Home Instruction

Contact:  Steven Shoup
Pupil Personnel Worker of Home Instruction

Application Packet:

Do I need to set up a classroom in my home?

You need to provide an educational area. This should include a desk or work area with suitable lighting and ventilation. Resource and instructional materials should be available to your child.

Must the parent be the teacher or can a tutor be hired to take care of the instruction?

COMAR regulations state that a parent or guardian who chooses to (teach his or her child at home) provide a home instruction program for his or her child shall initially sign a statement on a form prescribed by the State Department of Education. A parent or guardian has the option to teach their child(ren) directly or to arrange for instruction to be delivered by another person, ether inside or outside of the home. Regardless of the method of instruction, the parent or guardian, as the "provider", is ultimately responsible for meeting all requirements in COMAR.

Am I required to be a certified teacher?

No, not under present regulations.

How much time should be spent on instruction each day?

Generally, a minimum of five (5) hours of daily instruction, Monday through Friday, is recommended for a period of at least 36 weeks (180) days of instruction.

What areas of instruction are mandatory in my program?

Instruction in the following areas is required: Reading, English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Spelling, Art, Music, Health, Physical Education.

How often are portfolio reviews to take place?

Generally, such reviews occur two (2) times per year. There can be a maximum of three (3) reviews permitted by the bylaw each academic year.

What documentation/materials should be made available at my Portfolio Review?

Evidence of planning on your part is part of the portfolio review.  Record of attendance evaluations and or grades should also be made available.  Examples of the child's writing, workbooks, creative materials and tests must be saved for the review.  In addition, work should be dated as it is completed.

What happens if the school system personnel are dissatisfied with the home instructional program?

If there are deficiencies in the program resulting in the child not receiving a regular, thorough instructional program, the parent will be notified of this deficiency and must provide evidence within 30 days that the deficiency has been corrected. If the deficiency is not corrected, the child shall be enrolled promptly in a public or nonpublic school.

What would the process be if I should decide to place my child back in school at some future date?

Portfolio reviews for elementary/middle school students will be conducted by the school principal, PPW, and other appropriate staff. Portfolio reviews for high school credit will be conducted through the office of the Supervisor of Student Services and Special Programs.  The Supervisor or designee will recommend the awarding of credits to the CCPS high school the student will attend.  Note: Carroll County Public School oversight of your child's program does not ensure that credit will be awarded upon enrolling in school.

Will a high school diploma be issued by Carroll County Public Schools if I elect to have my child remain on a home instruction program through grade 12?

No. Maryland diplomas cannot be issued to students who are not enrolled in our school system.

Can my child take part in some aspects of the school instructional or extra-curricular programs while receiving home instruction?

No. Home instruction is an "all-or-nothing" program with the exception of Child Find services and Disability Determination services. Contact the home school for additional information.

May my child participate in the standardized testing program offered by the school system even though he/she is not enrolled?

Yes. Upon request of a parent or guardian, a child receiving home instruction may participate in the regularly scheduled standardized testing programs that are administered in the public school where the child is eligible to attend. Arrangements must be made prior to testing and the child must be brought to the assigned school by the parent. Schedules are available upon request.

Must I reapply for permission to continue home instruction each year?

A new application is not necessary. However, you are required to let us know your intent, whether to continue your program or to enroll in school. You may use an intent form or an original letter. Please address responses to Carroll County Public Schools, Pupil Personnel Worker of Home Instruction, 125 N. Court Street, Westminster, MD  21157  (410-) 386-1838.

May I use materials from the school?

The school system does not supply materials for home instruction. Parents are responsible for purchasing or creating their own curriculum materials. Parents may review curriculum guides at the Carroll County Public School Resource Center or on the Carroll County Public Schools website as a reference source.  Guides may be copied for a fee.