Transferring Children From Public School to Homeschool
(This article is not intended to be, and does not constitute, the giving of legal advice)

When parents choose to withdraw their children from public school there are certain procedures that need to be followed.  If the procedures below are not followed the school will most likely assume the child is truant.

    Step 2:  Write a letter to transfer your student out of the public school and into your own private home school. (A sample letter of withdrawal is at the bottom of this page.) Print at least two copies, one for the public school's permanent records and one for your permanent records.
    Step 3: Mail the letter "return receipt requested" or hand carry both copies of the letter to the school and ask the secretary or Principal of the school to sign and date your copy of the letter acknowledging receipt of the letter.

In detail:

Step 1) The homeschooling laws of this state should be read and understood by all homeschoolers so we all know our rights and responsibilities.

Step 2) When writing the letter, be sure to print at least two copies, one for the public school's permanent records and one for your permanent records.

Mail the letter "return receipt requested" or fax it to the school or hand carry both copies of the letter to the school and ask the secretary or principal of the school to sign and date your copy of the letter acknowledging receipt of the letter.

If you mailed (or faxed) the school's copy, be sure to staple the return receipt to your copy of the letter. This receipt proves the school received the letter. Schools occasionally lose paperwork, as we all do, and this way you can prove your official transfer if there is any confusion.

It must be noted that telling a teacher/school principal/school secretary of your intentions to homeschool is frequently not seen as officially withdrawing your child from school. If the school does not receive written notification from you, you run the risk of not being seen as “withdrawn” and the truancy officer may come to your door.

We do not advise emailing this letter as there is no receipt that the letter was actually received.

Step 3) On your school letterhead, request a "certified copy" of your child's records and mail it to your child's school "return receipt requested" as above. (A sample of this letter is at the bottom of this page.) Again, staple the receipt to your copy of the letter. This action proves the successful transfer of your child.

A request for records letter should be written within 10 days of your child's withdrawal from public school or it may not be honored.  If you do not want your child's records you can wait to send the letter of successful transfer until July 31st of that year, but we advise you to do it as soon as possible so you don't forget.

A request for records letter should be written within 10 days of your child's withdrawal from public school or it may not be honored.  If you do not want your child's records you can wait to send the letter of successful transfer until July 31st of that year, but we advise you to do it as soon as possible so you don't forget. 

(A sample letter of successful transfer without a request for records is at the bottom of this page.)

Note 1: You only need to send one version of this letter, not both.

Note 2: It is not uncommon for public school officials to refuse to send the records requested by a private homeschool. Technically, the public school has no right to withhold a child's records from a legally existing private school. However, this is such a minor point that you may wish, in the event of such a refusal, to let the matter drop, especially if your child is of elementary school age.

What if you have already withdrawn your child from public school and DID NOT use the above procedure?

You may fit into one of the following situations:

    If you withdrew your child in the spring and plan to resume schooling at home in the fall, the above formal withdrawal procedure can certainly be completed over the summer.
    If your child's withdrawal occurred during the school year, you may wish to wait until contacted by your local public school officials. If you receive some belated contact about your child's withdrawal, including a truancy notice, it is a simple matter to explain your lack of experience with this legal detail. You can offer to supply the necessary correspondence for the public school official's file. We recommend replying in writing right away and not waiting and hoping they will go away. Generally, they will not.

If You Are Contacted By the School:
After all four steps above are completed, you still may be contacted by the schools in writing, by phone, or possibly even a home visit.

If officials phone you, please politely ask them to put their questions to you in writing so that you can respond in writing. Explain that by doing so both parties will have a written record of the questions and answers. This will also give you plenty of time to research your best response or contact a support group leader for advice.

If a truant officer or a police officer comes to your door, it is very important that you assert your 4th amendment rights and do not let them in unless they have a signed search warrant! Please read our truancy page.

If they contact you in writing, they will probably send you forms to fill out.

You may be asked to sign a "Statement of Assurance" and/or a "Home School Registration Form" form. There is NO reason why anyone should fill these forms out. If you receive one, you can send it back blank with a letter of compliance.


You may be sent a "Non-Public School Registration Enrollment and Staff Report". This assumes you are a Non-Public School, which is true. The form is voluntary for all Non-Public Schools, but we urge you not to fill it out.  Bureaucrats like a piece of paper for their files though, so you may wish to send them a letter of compliance instead.

Arguments against registering as a homeschool can be read here.

Writing a Letter:
Be sure to write an error free professional letter on your school letterhead or contact your curriculum provider if you have been so instructed. If you do not have letterhead for your school, then an error free letter, neatly typed on plain paper will suffice. You must keep copies of all correspondence on file.

Transferring Children From a Private School to Private Homeschool
Illinois law requires no action on the part of parents when withdrawing their children from a private or parochial school. However, once again, common sense dictates that some written notification be given to the private school, if only to state that the child's attendance will be terminated. Many private schools routinely notify public schools if notice of enrollment elsewhere is not received.  It is definitely in your interest for that not to occur.

The legislation on which these recommendations are based can be read at:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=09600SB3681ham001&GA=96&SessionId=76&DocTypeId=SB&LegID=51869&DocNum=3681&GAID=10&Session

Sample Letter of Transfer From Public School to Private Homeschool

Your name
Address
City, State, Zip
Date

Principal's Name
Local Public School
Address
City, State, Zip


Dear Principal's Name:

This is to inform you that as of date, our child, child's full name, will be withdrawing from attendance at public school's name. Child's
name will be transferring to your home school's name, which is a non-public school.

Child's name will receive instruction in the branches of education taught in the public schools and in the English language.  All
instruction will be in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 105, Section 26-1 of the Illinois School Code, commonly known as the Compulsory Attendance Law.

OPTIONAL:
You will be receiving a letter from your home school's name formally requesting a Certified Copy of child's name's records.

Please contact us if you have further questions.
 
Sincerely,

Signatures

Typed Names




Sample Letter Requesting Your Child's School Records AND Confirming Successful Transfer of the Student

(This letter should be written on your school's letterhead. It must be written within 14 days of your child's withdrawal from public school. Since your letterhead will include the name of your school, address, andphone number, you will need to include only the date.)


Principal's Name
Name of Public School
Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Principal's Name:

This is to notify you of the enrollment of child's name in your home school's name as of date.
In compliance with Chapter 1, Section 375.75 of the Illinois Administrative Code, we are writing to request that a Certified Copy of
child's name's records be forwarded to us.

This letter also meets the requirements of Section 2-3.13a of the Illinois School Code as changed by Public Act 093-0859 requiring written notification of successful transfer of the student.

Your prompt assistance in this matter will be appreciated, as it will enable us to complete our files.
 
Sincerely,

Signatures

Typed names





Sample Letter Confirming Successful Transfer of the Student

(This letter should be written on your school's letterhead. It must be written within 150 days of your child's transfere from public school. Since your letterhead will include the name of your school, address, and phone number, you will need to include only the date.)


Principal's Name
Name of Public School
Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Principal's Name:

This is to notify you of the successful enrollment of child's name in your home school's name as of date. This letter meets the requirements of Section 2-3.13a of the Illinois School Code as changed by Public Act 093-0859 requiring written notification of successful transfer of the student.
 
Sincerely,

Signatures

Typed names