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Military Homeschooling FAQ

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are designed to assist students, parents, teachers, coaches, principals, school administrators, and others in understanding the implementation of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Policy Memorandum on Home Schooling dated November 6, 2002.


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The Policy

Where can I obtain a copy of DoDEA's Policy Memorandum on Home Schooling?

A copy of the DoDEA Policy Memorandum on Home Schooling is located on the DoDEA website at www.odedodea.edu. You can also obtain a copy by writing to DoDEA, 4040 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1635, Attn: Chief of Staff.

Does DoDEA have any other home schooling policies besides the November 6, 2002 Policy Memorandum on Home Schooling?

No. The November 6, 2002 Policy Memorandum on Home Schooling supersedes all previous policies on home schooling issued by DoDEA.

Does DoDEA's Policy Memorandum on Home Schooling take a position on whether DoD sponsors should home school their dependents?

It is DoDEA policy neither to encourage nor discourage DoD sponsors from home schooling their dependents. DoDEA recognizes that home schooling is a sponsor's right and can be a legitimate alternative form of education for the sponsor's dependents.


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Auxiliary Services

What are auxiliary services?

By statute, auxiliary services are defined as use of academic resources, access to the library of the school, after hours use of school facilities, and participation in music, sports, and other extracurricular and interscholastic activities.

What are academic resources?

Academic resources include textbooks, workbooks, library books, scheduled standardized tests, software, etc. These materials are provided to home schoolers on the same basis that such resources are made available to dependents enrolled in DoD schools.

Do academic resources include Internet access?

Academic resources include Internet access that is obtained through the Media Center/Library of the school on the same basis that such access is made available to dependents enrolled in DoDEA schools.

What constitutes after hours use of school facilities?

Home schoolers may use a specific school's facilities after the school day has ended on the same basis as other dependents enrolled in that school.

What are extracurricular activities?

DoDEA schools offer a wide range of extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities vary from school to school. Activities may include drama, public speaking, Model United Nations, cheerleading, music, and Future Business Leaders of America. Parents and students are advised to contact their local school to obtain a current listing of authorized activities and organizations.

What are interscholastic activities?

Interscholastic activities are those activities that are conducted between two or more schools. Activities may be athletic or academic in nature (e.g., varsity football, science symposium, U.S. Model Senate.)

Are students required to enroll or register for a minimum number of courses to access auxiliary services?

Home schoolers are not required to attend a specific number of courses to receive auxiliary services, including participating in extracurricular and interscholastic activities.


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Eligibility

In overseas areas (i.e., DoDDS), which home schoolers are permitted to use or receive auxiliary services without being required to either enroll or register for a minimum number of courses offered by the school?

In DoDDS, home schoolers permitted to use or receive auxiliary services without enrolling in school or registering for a minimum number of courses must qualify as DoD dependent students eligible to enroll on a space-required, tuition-free or space-required, tuition-paying basis. DoD dependent students eligible to enroll on a space-required, tuition-free basis include dependents of a sponsor who is:

  1. a member of the armed forces serving on active duty and stationed in an overseas area; or
  2. a full-time civilian officer or employee of DoD who is either a citizen or national of the United States stationed in an overseas area.

A sponsor must be authorized to transport his or her dependent children to or from the overseas location at government expense and must be provided an allowance for living quarters in that area. DoD dependent students eligible to enroll on a space-required, tuition-paying basis include dependents of a sponsor who is assigned to a Military Assistance or Foreign Military Sales Program.

In overseas areas (i.e., DoDDS), are home schooled students eligible for spaceavailable, tuition-free or space-available, tuition-paying enrollment permitted to use or receive auxiliary services without enrolling or registering in a minimum number of courses?

No. In DoDDS, the only home schoolers permitted to use or receive auxiliary services without registering or enrolling for a minimum number of courses are DoD dependent students eligible to enroll on a space-required basis.

In overseas areas, how does a home schooler establish that he or she is eligible to access auxiliary services, including extracurricular and interscholastic activities?

Proof of eligibility to access auxiliary services, including extracurricular and interscholastic activities, is established by a copy of the sponsor's orders and independent proof of the dependent's identity. Preferred forms of identification for a dependent are a birth certificate, a valid passport, a DoD identification card, or other photo identification.

In the United States, its territories, possessions, and commonwealths (i.e., DDESS), which home schoolers are permitted to use or receive auxiliary services without being required to either enroll or register for a minimum number of courses offered by the school?

