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Home Schooling

Parents/guardians who currently provide alternative instruction pursuant to SDCL 13-27-3 are required to file a Notification for Public School Exemption Certificate annually. The notification must be obtained here, from the local school district, or directly from the Department of Education. The completed notification must be filed with the superintendent of schools in the public school district in which the parent /guardian resides.

Parents/guardians who wish to begin providing alternative instruction pursuant to SDCL 13-27-3 must also complete a notification for Public School Exemption Certificate. The completed notification must then be submitted to the local public school administration office.

Parent Responsibilities

Complete the notification form for exemption from public school attendance (13-27-2)

  1. Required to declare exemption for students up to age 18 (compulsory attendance requirement) (13-27-1)
  2. Return the completed exemption form to the public school district office, where you hold residence

May not instruct more than 22 students (13-27-3)
No requirement to be certified (13-27-3)

Must test in grades four, eight, and eleven (13-27-3)

  1. Test may be monitored by local school district
  2. A norm-referenced paper/pencil test for math and reading will be provided by the Department of Education at no cost to the parent
  3. If another test is chosen, it is at the expense of the home school, and must be a nationally standardized achievement test of the basic skills
  4. Test results must be sent to the local school district *SD DOE will not allow tests to be mailed out of state/out of country to a home school

School District Responsibilities

Review and file the exemption form (SDCL 13-27-7)

  1. Must be done yearly
  2. Copies of the form must be mailed to the Department of Education and to the location of alternative school(home school) (SDCL 13-27-9)
  3. Track home school students in the Student Information Management System (Infinite Campus System)

Keep test score records (SDCL 13-27-7)
  1. Make sure enough materials are on hand to accommodate all students in grades 4, 8 and 11 who are being home schooled in your district
  2. Contact parents with information on testing window and when you will distribute materials
  3. When results come back to the district, distribute to home school parents and keep a copy on file with other public school exemption resources
  4. If students show less than satisfactory academic progress, the school board may refuse to renew the child's certificate of excuse

Loan textbooks without charge to all persons ages five to nineteen (SDCL 13-34-23)

SD Department of Education Responsibilities

Provide exemption notification form and keep it on file (13-27-7)

May investigate and determine whether instruction is being provided (13-27-3)

  1. May inspect records of an alternative education program if probable cause exists that the program may not be in compliance
  2. Records are limited to attendance and academic progress evidence

For more information from the SD Department of Education, contact Carol Uecker at (605) 773-3426.

Interscholastic Activities

At the discretion of the local, member school, alternative instruction students, under SDCL 13-27-3, may be granted permission by an accredited member school to participate in interscholastic contests by annually fulfilling the following conditions:

  1. Demonstrate compliance with CHAPTER I, PART IV - STUDENT ELIGIBILITY and CHAPTER II, PART I - FURTHER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ATHLETIC CONTESTS (as applicable) by submitting the SDHSAA Eligibility Checklist for Alternative Instruction Students.
  2. Providing documentation of the SDCL 13-27-3 APPLICATION FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE REQUEST and nationally standardized achievement tests in grades tested under the state testing program.
  3. Complying with all member school eligibility requirements with the exception of attendance requirements. Scholastic/academic eligibility shall be verified per local school administrative policy following the same procedure used to accept credits towards graduation when an alternative instruction student requests a transfer to the local school district.
  4. Any student, who was unable to maintain academic eligibility in an accredited school, shall be ineligible to participate as an alternative instruction student for a period of one year. After one year, the student may regain eligibility per local school administrative policy.
  5. Satisfying the responsibilities and standards of behavior and performance, including related class or practice requirements, as expected of other student participants as a condition for both the initial acceptance and continued membership in the activity including but not limited to:
    • All local school training rules and/or codes of conduct will be applicable.
    • In order to be eligible to audition for and /or participate in Region Music Contests, All-State Chorus, All-State Orchestra or All-State Band, the student must be currently enrolled and attending the local school's parallel musical organization (if one exists) i.e. vocal music, instrumental music, orchestra. (This is the same rule that applies to students attending a member school.)
    • A student who is a member of a high school team may not participate in games, practice, tryouts, etc. in that particular sport during the same season on an independent or non-high school team or as a member of any "all- star" team, or completely unattached on an individual basis. (This is the same rule that applies to students attending a member school.)
    • All references to calendar shall refer to the calendar of the member school where the alternative instruction student is participating.
  6. Alternative School Student's Local District: The local district of an alternatively educated student (i.e. home schooled) shall be the district in which the parent or guardian filed the Certificate of Excuse (13-27-7). This certificate, once filed in the district of residence (13-28-9), shall establish their district of residency for athletic eligibility pursuant to the local school district policy.
  7. The student may transfer their eligibility one time to another member school. If this occurs at the beginning of the school year, the student would become eligible immediately. If the transfer occurs after the first day of school, the student would become eligible following 45 school days. NOTE: This would be consistent with the current by-law applicable to open enrollment students.
  8. A student who leaves an accredited school during the course of the school year for any reason to enter an alternative instruction program, shall be ineligible for interscholastic competition for a period of one year, beginning on the date the student enters the alternative instruction program.

For more information on Interscholastic Activities, contact Daniel Swartos, Executive Director, South Dakota High School Activities Association,
(605) 224-9261