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Frequently Asked Home School Questions - School Registration

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Acknowledgment, Notice of Intent -- Inspection Verification Certificate:

To obtain an "Inspection Verification Certificate" (IVC), simply mail DNPE a copy (keep originals at your home) of your most recent home school student achievement test result scores as well as student attendance records and specifically request in writing the "Inspection Verification Certificate." 

Be sure to include with your written request your home school name, its mailing address, county and chief administrator's name.  On the mailing envelope in which you are sending your request, place the words "IVC Section" on the first line of the DNPE mailing address to expedite the handling of your request when it arrives. 

This free official government certificate will state that your school is operating legally.

Any consequences for failing to register my home school?

Yes. If any of the children currently living with you are at least age 7 but not yet age 16, they must be enrolled in a legal North Carolina school (either a local public, conventional non-public or a home school registered with DNPE).

Failure to register the home school with DNPE would constitute a parental violation of the State of North Carolina compulsory attendance law since the child(ren) would not be enrolled in a legal North Carolina school.  Local public school systems are charged with the legal responsibility of compulsory attendance law enforcement.  G.S. 115C- 379 , 380 and 15A-1340.23 speak to the enforcement and penalty, if the parent/guardian is prosecuted by local officials and successfully convicted. 

In addition, students under age 18 may not obtain/retain/re-acquire a valid North Carolina driver's permit/license if he/she is not enrolled in a legal North Carolina school. 

Approval or acceptance of the Notice of Intent -- Is it automatic?

There is no approval, disapproval, certification or licensing process involved. You are notifying the State of North Carolina of your intent to establish a home school, not asking for state approval to do so. As long as all questions on the Notice of Intent form are answered and credible high school diploma evidence is submitted with it for all adults named on lines 8 and 9 of the form, acceptance of your completed Notice of Intent form is automatic. 

Formal receipt acknowledgment of your Notice of Intent will be sent to you via the US Postal Service. 

Must I register my home school in North Carolina even though my primary residency is in another state?

Yes, provided the student is of North Carolina compulsory attendance age (at least age 7, but not yet age 16) and provided the student will be staying within the State of North Carolina's geographical borders for more than 30 consecutive days during the traditional nine month school year. 

Claiming a primary residency out-of-state does not exempt the parent of such a student from North Carolina's compulsory attendance law.

Also, see The "Home School Guidebook section Out of State Travel."

Non-diploma holding parents/guardians:

For parents/guardians living in households where there are no resident adults who possess a high school diploma (or its equivalent), there are two options available to legally have their children (of compulsory attendance age) home educated. 

First, the parent/guardian may contact the GED (General Equivalency Diploma) test coordinator at a local community college and make arrangements to acquire a GED (or to enroll in the Adult High School Diploma Program there).  The GED usually costs less than $10 but takes about 6 - 10 weeks to obtain.

Second, the parent/guardian might consider approaching the chief administrator of an existing legal home school and ask if he/she would consider enrolling the child in that home school to be taught weekdays on a regular basis by that parent in this already established home school.

See the "Home School Guidebook section Home School Academics ."

Numbers, School Code:  Are they assigned to schools?

Yes, but only for the purposes of filing the school's Annual Online Reports and in using DNPE's forthcoming additional interactive online services. Otherwise, all filing and referencing of North Carolina home schools by the State of North Carolina is only by school name and county.

Re-opening a home school:

If the home school has been closed for less than five years; the home school chief administrator lives in the same county; and the same previous home school name is used, complete the Notice of Intent form again (Be sure to answer "Yes" to the question on line 1 of the Notice of Intent form); and send it to DNPE. Including your high school diploma evidence will not be necessary this time except for any new names that may have now been added on the Chief Administrator or Provider lines. 

If the home school will be operating in a different county from its previous location, answer "Yes" to the question on line 1 and then enter there the previous county's name. Then on line 2, enter the current county.

If the home school has been closed for five years or more, submit your high school diploma evidence with it again for the adults you are now listing on the Chief Administrator and Provider lines of this Notice of Intent form.

Required annually?

No.  If you are continuing to operate a currently registered home school from year to year, do not send a Notice of Intent again -- even if you are adding another child. 

In its files, DNPE automatically retains your school from year to year as a currently active one -- provided you have not terminated the school and you have notified the division immediately about any changes in the school's address.

Required for 5/6 year olds?

No. If your child will not turn age seven during the current school year (which runs from July 1 through the following June 30), you will not file a Notice of Intent with DNPE for this school term. 

At any time, you may simply go by the child's current conventional school; complete/sign the necessary paperwork there to withdraw your child; take him/her home; and, begin home schooling the child without dealing with this or any other government office for the remainder of this school year. 

However, please note that you must officially withdraw the child from the school in which the child is currently enrolled.  Don't simply stop sending the child to school. 

Otherwise, the parent/guardian risks possible prosecution for a compulsory attendance violation.  Within 30 days preceding the child's seventh birthday, the school will need to be registered with DNPE -- by no later than the child's seventh birthday.

Required for 16/17 year olds?

Only if the student wishes to obtain/retain his/her North Carolina driver's permit/license while under age 18.  The student will then need to continue receiving academic instruction on a regular schedule and be required to take a nationally standardized achievement test each year until reaching age 18.

Required for age 18 or older students?

No.  North Carolina's home school laws are applicable only for schools enrolling students who have not yet reached their eighteenth birthday.  Do not send a Notice of Intent if the only students involved are age 18 or older.

Required for each student?

No.  Do not send a separate notice of intent form for each student.  Your one notice of intent covers all children of compulsory attendance age who live with you.  Only one notice of intent per household please.

Should I continue to send my child to school until the home school registration process has been completed?

Yes.  Otherwise, the principal of the conventional school in which the child is currently enrolled (would be attending) may order prosecution for a compulsory attendance violation. 

Consult that principal for the final answer to this question.

Why are you asking for my e-mail address?

State law does not require that you provide your e-mail address.

DNPE is transitioning to a process that allows for automation of many of its routine services. It will allow DNPE to use e-mails and secured interactive web pages to communicate with and provide business services to home school administrators.

Currently registered home school administrators who provide their e-mail address will be able to:

  • Be e-mailed each August the new Access Code for filing their Annual Online Report;
  • Schedule their own Volunteer Office Help Days and Times without calling or writing DNPE

Your e-mail address is the vital technological ingredient upon which this automated business model is built. This new online business process will save home school administrators postage; eliminate the possibility of misdelivered mail; as well as reduce frustration and long distance costs in calling DNPE.

In short, the reason for requesting your e-mail address is to improve efficiency and greatly streamline services to North Carolina's home school families. Your cooperation and assistance in helping us achieve that goal is greatly appreciated.

Withdrawals from year-round schools

During the months of May and June, if your child attends a year-round school and you now wish instead to establish a home school to educate that child during the upcoming July 1 through June 30 home school year, please time the sending of your Notice of Intent form to arrive at DNPE promptly on (but not before) July 1. File your Notice of Intent online on that date and enter the following words in upper case within the directions to your home school box (at the bottom of the online form): "PRIORITY HANDLING REQUESTED; CHILD IS CURRENTLY IN A YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL."

If you submit the Notice of Intent via mail, be sure to attach a note to it requesting priority handling because your child is currently enrolled in a year-round school.

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