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Home Instruction

Home Instruction is an option for parents who elect to withdraw their child(ren) from the public school system. Students who participate in home instruction do not have access to any of the educational resources provided to students enrolled in public school. Instead, parents/guardians are responsible for providing materials and delivering instruction. Parents/guardians withdrawing from an HCPSS school must return all equipment and resources within 15 days. Home Instruction processing will take place after the school of residence has confirmed receipt of all returned items (computers, instructional materials, books, etc.).

Parents who elect home instruction are legally mandated by the state to “provide regular, thorough instruction in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age.” Students enrolled in home instruction do not receive grades, credits or a diploma. If a homeschooled student enrolls in HCPSS, the school will assess the student in accordance with COMAR 13A.10.01.05 (Placement in Public School) [to determine placement and whether any credits are to be awarded.]

MSDE Home Instruction Resources

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) provides a number of resources to assist families that participate in home instruction, including a series of informational videos (listed below) and answers to frequently asked questions and the MSDE 2022 Fact Sheet.

Getting Started with Home Instruction

This video provides a basic overview of home instruction in Maryland.

Components of Home Instruction Program

This video discusses the components for developing a home instruction program, including academic subject areas, regular and thorough instruction, verification and portfolio reviews and change of status.

Special Topics for High School Aged Children

This video addresses issues specific to high school-aged children, including high school diplomas, GED, and Motor Vehicle Administration.

How to Participate in Home Instruction

Participating in home instruction is a two-step process.

Step 1: Complete the Home Instruction Notification Form. COMAR requires “Option 1” families to notify the school system each school year.

To complete this form, you will need to identify how your home instruction will be managed. MSDE provides two options in this regard:

Option 1: Parents/Guardians are responsible for selecting the curricula they will use to provide their student or students with “regular thorough instruction in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age”. Parents/Guardians choose the resources and instructional materials which may also include online courses to curate a portfolio with student work samples and other artifacts and evidence for each student. Home Instruction students portfolios are reviewed up to 3 times a year by the Home Instruction Office.

Option 2: Parents follow curricula developed by one of the “Nonpublic Entities Registered to Supervise Home Instruction of Maryland Students.” The nonpublic entity will verify the student’s participation on an annual basis. HCPSS does not conduct portfolio reviews under this option.

Step 2: Begin home instruction for your child(ren). If applicable, the HCPSS Home Instruction Office will notify the school of residency of the student’s withdrawal from the HCPSS. Parents/guardians withdrawing from an HCPSS school must return all equipment and resources within 15 days. Home Instruction processing will take place after the school of residence has confirmed receipt of all returned items (computers, instructional materials, books, etc.).

Change of Status: Please email homeinstruction@hcpss.org if a change occurs in the home school status of your child(ren) during the school year.

How to Withdraw from Home Instruction

If you wish to withdraw from home instruction and enroll in another school or program, you will need to complete the Withdrawal from Home Instruction Notification Form.

How to Return to HCPSS

Transition from home instruction back to HCPSS is a two-step process:

  • Step 1: Complete the Withdrawal from Home Instruction Notification Form.
  • Step 2: Follow these instructions on how to register your child to attend an HCPSS school.
    • After registering your child to attend an HCPSS school, the school will assess the student in accordance with COMAR 13A.10.01.05 (Placement in Public School). School staff will use this process to determine appropriate instruction and if any credits are to be awarded for the time in home instruction.

Contact HCPSS Home Instruction

Home Instruction Office
Applications and Research Laboratory
10920 Clarksville Pike (Route 108)
Ellicott City, MD 21042

If you have questions, please email homeinstruction@hcpss.org or call 410–313–6792.

  • Coordinator, Julie Alonso-Hughes
  • Instructional Facilitator- Lauren Blake
  • Technical Assistant – Michele Cook
  • Administrative Assistant – Karen Heinly