Home School Information
Learn more about home schooling your children in Pima County.
Home School Support
This information was compiled to help you comply with Arizona laws for home schooling. Please read it carefully before filing the required information with the County School Superintendent's Office.
Affidavit of intent are accepted for children six (6) to sixteen (16) years of age. Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) §15-802 (A) says, "Every child between the ages of six (6) and sixteen (16) shall attend a school and shall be provided instruction in at least the subjects of reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies, and science. The person who has custody of the child shall choose a public, private, charter, or home school to provide instruction." Parents who do not wish their children to attend school until the age of eight (8) must file an Affidavit of Intent with the county school superintendent stating that they do not desire to have the child attend school as required in A.R.S. §15-802 (B) (3).Please return the completed, signed and notarized Affidavit of Intent and the required proof of the student's age and identity to the Pima County School Superintendent's Office. A DATE-STAMPED COPY OF THE Affidavit of Intent WILL BE RETURNED TO YOU. The Pima County School Superintendent's stamp on the copy of the Affidavit of Intent is your proof that the affidavit for your child was filed with this office. If you submit original documents, such as your child's original birth certificate or baptismal certificate with the affidavit, we will return it to you with the date-stamped copy of the affidavit. Report any change of address, phone number, or school attendance to this office on the change of information form.
"Home school"; means a school conducted primarily by the parent, guardian, or other person who has custody of the child or instruction provided in the child's home.
An Affidavit of Intent stating that the child is attending home school must be filed with the county school superintendent. The Affidavit of Intent shall include the child's legal name, date of birth, and the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of the persons who currently have legal custody of the child.Affidavits need only be filed once, within thirty days of the beginning of home instruction. The county school superintendent must be notified within thirty days of the termination of instruction of home school. If home school instruction is resumed, another Affidavit of Intent must be filed within thirty days of the resumption. The affidavit may be obtained from the Pima County School Superintendent's Office, downloaded from this website, or requested from the Superintendent's Office of the county in which you reside if you live outside Pima County.
CERTIFIED BIRTH CERTIFICATE
A.R.S. §15-828 (B) requires that every parent or legal guardian of a child instructed at home submit with their affidavit, or within thirty (30) days after home instruction begins, one of the following to the county school superintendent's office:
- A certified copy of the pupil's birth certificate OR
- Other reliable proof of the pupil's identity and age, including the pupil's baptismal certificate, an application for a Social Security number, or original school registration records AND an affidavit explaining the inability to provide a copy of the birth certificate.
The child's name on the Affidavit of Intent must be the child's full legal name and must match the child's name listed on the birth certificate. If the child's name on the Affidavit of Intent does NOT match the name on the birth certificate, then a copy of the legal papers showing the name change is required. The affidavit will not be accepted until it has the child's legal name. If the parent's name has changed since the birth certificate was issued, a copy of the legal papers (marriage license, divorce papers, or court papers showing the name change) is also required. The Affidavit of Other Reliable Proof which must accompany all identity documents except the child's birth certificate can be downloaded from this website or requested from the Pima County School Superintendent's Office.
The child must be instructed in at least the subjects of reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies, and science.
The parent creates or chooses a program suited to the child. Parents are responsible for providing their own curricula. It may be helpful to network with a home school support group. No diploma is awarded by the county to home schooled students, although some correspondence schools offer programs leading to a diploma. Contact each school to find out if they have a diploma program. The county school office does not supply books or curriculum guidelines for home schooled students. You may purchase curricula and supplies from many sources. Local sources of curricula would be stores listed under "Schools-Retail" in the Yellow Pages, correspondence schools, or bookstores. To purchase a copy of the Arizona Academic Standards (the core body of knowledge and skills the Arizona State Board of Education says students should know and be able to demonstrate at each grade level), call the Arizona Department of Education in Tucson at 628-6791. Several branches of the Tucson Pima Public Library also have reference copies of the standards.
Home schooled students are not required to participate in the state's testing program. A.R.S. §15-745 states:
Nothing in this article shall be construed to require the testing of children who are instructed in a home school program while they are receiving home school instruction.
The State Board of Education allows home schooled students to take the AIMS test, a criterion-referenced test, at no charge, but does not require them to do so. Many parents would like to use a nationally-normed standardized test to check on their child's progress. Since testing of home schoolers is not required, parents may choose any testing facility and will be responsible for all costs associated with the testing. The home school support groups or the phone books Yellow Pages may be able to direct you to companies that administer these tests.
STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Schools are not required to allow home school students to participate in classes or school clubs. You will need to talk to the public school your child would normally attend to find out what their policy is regarding participation in their classes or school clubs. Please note that if your child was participating in an interscholastic activity while a student in the school and during the year you decide to home school your child, then your child would not be able to continue to participate in the interscholastic activity for the rest of year while home schooling.
