The Home School Court Report
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New York
Districts seek unauthorized information

Home School Legal Defense Association assisted member families in Sayville Union Free School District and Rocky Point Union Free School District at the beginning of the 2001-2002 school year when these districts insisted that the parents provide proof of residency and the original birth certificates on each of their children being taught at home. Such information is not required by New York's home instruction law. As proof of residency, the school districts wanted to see the parents' deed to the house, a tax bill, or a copy of the lease they signed as tenants. All of these documents contain personal information that has nothing to do with establishing residency. Regarding the insistence that the family produce a birth certificate for each child, New York home school law simply requires the child's age, not even a birth date.

Taking into account that the notice of intent to conduct home instruction is to be provided to the superintendent of the parents' "school district of residence," HSLDA recommends that parents provide an address indicating that they are residents of the school district. Additionally, the regulation requires parents to submit the following information in an individualized home instruction plan (IHIP):

  1. the child's name, age, and grade level;
  2. a list of the syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or plan of instruction to be used in each of the required subjects;
  3. the dates for submission to the school district of the parents' quarterly reports as required; and
  4. the names of the individuals providing instruction.

HSLDA member families encountering school officials who insist that additional information be provided at the beginning of home instruction should contact us for assistance.

- Dewitt T. Black