You have more options than you may think…
Brick & Mortar Public Schools
Children must attend school or comply with the homeschool laws starting in the school year in which they turn 6 on or before December 1. They must remain in school up until the last day of session in the school year in which they turn 16, or until they graduate from high school. see more >
New York school districts set the requirements for what documentation is required prior to enrolling a student in their district. To get that information, contact the district directly.
Some legal documents are required for New York students to attend school:
- Certified Birth Certificate/proof of identity
- Official copy of records/transcripts from the previous school the child most recently attended
- A shot immunization record (or proof that immunization is not required for the child)
- Click here to view the immunization requirements
- Proof of home address (for example, a rental agreement or tax statement)
Paying some fees is a part of public education, though it is primarily a free education. Students are expected to supply their own basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, and notebooks. Each district has a list of approved expenditures for students. Fee waiver forms can be requested from the school if there is a situation that prevents a family from being able to pay for required materials or events.
Some typical items on that list include:
- Summer school
- Student parking passes (high school)
- Lost textbooks
- Late or lost library books
- Field trips
- Special class-required fees (e.g., science lab fees)
Public Charter Schools
What are Charter Schools?
Charter Schools are tuition-free public schools operated by independent, non-profit governing bodies.
Parents, teachers, and community leaders sign a “charter” or contract with a school district or state agency to create a charter school and give students more educational options than their assigned school. Charter schools have flexibility over classroom hours, curriculum, and employment policies, but are subject to periodic reviews based on student performance. In New York, public charter school students are measured against the same academic standards as students in other public schools. Local boards of education monitor the academic and financial performance of charter schools, and, can revoke or refuse to renew a school’s charter.
New York Charter Schools
A list of the active charter schools can be found at the New York City Charter School Center.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about charters can be found at the New York City Charter School Center.
Most charter schools do not have attendance zones. If you are interested in applying for your child, you must apply directly to the school. The application and selection process can be quite complicated. Make sure to contact the school early to determine the correct next steps to applying.
Virtual Public Schools
In New York, there are currently no online public school options.
What makes a school “private”?
Private schools charge tuition, and many have a religious mission. Some private schools offer families assistance to make tuition payments. Click below for the complete list of over 60 private schools across the state.
Private School Review offers free, detailed information on U.S. private schools combined with useful community data (e.g., housing costs) and maps of the surrounding areas.
*Information on non-public school admission requirements should be obtained from the school directly.
New York offers their students The Teddy Forstmann Scholarship Program. It was established in 2012 in honor of CSF’s late co-founder. Teddy Forstmann scholarships are available at participating private schools of all types in the five boroughs of New York City.
For more information on policy change or to get involved in the school choice movement in New York visit EdChoice.
Private Virtual Schools
George Washington University Online High School is an online college preparatory academy for motivated students who are willing to be challenged to become the best students and persons they can be. Combining award-winning curriculum with small class sizes and intensive college counseling, students receive a flexible, individualized education attuned to their own needs and goals.
International Academy is a K12, Inc accredited, online private school for grades K–12. Students earn a U.S. high school diploma while using award-winning K¹² curriculum
They offer extensive, individualized academic and counseling support keep students on track. The flexibility allows students to explore their passions. Full-time and part-time options are available.
International Connections Academy is a fully-accredited, online, college preparatory private school serving K–12 students worldwide. The program combines a top-rated curriculum with talented teachers, cutting-edge technology, the flexibility to learn at home, and direct family involvement to ensure each student realizes his or her full potential.
The Keystone School offers flexible education programs for high school and middle school students. Whether your student wants to study full-time or just needs individual classes, they offer more than 170 courses from credit recovery to world languages and AP. Students can enroll at any time.
In New York, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education. Parents in New York may choose to homeschool their own children in grades K – 12.
1. Submit a notice of intent.
You must submit a notice of intent to homeschool to the district superintendent by July 1 (the beginning of the school year) annually, or within 14 days of establishing your new homeschool program during the school year. HSLDA has a notice of intent form for the use of our members available on our website. For families who live in New York City (within Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island), this notice, and all homeschooling correspondence, should instead be submitted to the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Home Schooling at 333 Seventh Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Additionally, please contact us if you are withdrawing your child from a New York City public school in the middle of the school year as there could be special considerations for you to be aware of.
2. Submit an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP).
Each school year, you must submit an IHIP by August 15 or within four weeks of the receipt of the IHIP form from the school district (whichever is later). The IHIP form requires you to submit your child’s name, age, and grade level; a list of your syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or plan of instruction; dates for submission of quarterly reports; and the name of whoever is giving the instruction. The IHIP form can be downloaded by HSLDA members from our website.
If applicable, your IHIP should include, along with the subjects to be covered, a statement indicating that your student will be meeting the compulsory educational requirements through full-time study (at least 12 hours a semester) at a degree-granting institution.
3. Comply with day, hour, and subject requirements.
You must maintain records of attendance each year demonstrating that your child’s attendance meets the “substantial equivalent” of 180 days per year. Attendance records are only required to be submitted to the school district upon request of the superintendent.
In addition to the day requirement, homeschooled students are required to meet hourly attendance requirements: 900 hours of school per year in grades 1–6, and 990 hours of school per year in grades 7–12.
4. File quarterly reports.
Reports must be submitted to the district superintendent each quarter. These should include the number of hours of instruction during the quarter, a description of the material covered in each subject, and a grade or narrative evaluation in each subject. Quarterly report forms are available to HSLDA members on our website.
5. Assess your child annually.
An annual assessment is required every year. In grades 1–3, you can have your student take a standardized test or you can choose to submit a written narrative evaluation for your student. In grades 4–8, standardized testing is required at least every other year, with the written narrative evaluation available as an option in the years you do not use a standardized testing option. So, for example, you could use a written narrative evaluation in grade 4, but would need to use a standardized test in grade 5, and so on. Standardized testing is required every year in high school.
- Standardized tests can be administered at the local public school or a registered nonpublic school. A test can also be administered in your home, or at any other reasonable location, by a New York–certified teacher or by another qualified person (including the student’s parent) with the consent of the superintendent. You can obtain consent by simply notifying the superintendent in your third quarterly report what test you will be using and who will be administering it.
- To demonstrate satisfactory progress, your student’s composite score must be above the 33rd percentile, or the score must reflect one academic year of growth compared to a test administered the prior school year.
- You may choose one of the following tests: Iowa Test of Basic Skills, the California Achievement Test, the Stanford Achievement Test, the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, the Metropolitan Achievement Test, a State Education Department Test, or another test approved by the State Education Department, such as the Personalized Achievement Summary System (PASS) test.
Written narrative evaluations may be conducted by a certified teacher, a home instruction peer group review panel, or other person with the consent of the local superintendent. Just as with the standardized test, you can obtain implied consent by notifying the superintendent in your third quarterly report that you will be submitting a written narrative evaluation and by whom it will be prepared.
Dual enrollment courses are college credit courses. High school students enroll in college courses and earn postsecondary credit upon successful completion of the course. High school credit can also be awarded based on local school policy. Dual enrollment courses can be taught on the college campus, at the student’s high school, or online. The location of the course does not affect its status as a dual enrollment course. Home school students are also eligible for dual enrollment.
While there is no statewide policy in New York, dual enrollment is offered on an institutional basis.
The parent or student is responsible for all course fees.
For More Information on New York School Choice Visit NYC Department of Education
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