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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 2021-09-10T16:12:44-06:00

Because of our current backlog of home school registrations, you will NOT be penalized if you do not meet the August 1st deadline of registering your child for home school.

If you are unable to get into the original home school account to register your child for the upcoming school year, DO NOT create a duplicate account!  You will NOT be able to add your children to a new account.  Your child may ONLY be registered in the ORIGINAL account you created.  If you are having issues doing so, please submit an email to info.homeschool@state.nm.us, with a detailed account of what you are experiencing. 

Once you have created your account in the Home School System by following the New Enrollment Instructions or the Returning Enrollment Instructions, you may find the following “How To” links helpful:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. What are the requirements to operate a home school?
      • Be the student’s parent or legal guardian
      • Affirm that the person instructing your child in the home has at least a high school diploma or GED
      • Keep a copy of the instructor’s diploma or degree in your files
      • Provide instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science
      • Keep a copy of your child’s immunization records or approved waiver form in your files
      • Notify the NMPED within 30 days of establishing the home school
      • Renew the home school establishment every year on or before August 1st by submitting written or electronic notification to the state
  2. How do I notify NMPED?
    The online NMPED Home School System (https://homeschool.ped.state.nm.us ) allows parents/guardians to create accounts and enroll their child(ren) for home schooling. This must be done as soon as possible and no later than 30 days after withdrawing your child(ren) from school.

  3. Do I need to submit a letter of intent?
    The online Home School System replaces the written Letter of Intent.
  4. Do I need to notify NMPED every year or just once?
    If you continue to home school, you must re-enroll your child(ren) by August 1st each year.
  5. What support will I get from the local school or NMPED for home schooling?
    Parents who elect to home school their children are solely responsible for choosing appropriate, grade-level curriculum in all required subjects. The schools and NMPED are not able to recommend or endorse specific programs or provide materials and services.
  6. Where can I find additional information and support?
    You may network with other home school operators in your community. Search the internet for “home schooling in New Mexico” or “home school associations” in your area.
  7. Can my home schooled child take classes part-time and participate in sports in the local school district?
    The local public school district is required to allow home school students to participate in sports and extracurricular activities if they meet certain requirements. Participating part-time in courses at the local school is at the discretion of the district. If the district has a policy that allows home school students to participate, your child would need to enroll with his/her/their assigned STARS ID – and would likely be considered a part-time student, funded by the state proportionately. For sports and extracurricular activities, please contact the New Mexico Activities Association at 505-821-1887.
  8. Where can I get books and/or curriculum?

      • The state does not provide materials to home schools. You may purchase books or materials that you feel are suitable to teach your child.
      • Your curriculum does not have to be approved by the school or NMPED.
      • You may request to borrow books from your local public schools, but they are not obligated to honor your request.
      • You may borrow books from your local library.
  9. Do we submit curriculum or lesson plans to the state?
    You do not need to submit curricula or lesson plans to the state, however, you should keep your own records, including attendance and immunization records.

  10. How does my child participate in state-mandated assessments?
    Students who are home schooled are not required to participate in the state-mandated assessments. You may ask your local school district if your child can participate, but the district may refuse.
  11. How old must my child be if I want to home school him or her?
    You can home school your child at any age. However, state law requires all students ages 5–18 to attend school—either public, private, parochial, state institution, or home school—and provides criminal penalties for parents who refuse to comply with the law. That means that once your child turns age 5, you must officially notify the state that you are a home school operator. You must also re-notify the state annually by August 1st as long as you choose to home school, or until your child turns 18 or passes the GED.
  12. Can I home school someone else’s child whether I’m related to them or not?
    New Mexico state law requires the home school operator to be the parent or legal guardian. Someone else may provide instruction in a given subject, but the parent or guardian is still considered the operator of the home school, and is responsible for notification, record keeping, and for ensuring that the person providing instruction has at least a high school diploma or GED.
  13. I enrolled my child in an online accredited school. Do I have to register for home school?
    No. However, if your child is not attending a recognized school in NM and/or if the “school” is a private online program that provides curriculum, you must register for home school.
  14. If I want to enroll my child in an online accredited or public virtual school (rather than a home school) what are my options?
    Here is a list of NM public virtual/online schools  below. Please contact these schools for enrollment requirements and availability.

    Pecos Connections Academy  (public charter school)https://www.connectionsacademy.com/pecos-virtual-school

     

    New Mexico Connections Academy (public charter school)https://www.connectionsacademy.com/new-mexico-online-school

     

    eAcademy (a magnet school under Albuquerque Public Schools)https://www.aps.edu/schools/schools/ecademy

     

    Rio Rancho Cyber Academy (a middle/high school under Rio Rancho)https://www.rrps.net/o/cyber-academy

     

    OTHER PART TIME OPTION
    New Mexico Virtual Course Consortium (contact your) district and/or the providing LEA for eligibility to enroll)https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/new-mexico-virtual-course-consortium/

     

