Homeschooling laws can change, so be sure to check the Utah Department of Education website for updates.
Are you ready to start homeschooling in Utah? You may have many questions about topics like what you need to do to begin, what recordkeeping and testing is required, and how you need to interact with your local school district. You will want to start by understanding Utah homeschool law. You may feel overwhelmed as you start this process, but there are resources available and other homeschoolers who have already succeeded on this adventure!
Here is some information on Utah homeschool requirements to get you started:
Utah Homeschool Law
According to Utah Code 53G-6-202, “Except as provided in Section 53G-6-204 or 53G-6-702, the parent of a school-age child shall enroll and send the school-age child to a public or regularly established private school.” Utah Code 53G-6-201 establishes that “school-age child” refers to “a minor who is at least six years old but younger than 18 years old and is not emancipated.”
In accordance with Utah Code 53G-6-204, “A local school board shall excuse a school-age child from attendance, if the school-age child’s parent files a signed and notarized affidavit with the school-age child’s school district of residence, as defined in Section 53G-6-302, that the school-age child will attend a home school and the parent assumes sole responsibility for the education of the school-age child, except to the extent the school-age child is dual enrolled in a public school as provided in Section 53G-6-702.”
Note that “while the Utah State Board of Education can provide information regarding state policies, home school jurisdiction falls under the local school district” (Utah State Board of Education). “The curriculum, assessment, selection of home school instruction, and the time and place of instruction are all the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian” (Utah State Board of Education).
What do I need to be eligible to be a homeschool parent?
According to Utah Code 53G-6-204, a local school board may not “require credentials for individuals providing home school instruction.” The homeschool exemption applies “regardless of whether a parent provides education instruction to the parent’s child alone or in cooperation with other parents similarly exempted under this section or the parent makes payment for educational services the parent’s child receives.”
Do I need to notify the school district of my intent to homeschool my child?
Yes! “Parents/Guardians shall submit a signed and notarized affidavit to the school age child’s school district of residence, stating that the child will attend home school and acknowledging the sole responsibility for the education of the school age minor(s). The affidavit is available at the school district of residence offices” (Utah State Board of Education).
“School Boards excusing minors from attendance as provided by the statute, shall issue a certificate stating that the minor student is excused from attendance during the current school year and on an annual basis thereafter. Once the affidavit has been submitted, with all required information, the attendance exemption certificate must be provided to parent(s) within 30 days” (Utah State Board of Education).
Per Utah Code 53G-6-204, “A signed and notarized affidavit filed in accordance with Subsection (2)(a) shall remain in effect as long as the school-age child attends a home school and the school district where the affidavit was filed remains the school-age child’s district of residence.”
What educational options are available to my homeschooler?
According to the Utah State Board of Education, the school or district, at its discretion, may make textbooks, assessments, and/or resource materials available to homeschool parents. Further, “if an (elementary) home schooled student wants to participate in “an academic activity” for a portion of the school day or on a regular basis, the parent should contact the school and arrange for the student’s attendance. For the child’s safety and for the school’s accountability, the school may request parent’s contact information and additional emergency contact information prior to the child’s participation. If the academic program or activity includes field trips, parent(s) may be asked to accompany the student, at the school’s discretion.”
If a “homeschooled student wants to be dually enrolled (enrollment in public school for part of the school day or for a specific school class or activity),” the parent must still complete the affidavit for home school instruction. The school should then explain “that the child is welcome to attend, but that the schedule may change from time to time without advance notice to parents. It is unlikely that a child can participate in the class every day at exactly the same time. It is the responsibility of the parent to be aware of the school’s schedule. Both parents and teachers should be flexible and cooperative” (Utah State Board of Education).
A homeschooled student may be enrolled in more than one public school (i.e., an online school and a high school) “as long as the state funding amount, or weighted pupil units (WPU), is not exceeded” (Utah State Board of Education).
Utah Homeschool Requirements
Even though Utah does not highly regulate homeschooling, there are some Utah homeschool requirements you must satisfy when you homeschool:
- Begin homeschooling by age 6.
- File the required signed and notarized affidavit to begin home school instruction.
- Stay current with homeschooling laws and requirements.
Do I need to administer testing to my homeschooler?
No! “A local school board may not require standardized or other testing of home school students” (Utah Code 53G-6-204).
What records do I need to keep when I homeschool my child?
According to the Utah State Board of Education, “A local school board may not require a parent of the homeschooled minor to maintain records of instruction or attendance.” The school district is limited in that it may only “request additional reasonable information from a parent for purposes of exemption for home schooling. The requested information should be adequate to verify the identity of the student and may include such information as parent(s)’ names, phone numbers, street address, children’s date of birth, other reasonable information that allows the school/school district to confirm the student’s identity and eligibility for public school attendance.”
Although there is essentially no required recordkeeping, we recommend you do some personal recordkeeping to provide verification of education in the event you would need to show some form of educational proof to the state or other legal entities or to prepare for re-entry into public school or postsecondary pathways. This includes the following:
- Immunization records
- Lists of texts and workbooks used
- Student schoolwork samples and/or portfolios
- Test and evaluation results
- Correspondence with school officials
You may also be able to find more information on Utah homeschool requirements through your local school district.
Other Utah Homeschool Policies
Once you make sure that you are following Utah homeschool law and meeting Utah homeschool requirements, here are some other things you need to know:
Can my homeschooled child participate in extracurricular activities offered by the public school?
According to the Utah State Board of Education, “schools should be accommodating” when it comes to requests for homeschool students to participate in public school activities (i.e., school dances).
“Students may participate in any co-curricular or extracurricular activity in the public school, subject to compliance with the same rules and requirements that apply to a full-time student’s participation in the activity […]. The student will not be required to enroll in additional public school courses, other than the classes required for participation in the activity (e.g. participation in a chorus class may require child to be enrolled in 6th period Concert Choir; varsity wrestling may require a 1 period weight training class)” (Utah State Board of Education).
What if I want to re-enroll my child in public school after homeschooling?
Contact your local school district for information on re-enrolling your child in public school after homeschooling.
What are my child’s postsecondary options after homeschooling?
“Upon the request of a parent, a local school board shall identify the knowledge, skills, and competencies a student is recommended to attain by grade level and subject area to assist the parent in achieving college and career readiness through homeschooling” (Utah Code 53G-6-204). As you help your child plan for after homeschooling, you may want to contact colleges and universities, organizations, and/or branches of the military to find out about admissions requirements.
See the Welcome to Home School page on the Utah State Board of Education’s website for even more information on homeschooling in Utah.
Connect With Local Homeschoolers
Remember, too, that you are not alone. You should connect with local homeschoolers from your state, who can help you with Utah homeschool law and Utah homeschool requirements and offer you all kinds of practical advice and suggestions. They can give you guidance on everything from curriculum to daily schedules to recordkeeping, and they may be able to share information about local resources, support groups, and field trips. Click the image below to find Utah Homeschool Groups by county.