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Laramie, Wyoming Homeschool Laws Questions and Answers
1. What do I need to do if I'd like to begin to homeschool in Laramie?
Education is compulsory in Wyoming for students between the ages of 7 and 16 (as of September 15 of any given year). If your child is between these ages, then you need to submit a Letter of Intent packet to the Special Services division of the school district. The packet consists of the downloadable form below and non-essential information about the form. You can pick up a packet at the office located at 509 S. Custer (corner of 9th and Custer). The director of the Special Services department is Steve Slyman, ph: (307) 721-4460.
2. What subjects do I have to teach in Laramie and what is a sequential and progressive program?
Wyoming requires that students are given instruction in the following areas: reading, writing, mathematics, civics, history, literature and science. The content within these subject areas is determined by you. A sequential and progressive curriculum is one in which you can show that the subject matter taught to the student is cumulative, follows an order and gains in complexity and depth as befits the student's academic level.
3. Do I have to use a particular curriculum? What kinds of resources can I use? How do I know what grade to put my child in?
Each homeschool teacher is allowed to determine the curriculum materials s/he desires to teach with. There are many resources which can be used as part of a curriculum: books, workbooks, media materials, computer programs and websites, hands-on kits and projects, contest and challenge preparations, direct instruction through online or in-person classes and more. Your child's grade level is largely determined through a combination of tradition and your own discretion. Most people set their child's grade level according to a combination of age and ability.
4. I feel nervous about teaching the required subjects. Are there guidelines somewhere to provide me with an appropriate scope and sequence?
Just as curriculum choice is highly individualized and personal, the scope and sequence of each homeschooler's course of study is also highly personalized. Many homeschoolers turn to book such as the "What Your (insert grade) Needs to Know" series by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. to find answers. Most curricula is categorized by grade level and/or age, however, and are generally written according to National Standards which also comply with Wyoming State standards.
5. Do I have to test my kids or provide progress reports?
There is no requirement that you must provide evidence of academic achievement.
6. Can my kids participate in extra-curricular activities in public schools?
Wyoming State law allows for homeschoolers to participate in activities at the high school level; however, you may be required to pay a fee for participation, supplies or insurance. Participation at levels below high school is dependent upon each individual school. Contact the principal of the school directly to inquire whether or not your child can participate.
Wyoming Educational Statutes Relevant to Home Schoolers
CHAPTER 4 PUPILS
ARTICLE 1 COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE
(a) For the purposes of this article:
(v) A home-based educational program means a program of educational instruction provided to a child by the child's parent or legal guardian or by a person designated by the parent or legal guardian. An instructional program provided to more than one (1) family unit does not constitute a home-based educational program;
(vi) "Basic academic educational program" is one that provides a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, civics, history, literature and science. These curriculum requirements do not require any private school or home-based educational program to include in its curriculum any concept, topic or practice in conflict with its religious doctrines or to exclude from its curriculum any concept, topic or practice consistent with its religious doctrines.
21-4-102. When attendance required; exemptions.
(a) Every parent, guardian or other person having control or charge of any child who is a resident of this state and whose seventh birthday falls on or before September 15 of any year and who has not yet attained his sixteenth birthday or completed the tenth grade shall be required to send such child to, and such child shall be required to attend, a public or private school each year, during the entire time that the public schools shall be in session in the district in which the pupil resides; provided, that the board of trustees of each school district may exempt any child from the operation of this article when:
(i) The board believes that compulsory attendance in school would be detrimental to the mental or physical health of such child or the other children in the school; provided, the board may designate at the expense of the district a medical doctor of its choice to guide it and support it in its decision;
(ii) The board feels that compulsory school attendance might work undue hardship. The board may conduct a hearing on issues pursuant to this paragraph by executive session; or
(iii) The child has been legally excluded from the regular schools pursuant to the provisions of W.S. 21-4-306.
(b) A home-based educational program shall meet the requirements of a basic academic educational program pursuant to W.S. 21-4-101(a)(vi). It shall be the responsibility of every person administering a home-based educational program to submit a curriculum to the local board of trustees each year showing that the program complies with the requirements of this subsection. Failure to submit a curriculum showing compliance is prima facie evidence that the home-based educational program does not meet the requirements of this article.
ARTICLE 4 ISOLATION
21-4-402. Instruction for hospitalized or homebound pupils.
(a) The board of trustees of each school district shall offer homebound instruction for each pupil in the district who is hospitalized or homebound for more than one (1) week because of injury or illness.
(b) The board shall also offer homebound instruction for each pupil in the district who is hospitalized or placed in a state accredited or state certified treatment facility for more than one (1) week in a hospital or facility located in another Wyoming school district because of injury or illness. The board shall either provide instruction directly or contract with the school district in which the pupil is hospitalized or placed in a facility to provide this instruction. This subsection does not apply to pupils who are hospitalized or placed due to a mental, physical or psychological handicap and who are receiving educational services under W.S. 21-2-501.
21-4-506. Participation in activities by students not enrolled in the district; limitation on fees.
(a) Any school age child who is a resident of a school district, who is not under suspension or expulsion by a Wyoming school district and who is not enrolled as a full-time student in the district in which he resides, shall be permitted by the district to participate in any activities which are sanctioned by the Wyoming high school activities association and which are offered by the district subject to the following:
(i) The district may require the student to pay any fees for participation which are required by the Wyoming high school activities association;
(ii) The district may charge that student an additional fee for participating, but that fee shall be no more than any fee for participating charged to full-time students of the district. The district shall not require that student to pay tuition or to pay any other fees or charges as a condition of participation;
(iii) As a condition of participation, the student shall be required to comply with all other rules and policies of the district or any school activities association applicable to all students participating in the activity and not related to the assessment of fees or charges.
Session Laws of Wyoming
Passed in the 1997 Special Session of the Wyoming Legislature.
Session Law: 1997, Chapter 3, Section 202(f)(v)
(f) Administration of Cost of Education. The state superintendent shall develop recommendations on the following:
(v) A methodology for including in the formulation the fractional average daily membership (ADM) basis students who are enrolled in district courses and cocurricular activities but who are not enrolled in the district on a full time basis. Effective July 1,1997 any rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this paragraph may be substituted as recommendations in a report to the joint education interim committee, which shall, after review, propose legislation to implement the provisions of this paragraph. The purpose of this paragraph is to develop a means by which schools districts can receive funding for children who attend home school or private school to the extent the district provides programs and services for those students, including but not limited to:
A. Participation in cocurricular activities such as athletics, band, orchestra, debate and drama; B. Courses and other programs which the district provides and permits the student to take or participate in.
Any community member can get a UW library card and it can be used at the Learning Resource Center to check out materials for 3 weeks at a time with renewals. The Learning Resource Center has: a huge selection of books (including sets of multiple copies for book groups/classrooms), curricula of all kinds, an amazing selection of educational games, science kits, etc. It is located in the same building as the Lab School on campus.