Code No. 603.1
COMPULSORY EDUCATION; COMPETENT PRIVATE INSTRUCTION; DUAL ENROLLMENT
Compulsory Enrollment. Any child at least six years of age and under sixteen years of age by September 15 who is a resident of the District must enroll in the District schools unless:
a. The child is enrolled in another accredited public or private school; or
b. The child has completed the requirements for graduation in an accredited school or has obtained a high school equivalency diploma; or
c. The child is excused for sufficient reason by a court of record or judge; or
d. The child is attending religious services or receiving religious instruction; or
e. The child is attending a private accredited college preparatory school; or
f. The child is exempted by the Director of the Iowa Department of Education based on religious beliefs and principles of the child's parents or guardians; or
g. The child is receiving competent private instruction in accordance with state law and the rules of the Department of Education, either from a licensed teacher, or from a parent, guardian or custodian; or
h. The child is physically or mentally unable to attend school or the child’s presence would be injurious to the health of other students, proven as required by law.
Responsibility. It shall be the primary responsibility of the parents, guardians, and custodians to cause students to attend school regularly and in accordance with District policies or to demonstrate that the child is exempt from such requirement.
Attendance for Entire Time. The Board of Directors requires attendance of all regularly enrolled students for the entire time when schools are in session which shall be either 180 days or 1080 hours each school year, provided that students may be excused pursuant to the District's excused absence policy, and provided that seniors may be dismissed early. Students who are dually enrolled in the District by enrollment in a course(s) in the District and in competent private instruction shall be required to attend for the entire time when the course is in session, unless the child is excused under the same terms as full-time enrolled students. The Board of Directors requires instruction for 148 days each school year (July 1 - June 30) for students receiving competent private instruction, with attendance for at least 37 days each school quarter, which results in the student making adequate progress.
Enrollment in Accredited Nonpublic School. If a nonpublic school located within the District boundaries is accredited by the Iowa Department of Education, the Board secretary shall each school year, request a certificate and report in duplicate of the names, ages and grade levels of the students attending the nonpublic school who are of compulsory attendance age, during the preceding year and from the time of the last preceding report. The report shall also identify all students of compulsory attendance age who were truant, the number of days of truancy, and the children who dropped out, withdrew from enrollment, or transferred to another Iowa school and the date their attendance ceased at the accredited nonpublic school. Such certificate and report shall be delivered to the Board secretary within ten days. The secretary shall retain one report and file one with the secretary of Keystone Area Education Agency.
Competent Private Instruction. The law recognizes two options for competent private instruction. The first option is instruction by or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner. The second option is instruction by a non-licensed person.
Any parent, guardian or custodian whose child of compulsory attendance age is receiving competent private instruction by or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner, not in an accredited school or home school assistance program operated by an accredited school, shall furnish to the District annually, by September 1 of the year of instruction, a report in duplicate for each child on a form (“Form A”) provided either by the District or otherwise available on the Iowa Department of Education website. Any parent, guardian or custodian whose child is receiving competent private instruction by a non-licensed person may, but is not required to, submit a report in duplicate for each child on a form (“Form A”) to the District, unless that student is seeking to be dual enrolled, in which case Form A must be completed and submitted to the District by September 1 of the year of instruction. The Board secretary shall file one copy and forward the other copy to the secretary of Keystone Area Education Agency.
If the child is being placed under competent private instruction for the first time, with or under the supervision of a licensed instructor, the parent, guardian or custodian shall also provide evidence that the child has had required immunizations and a blood lead test if applicable. If the child is receiving competent private instruction for the first time by a non-licensed person, evidence of immunizations may, but are not required to, be provided, unless the student is seeking dual enrollment, in which case evidence of immunization must be provided. A home school assistance program operated by an accredited school shall furnish reports as required.
If a parent, guardian, or custodian decides, after enrolling a child in the District or in an accredited nonpublic school and after the deadline for filing the report, that he/she wishes to provide competent private instruction, the report shall be filed no later than fourteen (14) calendar days after removing the child from school.
A person who provides instruction to or instructional supervision of a student receiving competent private instruction shall be the student's parent, guardian, or legal custodian or a person who possesses a valid Iowa teaching certificate or practitioner license as a classroom teacher which is appropriate to the age and grade level of the student under competent private instruction.
