Washington state law recognizes the desire of some parents and families to seek a home-based instructional option for their children.
Below are some of the areas to consider when looking into homeschool as an option. For more details, please see the Home-based (Homeschool) Instruction Overview below.
- Families must declare their intent to homeschool by September 15th each school year or within two weeks of the beginning of an academic term
- The expectations for what homeschooling looks like are established by law.
- This includes instructional hours, qualifications of the instructor, and identifying and accessing curriculum.
- Students must have their academic progress tracked and engage in a standardized assessment annually.
There are organizations that provide support to families who choose to homeschool. Mount Vernon School District has Skagit Academy which offers a homeschool parent partnership that supports homeschool families with certificated teachers, access to curriculum, and monitoring of academic progress. There is also the newly opened Aspire Academy for students in grades 6-12.
Skagit Academy has offered a homeschool parent partnership for many years. If your family is interested in a long term remote learning option K-8, this is a supportive option for you and your student. Skagit Academy Online is an option for students in grades 9-12.
Mount Vernon Schools is also offering our new Aspire Academy as a remote learning option for students in 6-12. To better understand the differences between these two options, please review the chart below or call 360-428-6206.
Skagit Academy (SA)
Home-based Learning Partnership
Remote Instructional Support
|Skagit Academy Online (SAO)||
|Grade Levels Served||K-12||For the 2020-21 school year, SA has openings for K-8 enrollment into our home-learning (remote) education support model.||Grades 9-12||For the 2020-21 school year, grades 6-12.|
|Who teaches the student?||Parent/Guardian is responsible for the child’s educational program||
A local, certificated teacher partners with the parent/
guardian to identify the areas of study (i.e. Math, Science, Language Arts, etc.). SA teacher supports the student and parent on only those courses identified by the parent and is included on a student’s learning plan.
|Online courses are taught by certificated teachers through our online course provider partner. A local, certificated SAO teacher supports the students in a coaching/student advocate model.||Local, certificated Aspire Academy teachers teach students using self-paced, online curriculum and off-line, student-centered project-based learning.|
|Is the student homeschooled or a Mount Vernon School District (MVSD) public school student?||
WA Home-based instruction laws apply.
|Full-time SA students are MVSD public school students. Part-time SA students are both MVSD students and homeschooled students.||MVSD Student||MVSD Student|
|Who provides the curriculum?||The parent/guardian is responsible for all purchases of curricular materials of their choosing.||SA teacher advisor and parent meet to select hard copy curriculum and resources (hard copy and digital) from our large assortment of district approved materials. There is no cost to the family. Parents may also borrow materials from our Curriculum Resource Center throughout the year.||Online courses are provided at no cost to the family.||Online courses and resources for project-based work are provided at no cost to the family.|
|Can we use faith-based curriculum?||Curriculum choices are completely at the parent’s discretion.||For full-time SA students, faith-based curriculum cannot be supported by our teachers. For part-time students, our teachers cannot support faith-based courses, but the family is free to use materials of their choosing for the work that is not part of the student’s SA learning plan.||No||No|
|Do students need to take the state-mandated tests (in required grades)?||State testing is optional and may be selected by the parent to fulfill the annual testing requirement for homeschooled students.||Students enrolled in SA at 80% or more are required to take the state tests.||Yes||Yes|
|What courses are available?||The parent/guardian determines the student’s course of study.||The SA teacher advisor works with the parent to choose core and electives classes for the student and work together to select appropriate materials for those selected courses.||All core subject areas and elective options.||All core subject areas and elective options.|
|Do I need to submit a “Declaration of Intent to Provide Home-based Instruction” Form to the school district?||Yes, for students ages 8 & older by September 15th of each school year or within 2 weeks of the beginning of any public school term (ex. trimester, semester)||
Full-time SA students – No
Part-time SA students - Yes
Please review the Home-Based Instruction Overview below for more detailed information and we also encourage you to visit the useful links below.
- Washington OSPI Home-Based Instruction
- Washington Homeschool Organization
- Home-Based Instruction Declaration of Intent
Home-based (Homeschool) Instruction Overview
*Parent or Guardian may be used interchangeably in the following guidance
Washington state law RCW 28A.225.010(4) defines instruction as home-based if it consists of planned and supervised instructional and related educational activities including curriculum and instruction in the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation of art and music.
RCW 28A.225.010(4) requires parents to be qualified for home-based instruction by one of the following methods:
1) Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and are supervised by a certificated person. A certificated person for purposes of this chapter and chapter 28A.200 RCW shall be a person certified under chapter 28A.410 RCW. For purposes of this section, "supervised by a certificated person" means: The planning by the certificated person and the parent of objectives consistent with this subsection; 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 for purposes of this subsection; or
2) Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and who has either earned forty-five college-level quarter credit hours or its equivalent in semester hours or has completed a course in home-based instruction at a postsecondary institution or a vocational-technical institute; or
3) Provided by 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.
Instructional Hours - Requirements
RCW 28A.195.010 requires an annual minimum number of instructional program hours as 450 hours of instruction for kindergarten students and an annual average of 1,000 hours for grades 1 through 12.
The duties of the parent providing home-based instruction include:
1) File with the school district a signed Declaration of Intent to Provide Home-Based Instruction form that he or she is planning to cause his or her child to receive home-based instruction. The statement shall include the name and age of the child, shall specify whether a certificated person will be supervising the instruction, and shall be written in a format prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction. Each parent shall file the statement by September 15th of the school year or within two weeks of the beginning of any public school quarter, trimester, or semester with the superintendent of the public school district within which the parent resides or the district that accepts the transfer, and the student shall be deemed a transfer student of the nonresident district. Parents may apply for transfer under RCW 28A.225.220;
2) 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. At the time of a transfer to a public school, the superintendent of the local school district in which the child enrolls may require a standardized achievement test to be administered and shall have the authority to determine the appropriate grade and course level placement of the child after consultation with parents and review of the child's records; and
3) 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. The state board of education shall not require these children to meet the student learning goals, learn the state learning standards, or take the assessments under RCW 28A.655.070. 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.