Q. Does the law require a parent to withdraw his child in person from public school?
A. The law does not specifically address the procedure for withdrawing a child from public school. Each school district has its own withdrawal policy. Some may accept a phone call or an email, others may want a letter, and others may ask for a parent to come in person to sign a withdrawal form. A phone call to the school will answer the question about their preferred procedure.
All children, beginning at age five on or before September 30 until age 18, are required to be in some type of school. If your child is enrolled in public school, and you decide to homeschool after the school year has begun, it would be prudent to withdraw or notify your child’s school office that he or she will not be returning to their school. Simply not sending your child back to school without an explanation will create lots of questions. If a child is unexpectedly absent for a period of time, it is the school’s responsibility to inquire about his absence. An absence with no explanation may trigger an unnecessary truancy investigation and could result in daily fines.
Before you withdraw your child from public school, file a Notice of Intent (NOI) form or write a letter to your division superintendent. If you hand-deliver your NOI to the superintendent’s office, obtain a receipt; or if you mail your NOI, mail it certified/return-receipt. Once you have a signed receipt, you have evidence that you have complied with the Commonwealth’s compulsory attendance laws. You are not required to wait for a response from the superintendent. Now you are ready to withdraw your child by phone, email, letter, or signed form, and begin homeschooling.