What you must do before withdrawing your child from a school in California!
This paper is not a stand-alone document. It is a supplement to our paper Home Schooling In California – Legal Fact Sheet . You should read our Legal Fact Sheet before reading any further and before taking action to withdraw your child as outlined below. Frequently, parents decide to teach their child at home after their child has already been enrolled in a public school (whether traditional campus or charter). This paper answers the question: “How do I withdraw my child from their current school?” This paper also applies to withdrawing from a private campus school.
Two legal alternatives for private home schooling:
Once you have decided to “home school” your children, you will need to decide which private home school alternative you are going to use (See our Legal Fact Sheet). Parents will need to either:
(1) establish a private school based in their own home for their own children, and file their own Private School Affidavit; or
(2) enroll their children in a “Private School Satellite Program” (PSP), which has filed an Affidavit. See step “C” below regarding filing the Private School Affidavit.
Instructions for withdrawing your children:
Parents, whose children are currently enrolled in school, should follow the guidelines below before taking any action to withdraw their children from their current school:
A. Public School Officials:
Do not talk to public school officials about your plans to teach your children at home.
B. Joining HSLDA:
Join the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and confirm your membership before withdrawing your child. Contact HSLDA at www.hslda.org or 540-338-5600. We cannot recommend joining any other legal defense organization.
C. Filing the “Private School Affidavit”:
If you are enrolling your child in a private school, which you have established in your own home (legal alternative #1 above), you must file a Private School Affidavit. However, if you enroll your children in a “Private School Satellite Program” (legal alternative #2 above), you will not file your own Private School Affidavit. To understand how to file an Affidavit, read our article, Filing The Private School Affidavit.
D. Notifying the school from which you are withdrawing your children:
Your child’s current school should be notified within one or two days of keeping your child at home during the current school’s regular days of required attendance. After 3 days of unauthorized absence, a pupil can legally be determined a truant. To do this, a brief letter should be written to explain to the public school officials that you have enrolled your child in a private school located in California.
HSLDA members will need to contact the HSLDA Legal Department for directions on how to do this. HSLDA provides a sample letter for their members.
E. Requesting your children’s school records:
Request your child’s cumulative records file from the school where your child has been attending during this same first two days of keeping your child at home from their current school.
Writing a letter to request the student’s school records:
- If you enroll your children in a private school, which you have established in your own home (legal alternative #1 above), you will need to request your child’s cumulative records file. HSLDA members will also need to contact the HSLDA Legal Department for direction on how to do this.
- If you enroll your children in a “Private School Satellite Program” (legal alternative #2 above), the administrator or principal of that private school should request your child’s cumulative records file.
This document is available at www.fpmca.org for your use personally or for distribution.
(Permission is given to duplicate unaltered and complete.)
This was written in consultation with HSLDA attorneys, but is not intended to be nor does it constitute the giving of legal advice.