Utah compulsory school attendance age
You must enroll your child in school from the day he or she turns 6 years old, until he or she turns 18.
If your child has not yet turned 18, but is at least 16 years of age and has completed at least the 8th grade, he or she may receive a partial release from the local school board to enter employment or attend a trade school.
If your child has not yet turned 18, but is at least 16 years of age, you may obtain an annual full release from your local school board if your child has completed the work required to graduate from high school, or will receive “proper influences and adequate opportunities for education” through his or her employment.
For more information about these options, HSLDA members should contact us.
HSLDA believes that a parent-issued diploma and transcript should be sufficient to demonstrate that a child has completed a secondary education. However, even if your child is beyond compulsory school attendance age, there may be situations where you would want to continue to follow the requirements of a home education option recognized under Utah law until your child graduates from high school (filing a home education notice, keeping attendance and other records, etc.). These records may be requested in some situations, such as obtaining a driver’s license if your child is a minor, enlisting in the military, applying to colleges, or demonstrating eligibility for Social Security benefits. If you are a member of HSLDA and would like additional details, please contact us.
Withdrawing your child from his or her current school
If you want to start homeschooling during the school year and your child is currently enrolled in a public or private school, HSLDA recommends that you formally withdraw your child from that school. If you are going to start homeschooling after the school year is over, and your child is considered enrolled for the following year, we recommend that you withdraw your child before the next school year begins, so that the school does not mark your child as absent or truant.
We invite you to become a member of HSLDA to receive specific advice about withdrawing your child from school and starting to homeschool. Local schools may have specific forms or withdrawal procedures. HSLDA members are eligible to receive individualized advice about whether complying with those procedures is advisable or required. HSLDA members can also use the sample letter of withdrawal for Utah available in Member Resources to correspond with school officials.
We generally recommend that any correspondence with authorities be sent by “Certified Mail—Return Receipt Requested.” Keep copies of the withdrawal letter and any other paperwork or correspondence, and any green postal receipts, for your personal records.
Note: If your child has never attended a public or private school, this section does not apply.
Complying with Utah’s homeschool law
Parents have two options to homeschool legally in Utah.
Option 1: Homeschooling under Utah’s homeschool statute:
Utah law specifically refers to homeschooling in Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-102(2). To homeschool under this statute, you’ll need to follow these guidelines.
1. File an affidavit.
You must file a signed and notarized affidavit with your local school board for each of your children when you start homeschooling. The affidavit must contain a statement that your child will be attending a homeschool and that the parents assume sole responsibility for the education of the student, except for the portion of time the child is dual-enrolled in a public school. You can find an affidavit form for the use of HSLDA members here.
After the school board receives your affidavit, you will receive an excuse certificate acknowledging your homeschool program within 30 days, and a new certificate each subsequent year by August 1. You do not need to re-file your affidavit as long as you remain in that district.
2. Provide instruction to your children.
There are no required days of instruction nor required subjects for homeschoolers in Utah. The parent is solely responsible for the “selection of instructional materials and textbooks.”
Option 2: Homeschooling as a private school
Under Utah law, you may establish a private school with other homeschoolers. Your enrollment in the private school is proof that your children are being educated in compliance with state law. The only requirement that may apply is obtaining a business license.
Member families who are interested in pursuing this option can contact HSLDA for more information about the requirements.
The importance of recordkeeping
You can find Utah’s specific recordkeeping requirements, if any, above. Regardless of what state you live in, HSLDA recommends that you keep detailed records of your homeschool program. These records may be helpful if you face an investigation regarding your homeschooling or your student needs to furnish proof of education.