The Decision to Home-School

Any parent, guardian, or caretaker can opt to home-school their child aged 6-16 instead of enrolling their child in a public or private school.  The school district approves home-schooling plans in advance and provides oversight of home-schooling, focusing on whether the plan meets the district’s requirements.  

Parents planning to educate their child at home must notify (preferably in writing) the district as the first step in the approval process. Notification alone does not authorize a parent to begin home-schooling. Removing a child of school age from school without an approved home-schooling plan would cause the child to be considered truant.

Once the district receives a parent’s notification that they wish to educate their child at home, the district must provide the parent with the district’s policy and process for approval of home-schooling and ask the parent to submit the proposed home-schooling plan. If the parent’s notification includes the proposed plan, the district will provide the parent with its policy and process for approval of home-schooling plans and then proceed with its review of the proposed home-schooling plan.

Upon receipt of a proposed home-schooling plan, the school district evaluates it and then either approves it, requests modification or additional information, or disapproves the proposed plan. 

Districts typically review a proposed home-schooling plan for the content, instructional materials, duration and frequency of instruction, methods of instruction, evaluation, and whether it enables the child to make adequate progress in the areas that Massachusetts identifies as essential. The school district must communicate its decision to the parent, preferably in writing, within a reasonable period after receipt of the parent’s home-schooling plan.

Under Massachusetts law, home-schooled students have a right to special education services. In addition, school districts are required to evaluate students suspected of having a disability and re-evaluate students eligible for special education services consistent with federal and state requirements. Please see the advisory General Laws chapter 76, § 1 for more information about the provision of special education and related services to home-schooled and privately educated students.

While not required, the district has the discretion to allow home-schooled students to join district-provided courses, programs, or extracurricular activities, including athletics. This is a local decision, and DESE does not review those decisions.

Three Easy Ways to Submit Your Homeschool EDU Plan:

Completing your Homeschool Education Plan Proposal has never been easier. Please see three different options below for submitting your proposal. Our Homeschool Education Plan Proposal form is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Any hard copy submissions can be sent to or dropped off to the Deputy Superintendent’s office at:

Salem Public Schools
Attn: Deputy Superintendent, Room 226
29 Highland Avenue
Salem, MA 01970


Virtual Submission

Follow the link below to submit your Homeschool Education Plan Proposal via Google Form to the office of the Deputy Superintendent.


Fillable PDF

Download and complete the Homeschool Education Plan Proposal document linked below and submit to the Deputy Superintendent via email:


Printable PDF

Download, print, and complete the Homeschool Education Plan Proposal linked below and submit to our office by mail or in-person drop-off.

If you require additional information regarding approval of a home-schooling program, please get in touch with Fallon Fitzgerald at

The content on this page is managed by Executive Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Superintendent, Jensen Frost. Please reach out to her with any questions or concerns via email: