Home Education Policy


    The Ayer Shirley Regional School Committee recognizes the right of parents or guardians to educate their child(ren) at home, provided that the District approves a Home Schooling program that meets the minimum standards established for public schools in the Commonwealth.  In addition, the Ayer Shirley Regional School Committee further recognizes its responsibility to enforce the Massachusetts compulsory attendance requirements which are found in state law and regulations. 

    In accordance with Massachusetts Law, Parent(s) or guardian(s) planning to undertake a home education program for their child(ren) between their sixth and sixteenth birthday shall inform the Superintendent by satisfying the guidelines articulated below.  The guidelines are intended to provide a review process so as to ensure reasonable educational requirements are met.  

    Home Instruction Guidelines

    1. For a student to be instructed at home, the Parent/Guardian must complete the Notice of Intent to Pursue a Program of Home Education form to the Superintendent no less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the start of the proposed home school program.  The Parent/Guardian must obtain written approval from the District prior to removing a student(s) from the public school and beginning a home instruction program. 

    2. Upon submission of a proposal for home school, a Parent/Guardian may request to appear before the Superintendent, or designee, to have an opportunity to explain the proposed plan in further detail. 

    3. A Parent/Guardian must demonstrate that the proposed program for each student meets the statutory requirements that the instruction will equal “in thoroughness and efficiency, and in progress made therein, that in the public schools in the same town(s).” In addition, the Ayer Shirley Regional School Committee or its designed with request certain information about a proposed home schooling program including instructor qualifications, a description of the subjects to be taught, the proposed curriculum, a schedule of instruction to occur, a description of the teaching materials and programs to be used, and a mutually agreeable method of assessment which corresponds to the type of educational program being followed. 

    4. After submission of all required information and any hearing that is requested, the Superintendent or designee shall notify the Parent/Guardian as to whether the proposed home schooling program has been approved, rejected, or if additional information is needed.  If a home school proposal is rejected, the reasons for such a decision will be detailed and the Parent/Guardian will be given an opportunity to revise the proposal. 

    5. If a Parent/Guardian commences a home instruction program without the necessary approval, the Ayer Shirley Regional School Committee may initiate truancy proceedings or a care and protection petition, wherein it would have the responsibility of showing that the proposed program does not meet the above standard. 

    6. An approved home schooling program will be in effect for up to one school year.  Thereafter, if a Parent/Guardian intends to continue home instruction, a new home schooling program for each student must be submitted annually to the Superintendent for approval in accordance with these guidelines. 

    7. To ensure educational progress, the Ayer Shirley Regional School Committee, in consultation with a Parent/Guardian, may require periodic standardized testing of children.  This requirement may be substituted and a student’s progress may be evaluated through such measures as, quarterly progress reports and dated work samples filed along with progress reports. 

    The Ayer Shirley Regional School Committee does not approve home education programs for anything less than a full-time instructional program. Home schooled child(ren) are not enrolled in the Ayer Shirley Regional School District, and as such are not permitted to participate in MCAS testing.  Additionally, a child who is home schooled will not participate in curricular programs, but may participate in extracurricular activities and/or athletics in accordance with published procedures for the Ayer Shirley Regional School District. 

    The Ayer Shirley Regional School Committee does not award high school credits towards a diploma for home schooling classes and/or programs. It is the responsibility of the home school parent/guardian to create and maintain the transcript of their child(ren). 

    The Ayer Shirley Regional School Committee does not award a diploma to home schooled children.

    M.G.L. 76:1:  School Attendance and Care and Protection of Charles
    M.G.L. 69:1D:  Statewide Educational Goals
    M.G.L. 119:24: Commit Child to Custody
    M.G.L. 71:1, 2, 3:  Public Schools 

    Adopted, December 5, 2023