Opening, Closing, Reopening NC Home Schools

School Registration

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Yes. If any of the children currently living with you are at least age 7 but not yet age 16, they must be enrolled in a legal North Carolina school (either a local public conventional non-public or a home school registered with DNPE).

Failure to register the home school with DNPE would constitute a parental violation of the State of North Carolina compulsory attendance law since the child(ren) would not be enrolled in a legal North Carolina school.  Local public school systems are charged with the legal responsibility of compulsory attendance law enforcement.  G.S. 115C- 379, 380 and 15A-1340.23 speak to the enforcement and penalty, if the parent/guardian is prosecuted by local officials and successfully convicted.

In addition, students under age 18 may not obtain/retain/re-acquire a valid North Carolina driver's permit/license if he/she is not enrolled in a legal North Carolina school.

Yes, if the distance-learning program or virtual school is based in another state.

If any of the children currently living with you are at least age 7 but not yet age 16, they must be enrolled in a legal North Carolina school (either a local public, conventional non-public or a home school registered with DNPE).  For compulsory attendance purposes, the home school would then be the North Carolina school in which the child is enrolled, and the distance-learning program or virtual school would be considered the curriculum the parent is using to home school his/her child.

In completing the Notice of Intent to Operate a Home School form, the parent must give his/her own name as owner, chief administrator and provider of academic instruction as well as his/her US Postal Service and e-mail addresses and telephone number for the home school - not for the distance learning program.   On the form, do not list any information about the distance learning program in which the student is also enrolled. 

There is no approval, disapproval, certification or licensing process involved.

You are notifying the State of North Carolina of your intent to establish a home school, not asking for state approval to do so. As long as all questions on the Notice of Intent form are answered and credible high school diploma evidence is submitted with it for all adults listed as Chief Administrator and Provider of Academic Instruction, acceptance of your completed Notice of Intent form is automatic.

Formal receipt acknowledgment of your Notice of Intent will be sent to you via email once DNPE officials process your Notice of Intent and diploma evidence.

When selecting your school name, choose an academic name appropriate for inclusion on the student's future high school diploma which would be provided by your school.

Keep in mind that DNPE will NOT be able to accommodate requests later for a change of school name in the division's files. School name length should not exceed 30 characters (including spaces and punctuation). To avoid duplication and confusion, do not use the following words in the name: "Charter, college, elementary, grade, grammar, high, incorporated (or Inc.), junior, kindergarten, lower, middle, primary, public, residence, schooling, secondary, seminary, senior, the, university, or upper."

Any school submitting its Notice of Intent without providing a school name will automatically be assigned a school name beginning with the last name of the chief administrator followed by the word "school." 

For parents/guardians living in households where there are no resident adults who possess a high school diploma (or its equivalent), there are two options available to legally have their children (of compulsory attendance age) home educated.

First, the parent/guardian may contact the GED (General Equivalency Diploma) test coordinator at a local community college and make arrangements to acquire a GED (or to enroll in the Adult High School Diploma Program there).  The GED usually costs less than $10 but takes about 6 - 10 weeks to obtain.

Second, the parent/guardian might consider approaching the chief administrator of an existing legal home school and ask if he/she would consider enrolling the child in that home school to be taught weekdays on a regular basis by that parent in this already established home school.

Yes, but only for the purposes of using DNPE's interactive online services. Otherwise, all filing and referencing of North Carolina home schools by the State of North Carolina is only by school name and county.

No. If you are continuing to operate a currently registered home school from year to year, do not send a Notice of Intent again -- even if you are adding another child.

In its files, DNPE automatically retains your school from year to year as a currently active one -- provided you have not terminated the school and you have notified the division immediately about any changes in the school's address.

No. However, if you have registered your child in public school already and you wish to start home schooling, you must go by the child's current conventional school; complete/sign the necessary paperwork there to officially withdraw your child; take him/her home; and, begin home schooling the child without dealing with this or any other government office for the remainder of this school year.

You are required to register a home school when your child is age 7.

Only if the student wishes to obtain/retain his/her North Carolina driver's permit/license while under age 18. The student will then need to continue receiving academic instruction on a regular schedule and be required to take a nationally standardized achievement test each year until reaching age 18.

No.  North Carolina's home school laws are applicable only for schools enrolling students who have not yet reached their eighteenth birthday. Do not send a Notice of Intent if the only students involved are age 18 or older.

No. Do not send a separate notice of intent form for each student.  

Your one Notice of Intent covers all children of compulsory attendance age who live with you.  Only one Notice of Intent per household please.

Yes. Otherwise, the principal of the conventional school in which the child is currently enrolled (would be attending) may order prosecution for a compulsory attendance violation.

Consult that principal for the final answer to this question.

State law does not require that you provide your e-mail address.

DNPE has transitioned to a process that allows for automation of many of its routine services. It will allow DNPE to use e-mails and secured interactive web pages to communicate with and provide services to home school chief administrators.

During the months of May and June, if your child attends a year-round school and you now wish instead to establish a home school to educate that child during the upcoming July 1 through June 30 home school year, please submit your Notice of Intent form to DNPE in early July.

Summer School

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No.  The home school laws exist solely to provide another means for parents to satisfy the North Carolina compulsory attendance statutes.  Compulsory attendance laws are applicable only during the traditional school year -- not during the summer months when most local conventional schools are out of session.

Consequently, a home school which would operate only during the summer months would not register with DNPE.  Parents considering such a proposed summer instructional program must first consult with the conventional school which the student attended at the previous school year's conclusion and especially with the one which the student will be attending at the opening of the next school term. 

The school the student will be attending in the fall determines whether or not credit for such a summer program will be accepted.  Usually, credit for a parent/guardian (or anyone else) teaching his/her children during the summer months only will not be recognized by local conventional schools. 

Full year home schools registered with DNPE may, however, choose any nine months of the calendar year in which to operate.

For Parents and Students in existing Home Schools and Private Schools

NCVPS (North Carolina Virtual Public Schools) has an enrollment process for parents and students in existing homeschools and private schools:

School Termination

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To close your home school, you may:

  1. call the DNPE office at (984) 236-0110 and request your home school to be closed; or
  2. log on to the Home School Updates and Changes form with your Home School ID, click on "Home School Closure Notification Form," and follow the steps listed to close your home school.  

For no more than three consecutive calendar months.

The North Carolina General Statutes require that every home school operate on a regular schedule for at least nine calendar months each year.  The home school can operate on a regular schedule only when there is at least one student enrolled. 

  • If any correspondence sent to a home school via the U.S. Postal Service is returned to DNPE as undeliverable or address not known;
  • Home schools that have moved out-of-state;
  • Home schools that do not administer a national standardized test annually;
  • Home schools that report no student enrollment.

It is the responsibility of the chief administrator to provide accurate and up-to-date information for the home school.  The homeschool chief administrator is the only one with the ability to close a homeschool.  

School Re-Opening

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Log into your account in the home school portal with your username and password. Then complete Notice of Intent to Re-Open a Home School Form.

If you have never logged into the home school portal, you will need to retrieve: 1) your username and 2) and password. Follow the instructions to retrieve both of those identifiers. The information will be sent to the email address that is on file. If the email address that is on file is no longer accessible, please contact the office at 984-236-0110 to update your email address to continue the process.  

This page was last modified on 08/01/2023