Home Schooling in Tennessee

HOME SCHOOLING IN TENNESSEE

Parents may home school their own children pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §49-6-3050 by registering with their local education agency (LEA). Parents choosing this educational option must meet specified educational requirements, test the child and report attendance to the local education agency at the end of the year.

 By authority of the same statute, parents may also home school their own children by affiliating with and registering with a church related school defined by Tenn. Code Ann. §49-50-801.  If a parent is exercising this educational option by home schooling a child who is in grade 9-12 they must also register with the LEA they would otherwise be attending.  For parents exercising this option, with the exception of grades 9-12, the testing requirements are determined by the church related school.  Parents exercising this option for children in grades 9-12 must also meet certain educational requirements.  Church-related schools must determine what recording-keeping requirements are in place for these parents.  However, church-related schools must keep daily attendance reports which pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §49-6-3007(d) shall be open to inspection at all reasonable times, to the director of schools of the system in which the school is located or to the director of school’s authorized representative.


ADDITIONAL EDUCATIONAL OPTION

There is an additional educational option allowing parents to teach their children at home in Tennessee that does not fall under the definition of “home school” in Tenn. Code Ann. §49-6-3050.  Sometimes, the phrase “home school” is still used for this educational option and this causes confusion.  This educational option and its requirements and obligations for parents and schools are described below for your information.

Parents in Tennessee may enroll their children in a church-related school, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-50-801.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-50-801 and State Board of Education Rule 0520-7-2-.05. govern the establishment and maintenance of church-related schools.  Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §49-50-801, these schools must be operated by a denominational, parochial or other bona fide church organization and the organization must be accredited by one of the agencies listed in Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-50-801(a).  Alternatively, an organization not accredited by one of those agencies may seek approval directly from the State Board of Education as a Category IV school. 

CATEGORY 4 CHURCH RELATED SCHOOLS

 Are those schools and/or programs which are considered "church-related" (does not mean you have to attend a church or this program is through a church).  Church -related schools are required to meet the standards of accredidation or membership through an organization similiar to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

 Category 4 Church-related schools/programs are often referred to as umbrella schools.   The parent/guardian will use the curriculum set by the school/program enrolled in.  Verification is needed before a student can be withdrawn from public school.


TEXTBOOKS

Robertson County Schools' textbooks are not for sale.  However, parents wishing to purchase books used by Robertson County Schools  may contact Tennessee Book Company at (800)456-0418 or (615)793-5040.

TESTING 

For students enrolled in an Independent home school program, the student is required to be tested for placement or grade/class determination upon returning to public school.

 Independent home school students are required to take the same state board approved secure standardized tests required of public school students in grade 3 (TCAP Construncted Response Assessment Test - consist of reading/language arts and math,  grades 5 (including writing assessessment), 7 and 9.

If a home school student in grade 9 is taking a course for which there is a state board approved secure standardized end of course test, that student us required to take that end of couse exam. 

Students enrolled in Category IV Church related programs are exempt from testing requirements, except for those upon returning to public school for grade placement.

 REQUIREMENTS FOR INDEPENDENT HOME SCHOOL

  • Parents of K-12 students must present their GED or High School Diploma
  •  Student will have 180 days attendance/instruction total for the school year.  Home school students do not get to count snow days.
  • An attendance calendar will be submitted to the Office of Student Services by June 30th of each school year. 
  •  Four hours per day minimum devoted for academic study.
  •  Independent students must be tested in grades 3, 5, 7 and 9. 
  •  Independent students in grades 9-12 must notify the LEA whether a college prep or general course of education will be taught.  Students will take the same end of course tests
  • Parents may choose to use any curricular progam.
  • Proof of immunization, birth certificate and social security card must be presented and kept on file.
  • Parents must register every year.  Registration begins on July 1st of each year.

 
DIPLOMA ISSUANCE

Independent Home School parent creates the diploma and is recognized by Tennessee state and local government.  Private entities are not required to accept.  The diploma is also accepted at all state universities.

Church related program and satellite online programs will issue diploma to student.


DRIVER'S LICENSE

Independent Home School:

  •  A letter from the Superintendent’s Office in the county/city of the applicant’s legal residence, confirming that the parent has registered their “Intent to Home School” form with the school system.
  • LEAs provide this letter ONLY for “independent” home school students


Non-Public Schools located in TN (with access to Form SF1010):

  •  Non-public school completes a Certificate of Compulsory School Attendance (Form SF1010) and the student takes the original, completed form to the Driver Service Center. This form is only valid for thirty (30) days from the date of signing by the school official.


On-line Schools located outside of TN (or approved private or church schools in Tennessee without access to the SF1010 forms):

  • Statement from the school principal or headmaster on official school letterhead specifically confirming that the applicant is not truant and is making satisfactory progress in their school.
  • Copies and faxes cannot be accepted.

 

     Students who transfer from Categories 4 and 5 schools back to public school must be tested to determine grade level and number of credits.  


 Please call Cathy Watkins in the Office of Student Services should you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding the home school programs.



  • 800 M. S. Couts Blvd, Suite 2, Springfield, TN 37172
  • 615-384-5588
Robertson County Schools