What is the Notice of Intent form? It is a document that was developed in 1990 by the CT State Board of Education. It was a compromise document that resulted from a meeting between the SBOE and a group of home educators. The SBOE wanted some type of required procedure and the homeschool parents did not. The result of that disagreement resulted in the “Suggested Procedure on Home Instruction”. The policy resulted in the form known as the “Notice of Intent”. It is not a law that must be followed. It is only a policy. CHN and NHELD do not recommend that parents file it, though it is the choice of the parent to do so or not. Most do not. It is unnecessary paperwork that helps nobody. If a homeschooling family wants to enroll or re-enroll their child in public or private school at a later time, they are free to do so.
Furthermore, at the end of the Notice of Intent form, there is mention of an end-of-school-year portfolio review. It is the duty of the district to request such a meeting. However, the district has zero authority to comment in any way about the program used by the homeschooling family. Again, this serves no purpose and is unnecessary. Not only do most parents not participate in it, most districts do not even request it.
Below are the C-14/C-4 “Guidelines” (not laws), that are connected to the Notice of Intent and portfolio review. They sound so official, but they are not. They are nothing more than policies that no parent must comply with. When your child is not enrolled in public or private school, those districts have no jurisdiction over your family whatsoever. There is no need to comply with unwarranted policies.
When a family withdraws their child to homeschool, it is fairly common for the district to send a cover letter with a Notice of Intent form. They will request that you file it. Sometimes they put significant pressure on parents to comply. They may not do that. If that happens, CHN will help the family take care of it and so will Atty. Stevenson of NHELD. It’s nothing to be concerned about. It simply involves educating the district superintendent about the difference between the policies and statutes. All’s well that ends well.
C-14 (or C-4) GUIDELINES
From: Vincent L. Ferrandino
Date: July 15, 1994
REVISED PROCEDURES CONCERNING REQUESTS FROM PARENTS TO EDUCATE THEIR CHILD AT HOME
On November 7, 1990, The State Board of Education adopted the following policy on home instruction.
The State Board of Education acknowledges the right of parents to instruct their children at home as an alternative to public school attendance; and advises local and regional boards of education, where such child would otherwise be attending public school, to acknowledge home instruction when the parent or person having control of a child between the ages of 7 and 16 is able to show that the child is receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools.
The intent of these procedures is twofold: First, to provide local boards of education with suggestions concerning procedures to be utilized when parents wish to educate their child at home; and second, to assist parents in making requests to educate their child at home. The suggested procedures outline a series of steps in a process which should be conducted in an atmosphere of respect and cooperation by parents and local boards of education.
II. Statutory Authority
Section 10-184 of the Connecticut General Statutes (attached) describes the duties of parents for educating their children. It requires that parents or persons having control of children over five years of age (optional until age six however) and under sixteen years of age shall cause such children “…to attend a public day school regularly …” However Section 10-184 allows the parent or person having control of such child to educate the child in other than the public schools if they are ” …able to show that the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools.” The duties of local boards of education are described in Section 10-220 of the Connecticut General Statutes (attached). As part of their identified duties, local boards of education are required to ” …cause each child of seven years of age and over or under sixteen living in the school district to attend school in accordance with the provisions of Section 10-184 …”. If parents wish to educate their child in their home, they must show equivalency as described in Section 10-184 and local boards of education must determine whether or not such a child is receiving equivalent instruction as required by Section 10-220.
The following procedures have been developed in order to assist parents and local boards of education to work together in such a way as to assure children receive the education to which they are entitled by law.
We would deem compliance with these suggested procedures as satisfying the requirements of Sections 10-184 and 10-220 of the General Statutes.
Suggested Procedures for Home Instruction
In determining whether the education provided a child is equivalent to the instruction provided in the local schools, it is recommended that the local board of education observe the following procedures:
A. Parents must file with the superintendent of schools in the town in which they reside a notice of intent form which provides basic information about the program to be provided to their child. A notice of Intent will be effective for up to one school year (see attached).
B. Filing must occur within ten days of the start of the home instruction program.
C. The school district will receive the notice of intent, check it for completeness and keep it as part of the district’s permanent records. A complete form will be one which provides basic program information including name of teacher, subjects to be taught and days of instruction, and the teacher’s methods of assessment.
D. A parent, by filing a notice of intent, acknowledges full responsibility for the education of their child in accordance with the requirements of state law. Receipt of a notice of intent in no way constitutes approval by a school district of the content or effectiveness of a program of home instruction.
E. If a parent fails to file a notice of intent or files an incomplete form then a certified letter shall be sent to the parent requesting compliance within ten days.
F. An annual portfolio review will be held with the parents and school officials to determine if instruction in the required courses has been given.
G. Any continued refusal by the parent to comply with the reasonable request of the school district for completion and filing of the notice of intent, or to participate in an annual portfolio review may cause the child to be considered truant
H. A school district should not accept nor require a notice of intent for any child younger than seven years or older than sixteen years.
I. The school district shall record the number of students instructed at home on the appropriate form issued by the State Department of Education.
CHN: You can view a copy of the 2-page Notice of Intent form to see what is listed on it. Some districts modify this form and ask for additional information. Answering any of this information is not legally required of parents to do.