The Newton School Committee recognizes and respects the right of parents or guardians to educate their child(ren) at home, in accordance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 76, Section 1 and the Charles Decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Newton School Committee policies (IHBG and IHBG-R) regulating Home Schooling reflect these values.
The School Committee appreciates the personal and cultural uniqueness of each family and desires to ensure that the process by which school officials approve and review home education programs is both lawful and equitable. Therefore, the Newton Public Schools has established these procedures for home education.
Home Education Procedures
1) Parent(s) or guardian(s) planning to undertake a home education program for their child(ren) shall inform the Newton Public Schools by submitting the Notice of Intent to Pursue a Program of Home Education (link) fourteen (14) days prior to withdrawing the student from school, or by August 31 of the appropriate school year. Home education plans are approved for one year only.
2) The home education program shall be considered in an equitable, objective, and timely manner. Factors that may be considered by the superintendent or his/her designee in deciding whether or not to approve a home education proposal are:
- The academic background, life experiences and/or other qualities of those who will be instructing child(ren), as they relate to the educational program. Home educators need not be certified teachers nor have any diplomas or degrees.
- An overview of the educational program that is to include subjects and instructional materials to be used. In order to meet the specific educational needs of their child(ren), the parent(s) or guardian(s) may adjust the material to achieve the goals of the educational program without further notification to the superintendent's office.
- A statement concerning instructional hours that will be followed. Massachusetts State Law requires a minimum of 900 hours of instructional time per year for elementary students and 990 hours per year for secondary students.
- A mutually agreeable method of assessment which corresponds to the type of educational program being followed. Such assessment may include one or more of the following:
- Daily logs, journals, progress reports, portfolios or dated work samples,
- An independent report made by someone acceptable to the Superintendent or designee,
- Standardized test results,
- Consultation with the Superintendent or designee,
- Any other method agreed to by both the Superintendent and home educator(s).
3) Within one week of the ending date of the home instruction, as indicated on the home instruction application form, Newton Public Schools will mail or email the parents or legal guardian a home instruction summary form. The completed form should be returned to the NPS Office of Teaching and Learning within 30 days. This summary form must be returned before annual approval of home instruction can be made for any succeeding years.
Home education students are not enrolled in the Newton Public Schools.
Only those students who are enrolled and in regular attendance in the Newton Public Schools are eligible to participate in the interscholastic athletic program, student government, and student activities/clubs or graduate from/receive a diploma from Newton Public Schools.
Newton Public Schools is not responsible for supplying textbooks, instructional materials or access to other NPS instructional or assessment resources to home education students. This applies to any and all online, remote, or digital resources NPS makes available to students enrolled and in regular attendance in the Newton Public Schools.
However, home education students, upon written request and with the approval of the Superintendent and Principal if appropriate, may utilize library and guidance services, including testing.
Home education students are eligible for applicable special education services.