Parents of students ages 5 – 18 (include compulsory attendance document) may choose to educate their child at home, rather then enrolling them in a traditional public or private school. Talbot County Public Schools supports Home Instruction in accordance with the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.10.01
If you are registering your child for an online program that does not have a physical building, i.e. a brick and mortar school, then your child will need to be registered for Home Instruction because you are a resident of Talbot County and your child is not registered in a public or private school.
Parents choosing to educate their child at home must:
1. Notify the local public school system of their decision to instruct their child(ren), every year. Parents must keep the local public school system informed of their decision to continue or discontinue home schooling.
Home Instruction Notification Form
2. Teach their child a regular, thorough instruction from the parent in each of the following subjects:
- Reading/Language arts
- Social Studies
- Physical Education
- Health (May be incorporated through science or physical education)
- Students in grades 9-12 may substitute alternative electives of choice for art, music, and physical education. ( Portfolio Review Form)
3. Be supervised, either by the local public school system or by a private organization approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. List of Nonpublic Entities Registered to Supervise Home Instruction of Maryland Students.
For your reference please review the Maryland State Department of Education Frequently Asked Questions regarding Home Instruction in Maryland: Home Instruction FAQ.
The following video series was produced by Anne Arundel County Public Schools and gives a comprehensive overview of the Home Instruction process for all counties in MD.
Enrolling a student in home instruction requires contacting the Home Instruction Office and the school the student is currently attending. It is necessary to follow the steps listed below to ensure students are properly enrolled.
Parents enroll their children in home instruction by completing the Home Instruction Notification Form and submitting it to Talbot County Public Schools, attention: Jennifer Vogel, Home Instruction Coordinator.
- Complete the notification form completely for each section. Section I - Fill out general information about each child. Section II - Check whether or not you want your child to take standardized tests administered by the public school. Section III: Select whether you want your Home Instruction program to be supervised by Talbot County Public Schools (Option A) or by a private organization approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (Option B) For detailed information about how home instruction programs are supervised, see Supervision. Approved programs for supervision.
- There are three ways to submit a completed notification form: 1) email to 2) mail to: Talbot County Public Schools Attention: Jennifer Vogel, 12 Magnolia Street, Easton, MD 21601 or 3) Fax to: 410-822-3919 When the form is received, it will be stamp-dated, checked for completion, and signed by a staff member. Parents are sent a follow-up letter notifying them of their child's enrollment in home instruction. Please be sure to submit the notification form 15 days prior to the start of your child’s home instruction program to allow time for the approval process.
- If Home Instruction is your child’s first enrollment in school, you will need to provide Proof of Residency in Talbot County. Please review what is required for Proof of Residence and submit with your Home Instruction notification form.
- As soon as the student is enrolled in home instruction, the student will be transferred from the public or private school that the student is currently attending. (This includes students attending a public school in Talbot County Public Schools.) Please contact the school directly to find out about student transfer procedures. Note: **Home-schooled students are not enrolled in Talbot County Public Schools, it is important to understand that home-schooled students are not eligible to participate in public school courses, extracurricular activities, clubs, athletics, or competitions sponsored by the local public schools.
- TCPS ask that parents who are transferring to Home Instruction complete the Home Instruction Exit Survey and submit it with their Home Instruction Notification Form.
Each year the parents of home-instructed students must update or verify whether or not the student is continuing on home instruction. This may be done in writing with the Home Instruction Notification form or with the supervising organization.
Please keep in mind that if you decide to transfer your child to Home Instruction at any time during grades 9-12, credits are not issued if your child returns to public school unless Home Instruction is provided by Griggs International Academy or an accredited program. The parent will be required to provide documentation that the program is accredited and is subject to verification by Talbot County Public Schools (TCPS Policy 9.32 - #4).
TCPS Policy 9.32 States that Transfer Credits: from Non-Accredited Schools: Any student transferring from a non-accredited school (including a "church exempt school" or home instruction program) to a Talbot County Public School must substantiate that the objectives of any and all courses in which that student wishes to be awarded credit towards graduation have been satisfactorily achieved.
