homeschooling (Regulations of the Commissioner of Education section 100.10). In addition, they must send you a form to submit your IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan) or written directions on what needs to be in the IHIP.
You then have 4 weeks from receipt of the above information to provide the school district with your IHIP. Again, make sure you have proof of submission by either submitting in person, certified mail or by e-mail.
The school district, upon receipt of your IHIP, has 10 days to notify you of acceptance of the IHIP.
What do you do if your IHIP is not approved?
If your IHIP is not accepted, the school district must notify you of the deficiencies that must be corrected. You then have 15 days to revise the IHIP and re-submit for approval.
The school district has 15 days to advise you of their decision. If the IHIP is again not accepted, they must notify you of the next Board of Education meeting to attend (this should be within 10 days of their decision). You must attend this meeting to address the board or you will be expected to enroll your child back in school. If you attend the board meeting to prove compliance, the board must render a decision. If they decide the IHIP is not in compliance, you have the option of re-enrolling your child back in school or you can appeal to the Commissioner of Education within 30 days of the determination of the board. The Commissioner’s final determination will stand and you will be required to either re-enroll your child in school or provide information on other arrangements that you will be making for your child.
If you need guidance on choosing a curriculum or creating your IHIP, you may contact a homeschool consultant. A consultant can assist you with curriculum choices, creating the IHIP, quarterly reports, dealing with the school district and much more.