Homeschooling, also known as Home-Based Instruction, requires a completed Declaration of Intent for a child or children to receive home-based instruction in lieu of attendance or enrollment in a public school. This statement must be filed annually by September 15 or within two weeks of the beginning a trimester or semester in the Issaquah School District (ISD). This form should be submitted to the Teaching and Learning Services Department at the Issaquah Administration Center located at 5150 220th AVE SE, Issaquah, WA 98029. For more information about Home-Based Instruction please call 425-837-7094.
If your home based student is interested in participating in the Running Start Program, please contact Laura Norris at 425-837-7094.
Home based students interested in Issaquah School District athletics or co-curricular programs should contact the registrar in their home school.
Requests for information regarding home-based instruction can be directed to Laura Norris, Teaching & Learning Services, 425-837-7094.
1. Parent Qualification Criteria:
A parent must meet one of the following criteria in order to qualify for home-based instructionRCW 28A.225.010 (subsection 4)
- The parent is instructing his or her child(ren) only and is supervised by a person certificated under Chapter 28A.70 RCW: The supervision consists of and includes a planning of objectives by the certificated person and the parent, a minimum each month of an average of one contact hour per week with the child being supervised by the certificated person, and evaluation of such child's progress by the certificated person. The number of children supervised by the certificated person shall not exceed thirty.
- The parent is instructing his or her child(ren) only and has either earned forty-five college- level quarter credit hours or the equivalent in semester hours or has completed a course in homebased instruction at a postsecondary institution or a vocational-technical institute.
- A parent who is deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction by the superintendent of the local school district in which the child resides.
2. Areas of Instruction and Total Program Hours:
Home-based instruction shall consist of instructional and related educational activities including the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation for art and music. The amount of hours of instruction must meet the following minimum hourly requirements per grade level established for approved private schools:
RCW 28A.150.220 defines the total annual program hours as being:
|Kindergarten||At least a total of 450 hours.|
|Grades 1 through 12||An annual average total of 1,000 hours.|
3. Failure to Comply with the Law:
Public school officials are required to report cases of noncompliance to the person designated within the district as the enforcement officer of the truancy laws as stated in RCW 28A.27.
4. Duties of Parents:
Each parent of a home-based instructed student must: RCW 200.010
- Annually file a signed Declaration of Intent that he or she is planning to cause his or her child to receive home-based instruction;
- Ensure that test scores or annual academic progress assessments and immunization records, together with any other records that are kept relating to the instructional and educational activities provided, are forwarded to any other public or private school to which the child transfers, and;
- Ensure that a standardized achievement test approved by the State Board of Education is administered annually to the child by a qualified individual or that an annual assessment of the student’s academic progress is written by a certificated person who is currently working in the field of education. If the student is at a grade level in which all district students are tested, the student may take the test within an appropriate classroom. The standardized test administered, or the annual academic progress assessment written, shall be made a part of the child’s permanent records. If, as a result of the annual test or assessment, it is determined that the child is not making reasonable progress consistent with his or her age or stage of development, the parent shall make a good faith effort to remedy any deficiency.
Other than those items specifically required by the statute, all decisions relating to philosophy or doctrine, selection of books, teaching materials and curriculum, methods, timing and place in the provision or evaluation of home-based instruction shall be the responsibility of the parent.
5. Use of District Materials:
Parents may receive copies of district-adopted curriculum, goals and objectives from the Issaquah School District website. If extras are available at the school, parents may borrow district-adopted instructional materials from the school that their children would attend. Due to enrollment, it is possible instructional materials will not be available, especially at the elementary levels. If you would like to borrow materials, it is your responsibility as the parent or guardian to check availability of those materials with your neighborhood school. If materials are available, a deposit is required. When you have finished using the materials, please return them to the school with your receipt for the deposit to receive a refund of the deposit amount. A portion of the deposit may be withheld for damaged materials.
6. Right to Part Time Attendance and Ancillary Services:
Students enrolled in home-based instruction may enroll in any course and/or ancillary service offered at the school that the student would attend if in public school. Ancillary services include such options as co- curricular activities, psychological services, remedial instruction, and health screening. A home-based student may use school district transportation at normal times and at the designated route stops. To arrange part time attendance or provisions for ancillary services, the parent will contact the principal or appropriate school district administrator.
7. Participation in District Achievement Testing:
Standardized achievement tests are given to all district students in grades K-8 and tenth in the spring. If a home-based parent chooses for their child to participate, the school will assign the child to an appropriate classroom. The testing generally extends over several days for part of each day. It will be the parent’s responsibility to assure that the child is present at all of the testing sessions. Results will be mailed to the parent when they become available. Alternative testing services are also listed on the following sites:
8. Re-entering Issaquah School District:
The parent will register the student at the appropriate school, notifying the principal/counselor that the child has previously been enrolled in home- based The parent will present to the principal/counselor the annual achievement test scores or assessment and required health records (as specified in #4). If the achievement test or assessment results indicate satisfactory performance, the student will be placed at the age-appropriate grade level K-8. To determine placement in high school courses, the counselor will review the student's previous learning experiences and desired course placement. The counselor will confer as appropriate with the teachers of courses in which the student desires placement. If academic achievement levels appear unsatisfactory, the decision on grade level placement and/or need for further testing will be made by the Guidance Team. If there are any concerns about the appropriateness of placement following the placement of the student in a class or course, the teacher will refer the matter to the Guidance Team for review. Credits acquired through home based instruction will not be added to the High School Transcript unless completed at an approved public or private school.