To do this, the student must pass all relevant final exams or comparable course assessments at the school into which the student wishes to transfer. Each assessment should measure total course achievement or total achievement for a set of cumulative courses and be arranged at the earliest possible time but only after a reasonable opportunity for review or preparation if requested by a student. The course grades that appear on "sender school transcripts" will be entered on Talbot County High School transcripts if the comparable course assessments are passed. Students may not receive credits in courses that included the propagation of any religion.
Therefore, all Home Instruction students (with the exception of those earning credits from Griggs International Academy or an accredited program) that transfer back to public school in Talbot County must do all of the following:
- Show proof of the completion of courses they took on Home Instruction AND
- Pass all the final exams in their home instructed courses in order to receive Talbot County high school credit AND
- Pass the PARCC or HSA assessed courses that correspond to the courses they completed while on Home Instruction.
As a reminder, Home Instruction students do not earn a diploma from Talbot County Public Schools.
MVA Learners' Driving Permit
Home instructed students seeking a driver's license begin by downloading and printing the MVA Learners' Permit Application. The application process requires that this form be signed and sealed by the TCPS Home Instruction Coordinator. Forms should be sent to the TCPS Home Instruction Coordinator via USPS mail, email, fax, or drop-off. Please allow 3-5 days for processing.
A. By the Local Public School
To ensure compliance with COMAR state regulations, TCPS conducts two annual reviews of every student's program who is supervised by TCPS. A review is like a conference in which the parent meets one-on-one with either the Home Instruction Coordinator or designee for approximately 30 minutes per child. These reviews are typically conducted at the end of the first semester (late January/February) and at the end of the school year (June).
Parents are informed of the dates and locations by mail and may select a date and time most convenient for them, (it is first come first serve). Students are welcomed, but not required, to attend. In conducting reviews, TCPS follows COMAR regulations.
The reviewer is looking for documentation of regular thorough instruction during the school year in the curricular subjects usually taught in the public school to students 5-18 years old. The parent/guardian should provide evidence that instruction in these subjects occurs on a regular basis during the school year and are of sufficient duration to implement the instructional program. The curricular subjects required for elementary students include: 1. Language Arts/Reading (English) 2. Mathematics 3. Science 4. Social Studies 5. Art 6. Music 7. Physical Education 8. Health. To provide evidence of regular, thorough instruction, parents prepare a portfolio that includes relevant materials, such as instructional materials, reading materials, examples of the child's writing, worksheets, workbooks, creative materials and tests. In addition, it is recommended that you submit achievement records & records of progress (i.e.lessons/units that have been taught in each subject).
Secondary students are required to study the four core subjects--English, math, science, and social studies, as well as take courses that correspond with studies taught in the public school to children of the same age. The parent should demonstrate that they are providing regular, thorough instruction during the school year and provide evidence that instruction in these subjects occurs on a regular basis during the school year and are of sufficient duration to implement the instructional program. To provide evidence of regular, thorough instruction, parents/guardians should prepare a portfolio that includes relevant materials, such as instructional materials, reading materials, examples of the child's writing, worksheets, workbooks, creative materials and tests. In addition, it is recommended that you submit achievement records & records of progress (i.e.lessons/units that have been taught in each subject).
Keep in mind that the purpose of the review is not to judge the quality of your instruction, but to document evidence of compliance with COMAR. During the conference the review will complete the Portfolio Review form that documents the evidence parents present. If there are any deficiencies noted during the first review, the parent will be asked to provide the needed documentation at the second review. Please come prepared for the review with the Portfolio Review Form parent sections completed. Portfolio Review Preparation
B. By a Non-public Supervising Entity
In Maryland, home-instructed students are not required to take any MD State tests. If the parent chooses, the student may participate in the standardized testing conducted in TCPS. Currently, this includes PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) MISA & HSA.
Home-instructed students may take these tests at the public school to which their home address is assigned. Parents who elect for their child to participate in MD State Testing will be notified by the local public schools testing coordinator of the test date & times. When you enroll your child in home instruction, the local, public school is informed if you have chosen to participate in standardized testing.
Special Education Testing
At the parent's request, TCPS will assess a home-instructed child for special education needs. If the formal evaluation determines that special education services are needed and appropriate for the student, an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is prepared. If home-instruction is continued, it is the parent's responsibility to provide those services or seek those special educational services outside of the school system.
Forms and Resources