A.R.S. §15-802.01 states:
Notwithstanding any other law, a child who resides within the attendance area of a public school and who is instructed at home shall be allowed to try out for interscholastic activities on behalf of the public school in the same manner as a pupil who is enrolled in that public school. Registration, age eligibility requirements, fees, insurance, transportation, physical condition, qualifications, responsibilities, event schedules, standards of behavior and performance policies for home schooled students shall be consistent with those policies established for students enrolled in that public school. The individual providing the primary instruction of a child who is instructed at home shall submit written verification that provides:
- Whether the student is receiving a passing grade in each course or subject being taught.
- Whether the student is maintaining satisfactory progress towards advancement or promotion.
A child who is instructed at home and who was previously enrolled in a school shall be ineligible to participate in interscholastic activities for the remainder of the school year during which the child was enrolled in a school.
A school district shall not contract with any private entity that supervises interscholastic activities if the private entity prohibits the participation of children instructed at home in interscholastic activities at public, private or charter schools.
VERIFICATION OF FILING HOME SCHOOL AFFIDAVIT
Once the required Affidavit of Intent and proof of age and identity are received in this office, a date-stamped copy of the affidavit will be sent to you. The date stamp on the copy is proof that your child has been enrolled in home schooling and that the affidavit has been filed with the Pima County School Superintendent's Office. You will want to keep this affidavit, even after your child enters the public school system, so you'll have a record of your child's education. If you need another copy of the Affidavit of Intent you will need to request a duplicate affidavit by mail. Only the parent(s) or guardian(s) named on the affidavit may receive a copy of the affidavit. If a non-custodial parent or parent whose name does not appear on the affidavit is requesting a copy of the affidavit, then the person must prove that he/she is the parent/legal guardian of the child. (A copy of the child's birth certificate or divorce papers showing that the person has a right to the child's educational information is required.) The parent/guardian who filled out the affidavit will be notified that another person has made a request for a copy of the affidavit and will have the right to refuse a copy to the other person if the parent can show legal proof that the other person's rights have been legally severed.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE INSTRUCTOR
None required by law.
A.R.S. §15-763 requires districts and charter schools which receive federal money for special education services for home schooled or parentally placed private schooled students to provide special education services to both groups in the same manner. Call your school district to find out specifically what services your child might be entitled to and how they might be provided.
Eighth grade promotion certificates and high school diplomas are not issued by the Pima County School Superintendent's Office for students instructed in home schooling. Parents interested in an eighth grade promotion certificate or high school diploma for their home schooled children should contact one of the many independent correspondence schools located throughout the United States. The number of credits earned from a correspondence school accepted toward high school graduation will depend on the high school/district involved. Students in home schooling may be eligible to take a GED - General Educational Development - test once they reach the age of sixteen (16) years. GED policy does not allow individuals enrolled in a school or person being home schooled to be tested unless that person shows proof that the student has officially withdrawn from that educational program. A Discontinuation of Home School form may be obtained from the Pima County School Superintendent's Office.
UPDATING STUDENT INFORMATION
Please notify the Pima County School Superintendent's Office within thirty (30) days if you enroll your child in a public, private, or charter school. The child's home school file will then be inactivated. Another Affidavit of Intent must be filed if the child resumes home schooling. Report any changes in addresses or phone numbers to this office on the change of information form.
RE-ENTERING PUBLIC SCHOOL
Grade level placement of home schooled students upon re-enrollment in public school is dependent upon school district policy and usually includes parental input. The policies of any public school district can and should be reviewed by the parent/legal guardian prior to removing the child from school. A.R.S. §15-745 states:
A child who enrolls in a kindergarten program or grades one through twelve after receiving instruction in a home school program shall be tested pursuant to this article in order to determine the appropriate grade level for the educational placement of the child.
Be aware that your child may need to take individual tests in each subject area to gain district acceptance and/or credit, even if the home school child is receiving correspondence school instruction from an accredited program. The county school office should be notified within thirty days of entering a school system so that the home school affidavit may be inactivated.
ENTERING POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS
Parents should investigate the entrance requirements of those post secondary institutions the student is interested in attending prior to choosing the student's high school curriculum and before applying to that institution.
FAILURE TO COMPLY
Unless otherwise exempted in A.R.S. §15-802 or A.R.S. §15-803, a parent of a child between six (6) and sixteen (16) years of age or person who has custody of a child, who does not provide instruction in a home school and who fails to enroll or fails to ensure that the child attends a public, private, or charter school pursuant to these sections is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor. A parent who fails to comply with the duty to file an Affidavit of Intent to provide instruction in a home school is guilty of a petty offense.
If you have any questions, please call the Pima County School Superintendent's Office at 740-8451.