Dear Home Educator:
Montana State Law [MCA 20-5-109(5)] requires the parent or legal guardian choosing to home school, to sign up annually with their County Superintendent of Schools. It is my responsibility to verify you are homeschooling and complying with Montana State Laws and United States regulations, such as No Child Left Behind mandates. When signing up with my Deputy Mary Hoffman, we provide you with an extensive packet of resource information, but you are responsible for your own curriculum. The following links are available resources:
- Correspondence Schools List (PDF)
- EdReady for Homeschool (PDF)
- Federally Funded Programs (PDF)
- Homeschool Laws (PDF)
- Homeschool Packet (PDF)
- Resources for Education (PDF)
Included are state laws pertinent to homeschools on compulsory enrollment, attendance officers, and truancy laws. Statutes define a home school as "the instruction by a parent of his child, stepchild, or ward in his residence." The law states in part that a nonpublic homeschool shall: (1) Maintain records on pupil attendance and disease immunization; (2) Provide at least the minimum aggregate hours of pupil instruction in accordance with 20-1-301 and 20-1-302; (3) Be housed in a building that complies with applicable health and safety regulations; (4) Provide an organized course of study; and (5) notify the county superintendent of schools each school fiscal year of the student's attendance at the home school. It is essential to complete each year's notification within the first week of the school term in your district or when you establish residence in the district. If your child is not enrolled at the public school where you reside and there is no notification form in our office within this time period, your child would be considered truant, and the District of Residence will proceed appropriately. Please sign up at our office. A Notification Form (PDF) is available. Please notify my office if you enroll in public school. Districts have various policies and practices that control admittance and assessment for appropriate grade placement of non‑accredited, non‑public school children.
Opportunity to Participate in Federally Funded Programs by Nonpublic Schools
Federal law requires schools to offer participation in federally funded programs to everyone in the district. The Lake County Superintendent of Schools provides the non-public school the opportunity to participate in these programs through completion of the federal program question on the homeschool notification form. Copies are then sent to the district of residence and also maintained in the home school file. If your district receives Title I, Part A funds and you choose to participate in any of the federal programs, your District of Residence is required "to hold a consultation in a meaningful and timely manner" with you.
Please do not hesitate to contact the office if we can be of further service. We have attendance forms (PDF) and more information, like the Montana Coalition of Home Educators (MCHE), which publishes the Montana Homeschool Reference Guide. The Montana Office of Public Instruction's website has numerous resources including Montana Content Standards and a Get Answers Tab to help you out.
County Superintendent of Schools
Carolyn O. Hall