Section 1327.1 of the Pennsylvania School Code provides for a home education program which is designed to permit a parent, guardian or legal custodian ("supervisor") who has a high school diploma or its equivalent to conduct a home education program for his or her child or children.
Prior to the commencement of a home education program and annually thereafter between July 1 and Aug 1, the supervisor must submit a notarized affidavit to the Superintendent of the school district. In addition to the notarized affidavit, the parent, guardian or legal custodian must attach: 1) educational objectives for the subjects to be taught, 2) evidence (records or a letter from the physician) that the child or children have been immunized as required by School Code Sec. 1303(a) and 3) evidence (records or a letter from the physician) that the child or children have received medical services required for students of the child’s or children’s age or grade level, or religious exemption for these two requirements.
In addition, for any student who has been identified as needing special education services, the program must be approved by a teacher with a valid certificate from the Commonwealth to teach special education or a licensed clinical or certified school psychologist, and written notification of such approval will need to be submitted with the notarized affidavit.
In order to demonstrate that appropriate education is occurring, the supervisor of the home education program shall provide and maintain on file the following documentation for each student enrolled in the home education program. The portfolio and the annual written evaluation listed below shall be provided to the District Superintendent at the conclusion of each school year.
1) A portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio shall consist of a log, made contemporaneously with the instruction, which designates by title the reading materials used, samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student and in grades three, five and eight results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests in reading/language arts and mathematics or the results of Statewide tests administered in these grade levels. At the discretion of the supervisor, the portfolio may include the results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests for other subject areas or grade levels. The supervisor shall ensure that the nationally normed standardized tests or the statewide tests shall not be administered by the child's parent or guardian.
The Department has approved the following nationally normed standardized tests for use by home education programs:
1. California Achievement Test
2. Comprehensive Testing Program (CTPIV)
3. Iowa Test of Basic Skills
4. Metropolitan Achievement Test
5. Peabody Achievement Individual Test – Revised Version
6. Stanford Achievement Test
7. Terra Nova
8. Woodcock Johnson Revised Tests of Achievement III
2) An annual written evaluation of the student's educational progress as determined by a licensed clinical or school psychologist or a teacher certified by the Commonwealth or by a nonpublic school teacher or administrator shall be provided with the student’s portfolio. Any such nonpublic teacher or administrator shall have at least two years of teaching experience in a Pennsylvania public or nonpublic school within the last ten years. The evaluation shall also be based on an interview of the child as well as a review of the portfolio, and shall certify whether or not an appropriate education is occurring. At the request of the supervisor, persons with other qualifications may conduct the evaluation with the prior consent of the district of residence superintendent. In no event shall the evaluator be the supervisor or their spouse.
A teacher or administrator who evaluates a portfolio at the elementary level (grades kindergarten through six) shall have at least two years of experience in grading any of the following subjects: English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; and civics.
A teacher or administrator who evaluates a portfolio at the secondary level (grades seven through twelve) shall have at least two years of experience in grading any of the following subjects: English, to include language, literature, speech, reading and composition; science, to include biology, chemistry and physics; geography; social studies, to include economics, civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; foreign language; and mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra, trigonometry, calculus and geometry.