TN 10 (01-07)
PR 08005.044 Rhode Island
A. PR 07-053 Home School Requirements in the States in the Boston Region
DATE: Jan 17, 2007
Rhode Island recognizes at-home instruction approved by the school committee of the town in which the child lives. The proposed home school program must be presented to the local school committee for approval. A home school will be approved if it meets the following requirements:
It has a period of instruction substantially equal to that required by statute in public schools; in general, this is five and a half hours per day for at least 180 days;
An attendance register is kept;
The home school teaches reading; writing; geography; arithmetic; history of the United States; history of Rhode Island; principles of American government; health and physical education; beginning with fourth grade, the history and government of Rhode Island; and in high school the U.S. Constitution and Rhode Island Constitution.
An assessment of progress may be required, and the parent and local school committee must agree on a way to evaluate the child's progress in all required subjects.
Ask the parent to submit evidence of compliance with Rhode Island law. The student must also meet federal standards for full-time attendance and all other requirements for the payment of benefits.
In response to your request for a survey of state laws regarding the requirements for home schooling in the states in the Boston Region, we provide below a summary of the applicable laws for each New England state. If you have any questions about how these laws would apply to the facts of any specific claim for child's benefits, please let us know.
Attendance at school is required for persons who have “completed six (6) years of life on or before September 1 of any school year and has not completed sixteen (16) years of life.” By statute, attendance is excused for a child who is attending “a course of at-home instruction approved by the school committee of the town where the child resides.” A proposed home schooling program must be presented to the local school committee for approval.
At-home instruction will be approved when the period of attendance is “substantially equal” to that required by law in public schools (generally five and one half hours a day for at least 180 days). An attendance register must be kept. Required subjects are reading, writing, geography, arithmetic, history of the United States, history of Rhode Island, principles of American Government, health and physical education. Also, beginning with fourth grade, the history and government of Rhode Island must be taught. In high school, the U.S. Constitution and Rhode Island Constitution must be taught. An assessment of progress may be required, and the parent and the local school committee must agree on a way of evaluating the child's progress in all required subjects.
See R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 16-19-1, 16-19-2, 16-22-4; Rhode Island Department of Education website at http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE16/16-19/INDEX.HTM .