9. Running Start:
Students who reside within the Issaquah School District Boundaries and are determined to be juniors or seniors in high school (11th or 12th grade) in the Issaquah School District may enroll in a Running Start program at one of several area colleges, provided he or she meets the criteria established by the college. If eligible, students and families will need to submit a Declaration of Intent for the school year school year they wish to receive services and a Running Start Enrollment Verification Form with Student and Parent/Guardian information As a reminder, grade level status is established by the school district and is determined by the student’s age upon enrollment. When a student enters into ninth grade, his or her expected year of graduation, or base grad year (“BGY”), is set. Thereafter, each student’s BGY remains the same, and his or her grade level advances one grade level per year, regardless of the amount of credits the student obtains or whether the student graduates early. The student’s BGY and/or grade level are used to determine eligibility for certain programs, such as Running Start. You may also reference Regulation 2421 and 2421P for further clarification on Base Graduation Year and eligibility.
More information about the Running Start program can be found on these and other college websites:
- Bellevue College
- Central Washington University
- Lake Washington Institute of Technology
- Renton Technical College
- Green River College
10. Graduation from Issaquah Public Schools:
To earn credit for high school courses, students must submit transcripts of course work completed at approved public or approved private schools, including correspondence courses offered from approved private schools, and/or by fulfilling the requirements for Private Learning Experiences (Regulation #2410). A private learning experience is for a specialized course of study not available in district schools or through an approved correspondence program. Diplomas will be issued to students who meet the graduation requirements established for their base year of graduation as noted in Regulation 2410P.
Please note: Once a student enters the ninth grade, their base year of graduation (which determines the graduation requirements) may not be changed.
11. Signing the Annual Declaration:
The parent must complete and submit the Annual Declaration of Intent to Provide Home-Based Instruction by September 15th or within two weeks of the beginning of any quarter, trimester or semester. The form will be received by Laura Norris, Teaching & Learning Services, by email at NorrisL@issaquah.wednet.edu or mail at Issaquah School District, 5150 220th AVE SE, Issaquah, WA 98029.
Responsibilities of the district will be limited to providing information about requirements of the law, receiving a declaration of a parent’s intent to provide home-based instruction, providing instruction and ancillary services as they would be provided to private school students, reporting cases of noncompliance with the law and determining student’s placement if they enroll in the district.
I Compulsory Education. RCW 28A.225.010
A. Compulsory education age in the state of Washington is 8 years old OR the age at which a child is officially enrolled in public school RCW 28A.225.015
B. If a child is under 8 and has been officially enrolled in public school, the parent must formally withdraw the child in order to homeschool.
C. The Home-Based Instruction law affects children 8 years and older.
II To qualify to homeschool you must fulfill one of the following: RCW 28A.225.010 (4)
A. Have earned 45 quarter units of college level credit or the equivalent in semester hours.
B. Attend a Parent Qualifying Course. This is highly recommended even if you are already qualified to homeschool.
C. Work with a certified teacher who meets with your student an average of an hour a week.
D. Be deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction by the superintendent of your local school district.
III A declaration of intent to homeschool must be filed annually. RCW 28A.200.010 (1)
A. This form can be obtained from and must be returned to the schools district’s District Office. You may turn in your letter of intent to any school district that will accept it - it does not have to be your home district.
B. The information required on the form includes your children’s names and ages, an indication if you are qualifying to homeschool by using a supervising certified teacher (see IIC.),your signature and date. Any other information you include is at your own discretion.
C. This form protects the school – they are not responsible for the education of the child. This form protects the parent – your child/ren are not truant.
D. Your declaration of intent does not limit your ability to use the public schools as a resource for classes and activities.
IV The 11 required subjects need to be included in your curriculum. RCW28A.225.010 (4)
A. The 11 required subjects are reading, writing, spelling, language, math, science, social studies, history, health, occupational education, and art and music appreciation.
B. These do not have to be taught separately. A unit study on frogs could include reading, writing, spelling, science, math, art and occupational education.
V Your students must participate in annual testing. RCW28A.200.010 (3)
A. Testing can be accomplished one of two ways:
Non-test assessments – an assessment of the student’s academic progress is written by a Washington State certified teacher who is currently working in the field of education.
Standardized testing – a standardized achievement test approved by the State of Education is administered annually to the child by a qualified individual.
B. Test results are part of your private homeschool record, no one else receives a copy.
C. WHO maintains a list of individuals who administer tests in your area.
VI You must keep records. RCW 28A.200.010 (2)
A. Your homeschool records should include the student’s annual test scores or assessment report (see V) and immunization records, together with any other records that are kept relating to instructional and educational activities.
B. The law is not specific on how or in what form these records are to be kept.
C. These are your private records and do not need to be shared with any state agency.
D. These records can, and probably will, be requested by school administration if your child is later enrolled in a traditional school setting.
RCW 28A.200.20 states that parents who are causing their children to receive home-based instruction shall be subject only to those minimum state laws and regulations which are necessary in ensuring that a sufficient basic educational opportunity is provided to the children receiving such instruction. Therefore, all decisions relating to philosophy or doctrine, selection of books, teaching materials and curriculum, and methods, timing and place in the provision or evaluation of home-based instruction shall be the responsibility of the parent except for matters specifically referred to in Chapter 28A.225 RCW.
The homeschool law also states that the legislature recognizes that home-based instruction is less structured and more experiential than the instruction normally provided in a classroom. Therefore, the provisions relating to the nature and quantity of instructional and related educational activities shall be liberally construed.
Important Consideration for High School Aged Students
The District does not accept home-based instruction for credit toward high school graduation from a District school. Home-based coursework that is not completed at an approved public or private school is not eligible to be added to the High School Transcript, does not change high school graduation requirements, and may not be used toward satisfaction of those requirements. A student’s expected year of graduation, or base grad year, is set upon entry into the ninth grade and advances one grade level per year whether or not the student subsequently receives home-based instruction.