  15. Is remote learning still an option if I don’t want to send my child back to school?
    The PED has closely aligned its COVID-Safe Practices with CDC guidance and consulted with state health experts to ensure schools are as safe as possible and that we can offer the greatest amount of in-person learning as possible. For the coming school year, the PED is not requiring districts or charter schools to provide a remote learning option for the upcoming school year, but families should check with their local district for options.
  16. If the virus makes a surge this fall, will I have the option to put my child into remote learning after the school year starts?
    Parents always have the option to move their children into remote learning at any point of the school year by using the handful of virtual charter schools available in the state. Please check your local district for options they will have available, either through established virtual programs or partnerships with other districts via the New Mexico Virtual Course Consortium.
  17. How will my child graduate if he or she is home schooled?
    A student who is home schooled may graduate in one the following ways: A. New Mexico Diploma. i. Transfer back to public school prior to graduation and complete the state’s graduation requirements for a New Mexico high school diploma.  Please keep in mind that state law provides that for purposes of transferring to a public school, acceptance of credits earned through home study courses is determined by the policy of the local school board or the governing council of a charter school.  In other words, you child may be required to demonstrate competency via other methods, such as assessments; OR ii.  Starting at age 16, the student may take the test to earn his/her/their GED. For more information on the GED Testing Program, please go to: http://ped.state.nm.us/ped/GED_index.html B. Non-New Mexico Diploma/High School Equivalence Certificate.  Graduation by the parent/legal guardian; OR
    ii. Graduation through a correspondence course, a distance learning school, or home school program purchased by the parent.  Depending upon whether or not the school/program is accredited, this type of diploma may not be recognized by a postsecondary institution, so examine this option carefully.  As with purchasing any type of goods or services, consumers need to make informed choices.  You may wish to check the Better Business Bureau for the state in which the business/school operates.
  18. How will my child receive credit for the school year if he/she returns to public/private school in the future?
      • If you decide to stop home schooling, please dis-enroll by logging into your NMPED Home School System account (from the Parent menu, select Disenroll) and then complete registration at the public/private school. The school should ask for evidence of home schooling. You can print a letter of verification by going to the Parent menu and selecting ‘view/print enrollments’.
      • For elementary and middle school students, the school/district may ask for evidence of attendance, immunization records, and material covered, so keep good records. Your child will likely be placed with their age-appropriate peers.
      • For high school students, it is a bit more complicated. Please contact the local school district, as it is their responsibility to determine and assign credit. If you are paying for an accredited program, you should confirm that your child(ren) will be provided an official transcript with grades and credits earned. Please check with the district to be sure that those grades will be accepted. The school may have other requirements for students to demonstrate competency in order to receive course credit and meet graduation requirements.
  19. Is my child, who is home schooled, eligible for the state’s legislative lottery scholarship for college?
    Yes. A new law passed by the New Mexico Legislature in 2021 makes the lottery scholarship available to home schooled students. For more information, please see https://hed.state.nm.us/financial-aid/scholarships/legislative-lottery
  20. What are the laws for operating a home school in NM?
    “Home schools” are defined as the operation of a home study program of instruction by the parent or guardian of a school-age person that provides a basic academic educational program, including reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science. The law requires any person operating a home school to notify NMPED annually; maintain records of disease immunization or a waiver of that requirement (see http://www.immunizenm.org/sched.shtml); and provide instruction by a person possessing at least a high school diploma or GED. Home schools are to be operated out of one’s home. PED has the duty to enforce legal requirements of home schools. Upon finding that a home school is not in compliance with the law, PED can order a student of such a school to transfer to a public or private school. The primary statutes and responsibilities are available at Homeschool-Statutes.pdf (state.nm.us).
  21. I heard about a home school “school” in my town. Can I register my child(ren) for home school so that they can attend that school?
    The Public School Code defines “home schools” as the operation of a home study program of instruction by the parent or guardian of a school-age person that provides a basic academic educational program, including reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science. The law requires any person operating a home school to notify the NMPED within 30 days of the establishment of the home school, and by August 1 of each subsequent year the school operates; maintain records of disease immunization or a waiver of that requirement; and provide instruction by a person possessing at least a high school diploma or GED.
    The body of law addressing home schools makes several things clear: home school students are to be treated as much like public school students as possible; they are to be operated out of one’s home; and home schools operate under the oversight and supervision of the NMPED. Ad hoc programs purporting to operate schools out of uninspected commercial space will not have been reviewed for satisfaction of e-occupancy and statewide adequacy standards, which exist for the protection of the health and safety of students. Home schools are not private schools, and may not operate as such. Further, the NMPED’s reentry guidelines, promulgated to address the current COVID-19 public health emergency, are applicable to all public, private, and home schools in New Mexico. Instructing unrelated groups of students via physical attendance at unregulated premises is entirely contrary to those guidelines.
    NMPED has the duty to enforce legal requirements of home schools, and upon finding that a home school is not in compliance with the law, can order a student of such a school to transfer to a public or private school.

For other questions about home schools, please contact the Options for Parents and Families Division at Info.HomeSchool@state.nm.us.

 

Updated: September 8, 2021

Page last updated September 10, 2021