• Compulsory Attendance Ages: Between 5 and 16." (§ 7-301(a)) A written request for a 1 year exemption from mandatory attendance by a 5 year old may be filed with the local superintendent before the opening of school of the year in which the child becomes 5 years old. The local school system shall approve the request in writing within 5 days. (§ 13A.08.02-2(A)(2 and 3))
• Required Days of Instruction: 180 days (for public schools only). (§ 7-103(a))
• Required Subjects: Regular, thorough instruction in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age, including "English, math, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education. (§ 10.01.01 C(2)). This is presumed to be met by all home schoolers enrolled in a church umbrella.
• Teacher Qualifications: None.
• Standardized Tests: Testing is not mandatory. Md. Regs. Code tit. 13A§ 10.01.02.
• Home School Statute: (§ 7-301(a)) Public school attendance is not required for a child who is "otherwise receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age. According to these regulations, parents may home school under one of three options:
Option 1: Portfolio Option. This involves supervision by the public school superintendent. The home school must provide regular, thorough instruction in the required subjects (see above list) and meet the following criteria:
1. Such instruction shall be of "sufficient duration to implement the instructional program."
2. The parents must maintain a portfolio including "relevant materials such as instructional materials, reading materials, and examples of the child's writings work sheets, workbooks, creative materials, and tests."
3. The local superintendent may review the portfolio at a mutually agreeable time and place, not more than three times a year.
4. If a local superintendent determines after review of the portfolio that a child "is not receiving a regular, thorough instruction program in conformity" with the regulations, the superintendent shall notify the family of any deficiencies. The family then has 30 days to provide evidence that deficiency is remedied or they will have to cease home schooling.
5. "A local school system may not impose additional requirements for home instruction programs other than those in the regulations." Md. Regs Code tit. 13A, § 10.01.01 F
Option 2: Church Umbrella Option. This does not involve supervision by the public schools. Under this option, the child's "instruction is offered under the supervision of:"
1. A church umbrella, which is a "school or institution offering an educational program operated by a bona-fide church organization." To qualify as a "church umbrella," a church need only:
a. send a letter to the state superintendent declaring it is in compliance with the applicable requirements and is responsible for governing and operating the umbrella (§ 09.09.01 C); and
b. provide documentation that supports the bona fide church status (either proof from the IRS, or church's articles of incorporation, or evidence of traditional church practices).
2. Also, the church umbrella, must supervise the instruction with:
a. pre-enrollment conferences,
b. textbooks and lesson plan review,
c. an annual visit to the "site of instruction," and
d. periodic conferences with parents (phone conferences will satisfy).
Requirements a, b, and c may be satisfied at one time. (§ 10.01.05.A(1)). Many churches have established church umbrellas, enabling home schoolers to avoid supervision by the public school.
Option 3: State Approved School Umbrella Option. Under this option, the child's instruction is offered ... under the supervision of a nonpublic school with a certificate of approval from the State Board of Education. The supervision includes textbooks, lesson materials, and other instructional materials, or equipment to be used by the pupil and assignment of a school-based teacher to assist the home teacher to assist the pupil by issuing progress reports, marking papers, and grading tests. (§ 10.01.05 B)
• Filing and Notices: Parents must file a one-time "Notice of Consent" form prescribed by the State Department of Education at least 15 days before the home instruction program begins (the 15-day requirement is probably unenforceable). (§ 10.01.01.B(1). It does not need to be refiled annually.
Before the beginning of each subsequent school year, parents must verify whether home instruction will continue to the superintendent (Option 1) or to the umbrella (Option 2 or 3). (§ 10.01.01.B(2))
The annual verification can be oral or written. No special form is needed, and no additional information must be supplied.
Parents must notify the county or their umbrella if the child's home school "status" changes during the school year (i.e., if they stop home schooling, or switch from one option to another, or their address changes). (§ 10.01.01.B(3)
An umbrella must annually give the superintendent the names of new, continuing, and non-returning home schooled students whose instruction is (or was) under its supervision. An umbrella must notify the superintendent if a change occurs during the school year in the status of a home schooled student whose instruction is under its supervision. (§ 10.01.05.B and C)
Reference: Click Here
Maryland State High School Graduation Requirements
- English units: 4
- Math units: 3, incl. 1 unit each algebra (or higher) and geometry
- Social studies units: 3. 1 unit each in U.S. history; world history; and local, state and national government aligned with the Maryland High School Assessment for government.
- Science units: 3, incl. 1 unit biology and 2 labs. 2 lab units must be chosen from earth, life, and/or physical sciences
- P.E./Health units: 1. Notes: .5 unit each P.E. and health education
- Arts: 1. Notes: 1 unit of visual arts, music, theater, or dance, or a combination thereof
- Foreign language: Students must complete 2 units of foreign language or American Sign Language, or 2 units advanced technology education, or successfully complete a state-approved career and technology program.
- Electives units: 3 or 1. Notes: 2 units of foreign language or advanced technology ed. and 3 units in electives or 4 units by completing a state-approved career & technology program and 1 unit in electives.
- Other units: 1 unit "technology education ... that includes the application of knowledge, tools, and skills to solve practical problems and extend human capabilities." Students must also complete 2 units of foreign language or American Sign Language, or 2 units advanced technology education, or successfully complete a state-approved career and technology program. All students must complete either "75 hours of student service that includes preparation, action, and reflection components and that, at the discretion of the local school system, may begin during the middle grades; or a locally designed program in student service that has been approved by the State Superintendent of Schools."
Other diploma options: State does not offer differentiated diploma pathways. State has policy on awarding proficiency-based credit.
MD. REGS. CODE tit. 13A, § 13A.03.02.01 through 13A.03.02.12; MD. CODE ANN., EDUC. § 7-205
Important Note: State Graduation requirements are not necessarily the best guideline for homeschoolers to use. They have been included here as a guideline for what a typical public school student would need to complete in order to graduate.
A more important guideline may be the College Entrance requirements for where your student would like to attend college. While colleges have differing requirements, there are many colleges that publish requirements for homeschool graduates.
Homeschool Support Groups in Maryland
Colleges in Maryland