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In May 2003, Governor John Baldacci signed into law a complete overhaul of Maine's homeschool regulations. Since then, the law has provided clarity and security to homeschooling families throughout Maine.
Under the law, those wishing to begin homeschooling a child (who has reached his or her 6th birthday or who has not yet reached his or her 17th birthday) for the first time in Maine must file a written notice of intent* within the period of 10 days before and 10 days after the beginning of the child's home instruction program. This applies to a child removed from school to be homeschooled at any point during the school year, or to a child who moved into Maine at any point during the school year. If the child is currently enrolled in a public or private school, it is advisable (though not required) to file the notice of intent—or at least give the school informal notice—before the child is withdrawn.
The notice of intent must be filed with the local school superintendent of your school administrative unit (you can find this address at the website for your town office), who will share that notice with the Commissioner of Education at the Maine Department of Education in Augusta. It must include: the full name, signature, and address of the parent or guardian, the full name and age of the student, the date home instruction will or did begin, a statement of assurance that instruction will be provided for at least 175 days annually and will cover the following subjects: English and language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, health education, library skills, fine arts, Maine studies (in at least one grade between grades 6 and 12); and that the student(s) will demonstrate proficiency in the use of the computer (in one grade between grades 7 and 12). A statement of assurance that the parents will submit a year-end assessment.
Each subsequent year, by September 1 the family must file a "subsequent year" letter with the local school administrative unit. The letter must state whether the student's home instruction program will continue. It should be signed by the parent or guardian, and include the parent or guardian's full name and address, and, of course, the child's full name. The family must enclose a copy of the previous year's annual assessment results for the child.
Both the one-time notice of intent and the letter each subsequent year should be clear and legible, or you may be inconvenienced by an official contacting you for clarification. The law requires you to keep copies of all items that must be submitted until the homeschool program concludes. (It is advisable to keep them longer). They must be made available to the commissioner upon request.
When mailing documents to the school administrative unit, we strongly recommend using certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can prove that you sent the required documents if that ever becomes necessary. Carefully file the green postal receipts.
The process is as straightforward as that! Please Contact HOME if you have further questions or concerns.
* CAUTION: HOME notice and subsequent letter of intent forms are fully in compliance with Maine law. Please use these forms. The online and printable forms available at the Maine Department of Education's Home Instruction website page exceed the requirements of the law! In order to preserve homeschool freedoms, do not use forms that exceed Maine law. Read more here.
Please Note: The information provided on this page should not be taken as legal advice.