Have you been contacted by your school district regarding your notification to homeschool for the coming school year? You are not alone. Many homeschoolers are receiving contacts from school officials regarding use of state forms.
School superintendents and designees are continuing to erroneously demand use of the state's online or paper form as a means of homeschool notification. The law does not require use of a particular form as long as the required information is included in the notification. Once you have submitted the required information, your job is done! No other communication is necessary. Please read more about why you should not use state forms and the common misconceptions: https://www.homeschoolersofmaine.org/the-law/letters-of-intent/using-doe-forms/.
If you choose to use a form, use a HOME or HSLDA form, and notify as you always have in the past. You will have fully complied with the law by filing the traditional way. Remember to send them by certified mail, and keep copies of your mail receipts and forms in a safe place. If you are new to homeschooling and the notification process, read more here: https://www.homeschoolersofmaine.org/the-law/steps-to-comply/.
Many school districts are insisting that they need more information, so that they can enter it all into the state's portal. The law does not require the Department of Education or your local superintendent to file and keep your information or enter it into their portal once they receive it. You are simply required to NOTIFY and submit assessment results, if applicable. That's it.
Any communication with officials should be in writing. If you receive a phone call, request that they contact you by email instead. Save all communications. If you are an HSLDA member, send these communications to them.
The Maine Department of Education's overreach (as well as the compulsory school attendance law change to age 6) is currently presenting challenges to homeschoolers. HSLDA membership is highly recommended. You will want to have have good counsel and protection, if it becomes necessary.
You can join HOME at any level to take advantage of our HSLDA group discount membership. Find out more here: https://www.homeschoolersofmaine.org/join/become-part-of-the-mission/. HOME's HSLDA group discount number is 291046 and our group name is Homeschoolers of Maine. Find HSLDA membership info here: https://www.homeschoolersofmaine.org/the-law/letters-of-intent/using-doe-forms/.