Please Note: Colorado Law has three options for homeschooling. This page covers the Homeschool Law (Notice of Intent). Make sure this is what you’re looking for by checking out this breakout.
Non-Public Home-Based Education (Notice of Intent)
“Non-public home-based education program” means:
- the sequential program of instruction for the education of a child which takes place in a home,
- which is provided by the child’s parent or by an adult relative of the child designated by the parent,
- and which is not under the supervision and control of a school district.
This educational program is not intended to be and does not qualify as a private and non-profit school.
Below is a summary of the complete Colorado homeschool law. Click each heading for more information. (Numbers correspond to the appropriate section within the law.) We recommend reading the entire Colorado Homeschool Law.
Begin: File a Notice of Intent (NOI)
A Notice of Intent is a document the parent must file annually with a school district in the state of Colorado. It must be filed 14 days prior to starting the home education program and should include:
- the student(s) name and age
- the student(s) address
- the number of hours of attendance
- the parent’s signature
Additional information that may be included on the NOI: You have the option of submitting your test/evaluation results to an independent or parochial school in the state of Colorado, such as the CHEC Independent School. If you prefer this option, the name of the Independent or Parochial School must be included on your Notice of Intent.
You can view a sample Notice of Intent here.
The student’s parent, guardian, or adult relative designated by the parent or guardian is responsible to provide the teaching.
Compulsory Attendance Ages
CRS 22-33-104.5(5)(a) and (b)
The Colorado compulsory attendance law requires students from ages 6 (by August 1) to 17 to attend public school. If not enrolled in a public school, all children within these ages must be enrolled in a non-public school (private, parochial, or independent) or abide by the home-based education law. Under the home-based education law, the following exceptions apply:
- The NOI must be in place for students who are age 6 by August 1st, but teaching does not need to begin until age 7.
- Once the student reaches 16 years of age, the NOI no longer needs to be submitted.
Homeschooling students must be educated for 172 days with an average of 4 hours per day. (To obtain an average, add up the total hours and divide by the total days.)
Record Keeping (Attendance, Assessment, & Immunizations/Exemptions)
Records for each child must be maintained on a permanent basis by the parent. These records should include, but are not limited to:
- attendance data
- assessment (test and/or evaluation) results
- immunization records
If you choose exemption from some or all immunizations, you must maintain a statement of exemption. A simple statement is all that is necessary; click here to view & download a sample form.
CRS 2-33-104.5(3)(f) and CRS 22-33-104.5(5)(a)(I, II)
Home educated students must either be tested at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th grades OR be evaluated by a qualified person (see the full Colorado Homeschool Law for definition of “qualified”).
Students must achieve a composite score above the 13% on a nationally standardized achievement test or receive an evaluation that shows the child is making sufficient academic progress according to their ability.
Find more information on testing here.
Submission of Assessment (Testing/Evaluation) Results
CRS 2-33-104.5(3)(f) and CRS 22-33-104.5(5)(a)(I, II)
These test/evaluation results must be submitted to the school district where the NOI was filed OR to an independent or parochial school that holds test scores. (For example, you can submit them to the CHEC Independent School.)
A Non-Public Home-Based educational program shall include, but need not be limited to these curriculum subjects:
- communication skills of reading, writing, and speaking
- regular courses of instruction in the constitution of the United States as provided in section 22-1-108
Each family may use the curriculum of their choice as long as it covers the required subjects.
Colorado law does not require a specific curriculum.
Grade Level Assignments or Changes
A grade level does not need to be included on your Notice of Intent, nor do you have to notify the district if you change your student’s grade level.
It is not uncommon for a home educated student to span more than one grade or to move through more than one grade level in a single school year. However, when selecting a grade for your own purposes, take into consideration:
- the reading level of the student
- the grade at which most of the subjects are being taught
High School Graduation
Colorado does not have homeschool graduation requirements. Each high school (and therefore family) sets its own requirements based on post-high school plans (including college requirements).
Because you are overseeing your child’s education, you set the requirements. Once your student has met your set requirements, you graduate them. This means you sign the diploma – but don’t panic! It’s no different than a private school issuing and signing a diploma. (You can order a diploma here.)
Check out high school support for more information.
Participation in Sports and Extracurricular Activities
Homeschooled students have the right to participate on an equal basis as public school students in any extracurricular or interscholastic activity offered by the school district where the NOI was filed or a private school (at the private school’s discretion). In a district with multiple schools, the district has the authority to decide where the student will participate. The student will also be subject to the same rules of any interscholastic organization or association of which the school is a member. The district shall not require the student to enroll in a course or to complete any course credits as an eligibility requirement, unless the extracurricular activity is an extension of the course.
Part-time Public School Programs
Homeschooled students may attend classes at a public school for a portion of the school day. The district may count this student for the purposes of determining pupil enrollment. The district can also require additional information, such as the new requirements for immunizations or whatever else they deem necessary for enrollment).
Enrollment of a Truant Student
Be sure to read this section of the Colorado Homeschool Law to understand special rules that apply to students who have been charged with truancy.