What Can the School Require Homeschooling Families to Submit?

What Can the School Require Homeschooling Families to Submit?

“Can the school require me to provide that information?”
“Do I have to file that form?”
“Is that a legal mandate?”

Homeschool Iowa receives questions like these all year long – but especially at back-to-school time. 

One of the many services we provide is assistance in clarifying and meeting homeschool legal requirements in Iowa. 

While the Iowa law and rules governing home education clearly specify certain requirements for the provision of information, at times, school officials exceed the legally-defined limits. 

Here are some of the common requests along with recommendations as to whether or not they are applicable:

• CPI Form A

Required for students of compulsory school attendance age (6-16) under CPI Option 1 or CPI Option 2 with Opt-In. 

For students younger than age 6, or age 16 and older, only Items #1, #2, and #9 need to be completed if CPI Form A is being filed (perhaps to access dual enrollment). 

Not required for students under IPI or CPI Option 2 with Opt-Out.

• Name & License Number of Teacher Providing Supervision or Portfolio Review

Required on CPI Form A for students under CPI Option 1 unless students are enrolled in a public school Home School Assistance Program (HSAP).

Required to be submitted to the school district before May 1 for students under CPI Option 2 with Opt-In if portfolio assessment is desired. 

Not required for students under IPI or CPI Option 2 with Opt-Out – or for CPI Option 2 with Opt-In if a form of annual assessment other than portfolio evaluation is selected.

• Annual Assessment Results

Required by June 30 for students under CPI Option 2 with Opt-In. 

Not required for students under IPICPI Option 1, or CPI Option 2 with Opt-Out. 

• Immunizations Records

Required for students of compulsory school attendance age (6-16) when filing CPI Form A for the first time unless a medical or religious exemption form is filed. 

• Outline of Course of Study (Plan of Instruction)

Required for students of compulsory school attendance age (6-16) when filing CPI Form A (see above).

• Directory Information (Student Name, Date of Birth, Parents' Names, Address, etc.)

Required on CPI Form A (see above). 

Not required for students under CPI Option 2 with Opt-Out.

Not required initially for students under IPI, but if a written request for information is received from the school district or the Iowa department of Education, required to provide these specific items: 

• the name of the primary IPI instructor, 

• the name and location of the authority responsible for the IPI, and 

• the names of the students under IPI. 

Parents using IPI who receive a written request for information can download and use our Homeschool Iowa IPI Response Form. Some school officials are asking for additional information, such as IPI students’ birthdates and grade levels. Parents providing IPI are not required to provide this information. In at least one case, a school district altered our Homeschool Iowa form, adding requests outside of legal parameters, and distributed it while retaining our copyright notice at the bottom. Download the form from our website to ensure you are providing only the information required by law.

• Permission from AEA Special Education Director to Homeschool a Student Identified with Special Needs

Not required unless public school special education services are desired and requested via the filing of CPI Form A. 

• Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) for Homeschooled Student with Special Needs

Not required unless public school special education services are desired and requested via the filing of CPI Form A. 

• Home Language Survey

School districts are required by Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act to distribute to enrolled students, but no sanctions or penalties for recipients who do not return a completed survey. 

• Public School Screening for K-3 Reading or Reading Readiness

School districts are required by Iowa law to offer, but not compel, CPI dual-enrolled or HSAP-enrolled students to participate.

• Public School Student Fees

Required for dual-enrolled students accessing classes or activities for which fully-enrolled students pay fees, but only for the classes or activities in which the dual enrolled students participate. 

• Evidence of Sports Eligibility

Can be required for dual-enrolled CPI students who participate in public school sports sanctioned by the Iowa high school athletic unions.
Sports eligibility form available. 

Have questions? Email us!

12 Comments on “What Can the School Require Homeschooling Families to Submit?”

    1. You can do either. However, if you want to be certain that the school received your CPI forms, you can deliver them in person to the school district office. NICHE offers a receipt form you can use if desired. It’s available on our Homeschool Forms page.
      Make sure you make a copy of all forms you file with the school and keep them in your records.

  1. So, is there any paperwork I need to file to homeschool my child with CPI option 2 with Opt-Out reporting?

  2. i want to start homeschooling and do not know where to even begin. My kids want to do sports, so I will need dual enrollment. What exact forms need to be filled out? What is the best way to take them out and still finish the school year at home? Please help!

    1. Hello, Anastacia!
      We’d be happy to help you get started homeschooling. You’ll find lots of helpful information in our online Start Homeschooling guide.
      If your children want to participate in public school sports, you’re right, they’ll need to be dual-enrolled. That means you’ll need to use one of the Competent Private Instruction (CPI) options that require the filing of CPI Form A. You’ll find complete information on our Iowa Homeschool Options web page.
      We encourage you to reach out to our Homeschool Iowa Regional Representative who serves your area. She can help you find the answers to additional questions.

  3. When choosing option 5 HSAP, which lines need to be filled out. I don’t want to give to much information. Also, do parents usually send immunization records along with form A? Or is that too much information to give as well?

    1. Hi, Tonya!

      Here’s the wording from the Department of Education’s Private Instruction Handbook that relates to your question:

      “Parents, guardian, or legal or actual custodian of children enrolled in a HSAP (whether under Option 1 or Option 2) must also fill out Form A for each student enrolled in the Program. At a minimum, questions 1, 3, and 5 must be filled out. However, per rule 31.4(5), a district may condition participation in its HSAP on having the entire form A filled out. Iowa Code section 299.4(2); 281-IAC rules and 31.5(5).”

      Question #3 on the CPI Form A is the request for immunization records, so, yes, you will need to attach those to your Form A filing, if it’s the first time you’ve filed a Form A.

  4. I’ve been homeschooling under the IPI option for almost 3 years. I’m considering re-enrolling my kids back into public school. Before doing so I’d like to know:
    What is the policy for re-enrolling homeschooled children back into the Des Moines public school system?
    Are there any specific required documents?
    Would I need to submit any documentation showing what curriculum was used for their homeschooling?

    1. Neither Iowa state law nor the Iowa Department of Education dictate documentation requirements for this process. Each public school in Iowa will have its own unique re-enrollment policy.
      If you have maintained good records of what your children have learned while under IPI and the curriculum resources you used for their instruction, that will make the transition go more smoothly.
      We recommend that you reach out to the Des Moines Public School to learn what its specific policy is.

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