Colorado Laws and Regulations

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An overview of the homeschool laws and regulations of Colorado, along with links to legislative source information, additional reference materials and government resources on homeschooling.

Colorado State Legislature Information

For the most recent updates to Colorado’s Homeschool Law visit Colorado’s Homeschool Law in a Nutshell.

Colorado Home School Law, updated June 1994

22-33-104. Compulsory school attendance.

(1) Every child who has attained the age of seven years and is under the age of sixteen years, except as provided by this section, shall attend public school for at least one thousand fifty-six hours if a secondary school pupil or nine hundred sixty-eight hours if an elementary school pupil during each school year; except that in no case shall a school or schools be in session for fewer than one hundred sixty days without the specific prior approval of the commissioner of education.

(2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to a child:

(b) Who is enrolled for a minimum of one hundred seventy-two days in an independent or parochial school which provides a basic academic education. “Basic Academic Education” for the purpose of this article means the sequential program of instruction provided by an independent or parochial school. Such programs shall include, but not be limited to, communication skills of reading, writing and speaking mathematics, history, civics, literature and science.

(i)Who is being instructed at home:

(I)By a teacher certified pursuant to article 60 or 61 of this title; or

(II)Under a non-public-home-based educational program pursuant to section 22-33-104.5.

22-33-104.5 Home-based education – legislative declaration – definitions – guidelines.

(1) The general assembly hereby declares that it is the primary right and obligation of the parent to choose the proper education and training for children under his care and supervision. It is recognized that home-based education is a legitimate alternative to classroom attendance for the instruction of children and that any regulation of non-public, home-based educational programs should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate a variety of circumstances. The general assembly further declares that non-public home-based educational programs shall be subject only to minimum state controls which are currently applicable to other forms of non-public education.

(2) As used in this section:

(a) “Non-public, home-based educational program” means the sequential program of instruction for the education of a child which takes place in a home, which is provided by the child’s parent or by an adult relative of the child designated by the parent, and which is not under the supervision and control of a school district. This educational program is not intended to be and does not qualify as a private and non-profit school.

(b) “Parent” includes a parent or guardian.

(c) “Qualified Person” means an individual who is selected by the parent of a child who is participating in a non-public home-based educational program to evaluate such child’s progress and who is a certified teacher, pursuant to article 60 of this title, a teacher who is employed by an independent or parochial school, a licensed psychologist, or a person with a graduate degree in education.

(3) The following guidelines shall apply to a non-public home-based educational program.

(a) A parent or an adult relative designated by the parent to provide instruction in a non-public home-based educational program shall not be subject to the requirements of the “Teacher Certification Act of 1975, article 60 of this title, nor to the provisions of article 61 of this title relating to teacher employment.

(b) A child who is participating in a non-public home-based educational program shall not be subject to compulsory school attendance as provided in this article; except that any child who is habitually truant, as defined in section 22-33-107(3), at any time during the last six months that the child attended school before proposed enrollment in a non-public home-based educational program may not be enrolled in the program unless the child’s parents first submit a written description of the curricula to be used in the program, along with the written notification of establishment of the program required in paragraph (e) of subsection (2) of this section to the superintendent of the child’s school district of residence.

(c) A non-public home-based educational program shall include no less than one hundred seventy-two days of instruction, averaging four instructional contact hours per day.

(d) A non-public home-based educational program shall include, but need not be limited to, communication skills of reading, writing and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science and regular courses of instruction in the constitution of the United States as provided in section 22-1-108.

(e) Any parent establishing a non-public home-based educational program shall provide written notification of the establishment of said program to the local school district of residence fourteen days prior to the establishment of said program and each year thereafter, if the program is maintained. The parent in charge and in control of a non-public home-based educational program shall certify, in writing, only a statement containing the name, age, place of residence and number of hours of attendance of each child enrolled in said program.

(f) Each child participating in a non-public home-based educational program shall be evaluated when such child reaches grades three, five, seven, nine and eleven. Each child shall be given a nationally standardized achievement test to evaluate the child’s academic progress, or a qualified person shall evaluate the child’s academic progress. The test, or evaluation results, whichever is appropriate, shall be submitted to the local school district of residence or an independent or parochial school within the state of Colorado. If the test or evaluation results are submitted to an independent or parochial school, the name of such school shall be provided to the local school district of residence. The purpose of such tests or evaluations shall be to evaluate the educational progress of each child.

(g) The records of each child participating in a non-public home-based educational program shall be maintained on a permanent basis by the parent in charge and in control of said program. The records shall include, but need not be limited to: attendance data, test and evaluation results, and immunization records, as required by sections 25-4-901, 25-4-902, and 25-4-903, C.R.S. Such records shall be produced to the local school district of residence upon fourteen days written notice, if the superintendent of said school district has probable cause to believe that said program is not in compliance with the guidelines established in this subsection (3).

(4) Any child who has participated in a non-public home-based educational program and who subsequently enrolls in the public school system may be tested by the school district for the purpose of placing the child in the proper grade and shall then be placed at the grade level deemed most appropriate by the local school district of residence.

(5)(a)(I) If test results submitted to the local school district of residence pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (f) of subsection (3) of this section show that a child participating in a non-public home-based educational program received a composite score on said test which was above the thirteenth percentile, such child shall continue to be exempt from the compulsory school attendance requirement of this article. If the child’s composite score on said test is below the thirteenth percentile, the local school district of residence shall require the parents to place said child in a public, or independent, or parochial school until the next testing period: except that no action shall be taken until the child is given the opportunity to be retested using an alternate version of the same test or a different nationally standardized achievement test selected by the parent from a list of approved tests supplied by the state board. Local school district of residence shall require the child’s parents to place the child in a public or independent or parochial school until the next testing period.

(b) If the child’s test or evaluation results are submitted to an independent or parochial school, said school shall notify the local school district of residence if the composite score on said test was at or below the thirteenth percentile, or if the evaluation results show that the child is not making sufficient academic progress. The local school district of residence shall then require the parents to proceed in the manner specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (5).

(6)(a) If a child is participating in a non-public home-based educational program but also attending his local school district of residence for a portion of the school day, the local school district of residence shall be entitled to count such child in accordance with the provisions of section 22-53-103 (7) for purposes of determining pupil enrollment under the “Public School Finance Act of 1988″, article 53 of this title.

(b) For purposes of this subsection (6), a child who is participating in a non-public home-based educational program may participate on an equal basis in any extracurricular or interscholastic activity offered by a public school in the child’s public school district of residence or offered by a private school, at the private school’s discretion, provided the child:

(I) Is in compliance with all laws governing non-public home-based education;

(II) Meets all of the public school district’s eligibility requirements for participation in the extracurricular or interscholastic activity, except for class attendance requirements of the school district or any recognized association of schools organizing and controlling the extracurricular or interscholastic activities, if the child elects to participate in an extracurricular or interscholastic activity through a public school;

(B) Meets all eligibility requirements established by a private school in the extracurricular or interscholastic activity, if the child elects to participate in an extracurricular or interscholastic activity through a private school.

(III) Has not been ruled academically ineligible to participate in extracurricular or interscholastic activities while a public school student within the last two years; and

(IV) Fulfills the same responsibilities and standards of behavior and performance, including related classroom or practice requirements, as other students participating in the extracurricular or interscholastic activity of the team, squad or group, and meets the same standard for participation with the team, squad or group.

(c) No child participating in an interscholastic activity pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection (6) shall be considered attending the local school district of residence for purposes of determining pupil enrollment under paragraph (a) of this subsection (6).

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