Any parent, guardian, or custodian whose child of compulsory attendance age is receiving competent private instruction by a non-licensed person shall furnish annually by June 30 of each year the results of the child's annual assessment/evaluation (either the results of a standardized test, portfolio assessment or submittal of a report card from an accredited correspondence school) to the Board secretary and to the Department of Education as required by law. The District shall notify the parent, guardian or legal custodian who has selected the standardized testing form of evaluation of the times and dates when the tests will be administered and of the costs associated with the tests. If standardized testing is utilized, it will need to be completed by May 1 of each year. The Board Secretary shall annually report to the Iowa Department of Education by April 1 the names of all resident children who are subject to annual assessment and the form of assessment chosen by the parent, guardian, or custodian.
The District may provide to children receiving competent private instruction who are not dually enrolled in the District and who are not in a District home school assistance program available texts and supplementary materials on the same basis as provided to enrolled students. However, the District shall not be obligated to purchase additional materials.
Independent Private Instruction. Independent private instruction means instruction that meets the following criteria: (i) is not accredited, (ii) enrolls not more than four unrelated students, (iii) does not charge tuition, fees, or other remuneration for instruction, (iv) provides, upon written request from the District superintendent in which the independent private instruction is provided, or from the director of the Iowa Department of Education, a report identifying the primary instructor, location, name of the authority responsible for the independent private instruction, and the names of students enrolled, (vii) is not a nonpublic school and does not provide competent private instruction as defined herein, and (viii) is exempt from all state statutes and administrative rules applicable to a school, a school board, or a school district, except as otherwise provided by law.
No form is required to enroll a child in independent private instruction, however, a parent, guardian or legal or actual custodian choosing independent private instruction is advised to notify the District that it will be choosing this option to meet the compulsory attendance laws.
Accountability of students’ progress under independent private instruction is the sole responsibility of the instructor and there are no reporting requirements to the District or the Department of Education.
Home School Assistance Program. The District shall operate a home school assistance program in accordance with rules of the Iowa Department of Education. The District administration shall establish program guidelines and expectations for participation in the Home School Assistance Program. Personnel employed to operate the program shall meet licensure requirements for the grade levels and courses taught or supervised. Students enrolled in the program may also request dual enrollment in accordance with Iowa law and District policy. The District shall provide available texts and supplemental instructional materials on the same basis as they are provided to regularly enrolled students.
Dual Enrollment. A parent, guardian, or custodian of a child receiving competent private instruction but not independent private instruction, may submit a request to the District for dual enrollment in accordance with state law and District policy, not later than September 15. The forms for dual enrollment will be provided by the District. The child shall be permitted to participate in academic activities and co-curricular activities available to children in the child's grade and group. All eligibility requirements must be met the same as for full-time enrolled students, and the child shall be subject to all policies and administrative rules applying to the class and/or co-curricular activity. The District shall provide available texts and supplemental instructional materials when a student is dually-enrolled on the same basis as provided to regularly-enrolled students. If applicable fees are charged for regularly enrolled students in the class or co-curricular activity, that fee may also be charged to dually-enrolled students on the same basis as they are charged for the regularly enrolled students. If the child is dually enrolled in the District, the District shall pay the cost of an annual test for purposes of evaluation if the standardized test option has been selected. Otherwise, the parent, guardian or custodian shall be responsible for the costs of the evaluation.
Special Education. A child of compulsory attendance age who is identified as requiring special education is eligible for placement under competent private instruction with prior approval of the placement by the Director of Special Education of Keystone Area Education Agency. A child who is identified as requiring special education who is to be dually enrolled in the District shall be permitted to participate in academic activities and co-curricular activities on the same basis as students with the same level of disability who are enrolled full-time in the District and in accordance with his/her IEP.
Noncompliance. The Board secretary shall report noncompliance with the reporting, immunization, attendance, instructor qualifications, and assessment requirements of the compulsory attendance law to the county attorney for the county of residence of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.
Truants. Students enrolled in the District who are absent without valid excuse shall be disciplined in accordance with District policy and rules and regulations. In addition, the District shall attempt to find the cause for the child's absence and use every means available to the school to assure the child does attend. If attempts to have a student attend school regularly are unsuccessful, and the student has been absent without valid excuse for a total of five or more school days during the year, the matter shall be referred to the county attorney for mediation or prosecution if the student is in grades 7-12 or shall be referred to the Attendance Cooperation Process if in grades K-6. In addition, if required, the Board secretary shall report to the Iowa Department of Education the number of children who are truant or who have accumulated 15 or more unexcused absences during a three-year period and, so far as possible, the causes of the failure to attend.
Date of Review: April 9, 2018
Date of Revision:
April 9, 2018
Chapter 259A, 279.10, 279.11, 280.3, Chapters 299 and 299A, Code of Iowa; 281 I.A.C. 12.3(6), Chapter 31