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Alternative Instruction Notification


During the 2021 legislative session, SB 177 revised the provisions of parental choice regarding compulsory school attendance. On July 1, 2021 the revised law went into effect.

Parents/guardians who choose to provide alternative instruction pursuant to SDCL 13-27-3 are required to file an Alternative Instruction Notification. The notification must be submitted on a form provided by the Department of Education.

For individuals who choose, a paper copy (pdf) (word doc) of the notification may be downloaded and submitted per the instructions on the form.

Beginning July 1, 2021, individuals are only required to submit a notification one time for each child, unless a transition has occurred. Please see section 1.5 of the FAQ for more information.

For questions regarding Alternative Instruction/Home Schooling, contact Carol Uecker at (605) 773-4771.

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities/Information

  1. Parents/Guardians shall cause the child to regularly attend school, either public, nonpublic, or alternative instruction as set forth in 13-27-1, until the child reaches the age of eighteen years.
  2. Parent/Guardian/Alternative Instructor may not instruct more than 22 students (13-27-3)
  3. Parent/Guardian/Alternative Instructor is not required to be state certified (13-27-3)
  4. An updated notification indicating a change in status for a child must be submitted within 30 days of any of the following:
    • The child is moving to or open enrolling in another district but will still be home schooling.
    • The child will no longer be home schooling.

School District Responsibilities/Information

  1. Access the DOE Alternative Instruction Notification system regularly to review notifications relevant to their district.
  2. Loan textbooks without charge to all persons ages five to nineteen (SDCL 13-34-23)
  3. If districts are notified by the parent/guardian of a change in a child's status, the district should instruct the parent/guardian to update their notification in the DOE Alternative Instruction Notification system within 30 days. A change in status would include:
    • The child is moving to or open enrolling in another district but will still be home schooling.
    • The child has decided to participate in dual credit and it was not previously indicated in the DOE Alternative Instruction Notification system.
    • The child will no longer be home schooling.

Interscholastic Activities

Pursuant to SDCL 13-36-7 Participation in interscholastic activities – Eligibility

Each public-school district shall allow participation in athletics, fine arts, or activities for a child being provided alternative instruction pursuant to § 13-27-3 within the district in which the child resides. This includes school-sponsored activities and those sanctioned by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. Alternative instruction students must meet the same requirements as publicly enrolled students to participate in activities.

The documents required by the school district for participation in activities must be completed, signed, and submitted as required before students can participate.

  • For many activities, parents/guardians must submit proof of age to the school (i.e., birth certificate or affidavit in lieu of a birth certificate).
  • Parents/guardians must provide the school district a copy of the student's transcript from the previous semester.
  • Complete and submit the SOUTH DAKOTA HIGH SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATION ELIGIBILITY CHECKLIST FOR ALTERNATIVE INSTRUCTION STUDENTS to the school district, along with the student's athletic physical form, if applicable.

Participation in activities, school-sponsored or High School Activities Association-sanctioned, is a privilege, not a right. The eligibility requirements, training rules, and reporting periods for alternative instruction students are the same as those required for students enrolled in the public school. Training rules include both academic and non-academic components such as grades and attendance at practices. No student is conferred any vested right to be selected for competition in any activity.

Students participating in High School Activities Association-sanctioned activities are held to the organization's transfer and non-academic eligibility rules. An alternative instruction student may not participate in activities in multiple districts or school systems unless school districts have a cooperative athletic agreement in place.

The parent, guardian, or other person in control of a child being provided alternative instruction shall notify the appropriate school official if the child becomes ineligible under South Dakota High School Activities Association or local school rules.

Dual Credit

Alternative instruction families who are interested in enrolling students in the state's reduced tuition dual credit program must have a notification on file with the SD Department of Education and work directly with the department to start the enrollment process for the reduced-cost courses. School districts are not able to enroll alternative instruction students in dual credit courses.

A signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) and registration form must be submitted to the Department of Education to start the enrollment process. These can be accessed through the online system.

After verifying an alternative instruction notification, a dual credit registration form, and signed MOU are on file, the department will forward the students' registration to the public university or technical college for approval. Once the student meets the admission requirements at the postsecondary institution, he/she can enroll in dual credit courses.

For more information regarding Dual Credit please visit