In DDESS, home schoolers permitted to use or receive auxiliary services without enrolling in school or registering for a minimum number of courses are DoD dependent students eligible to enroll in DDESS on a tuition-free basis. In the continental United States, this includes dependents of members of the armed forces and dependents of DoD civilian employees residing on a military installation served by a DDESS school. In territories, possessions, and commonwealths of the United States, this includes:

  1. dependents of members of the armed forces and dependents of DoD civilian employees residing on a military installation;
  2. dependents of members of the armed forces and dependents of DoD civilian employees not residing on a military installation; and
  3. dependents of members of the armed forces assigned to a remote location or unaccompanied tour of duty, whose dependent resides, on or off a military installation, in a territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States as authorized by the member's orders.
In the United States, its territories, possessions, and commonwealths, how does a home schooler establish that he or she is eligible to access auxiliary services including extracurricular and interscholastic activities?

For dependents of members of the armed forces residing on a military installation in the continental United States, proof of eligibility to access auxiliary services, including extracurricular and interscholastic activities, is established by:

  1. a copy of the sponsor's orders; and
  2. written affirmation by the installation family-housing manager that permanent quarters have been assigned, or will be assigned within 90 school days.

For dependents of DoD civilian employees residing on a military installation in the continental United States, proof of eligibility is established by:

  1. written affirmation by the DoD agency certifying the employee's employment and duty station; and
  2. written affirmation by the installation family-housing manager that permanent quarters have been assigned, or will be assigned within 90 school days.

For dependents of members of the armed forces residing on a military installation in a territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States, proof of eligibility is established by:

  1. a copy of the sponsor's orders; and
  2. written affirmation by the installation family-housing manager that permanent quarters have been assigned, or will be assigned within 90 school days.

For dependents of DoD civilian employees residing on a military installation in a territory, possession or commonwealth of the United States, proof of eligibility is established by:

  1. written affirmation by the DoD agency certifying the employee's employment and duty station; and
  2. written affirmation by the installation family-housing manager that permanent quarters have been assigned, or will be assigned within 90 school days.

For dependents of members of the armed forces not residing on a military installation in a territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States, proof of eligibility is established by a copy of the sponsor's orders. For dependents of DoD civilian employees not residing on a military installation in a territory, possession or commonwealth of the United States, proof of eligibility is established by the DoD agency providing:

  1. written affirmation certifying the employee's employment and duty station; and
  2. certification that the employee occupies a transferable position.

A transferable position is one subject by policy and practice to transfer or reassignment to a location where English is the language of instruction in the schools normally attended by dependent children of Federal personnel.

For dependents of members of the armed forces assigned to a remote location or unaccompanied tour of duty, whose dependents reside, on or off a military installation, in a territory, possession, or commonwealth of the United States as authorized by the member's orders, proof of eligibility is established by a copy of the member's orders. Proof of eligibility to access auxiliary services, including extracurricular and interscholastic activities, also requires independent proof of the dependent's identity. Preferred forms of identification for a dependent are a birth certificate, a valid passport, a DoD identification card, or other photo identification.


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Other Requirements

The DoDEA Policy Memorandum on Home Schooling states that a DoD home schooled dependent may be required to satisfy other eligibility requirements to use or receive auxiliary services. What are these requirements?

Home schoolers using or receiving auxiliary services must meet the same eligibility requirements applicable to dependents enrolled in DoDEA schools who use or receive the same auxiliary services. These eligibility requirements may include, but are not limited to: age certification; maintaining scholastic eligibility; providing documentation of current immunizations, physical exam, and proof of insurance coverage; and signing a standards of conduct form and Internet access agreement.

How does a sponsor of a DoDDS home schooled dependent verify his or her child's scholastic eligibility when required for participation in interscholastic, extracurricular, or other activities?

For each academic quarter, the sponsor must provide a certified statement of progress or other form of evaluation from an accredited home schooling provider attesting to the dependent's satisfactory progress in the course of study that he or she is enrolled in. If the dependent is not enrolled in an accredited home schooling program, the sponsor must provide a self-certified statement attesting to the dependent's satisfactory progress in the course of study that he or she is taking.

How does a sponsor of a DDESS home schooled dependent verify his or her child's scholastic eligibility when required for interscholastic, extracurricular, or other activities?

For each academic quarter, the sponsor must provide the appropriate documentation required by state law to verify academic progress in order to establish his or her child's scholastic eligibility for interscholastic or extracurricular activities. In the absence of a state requirement, the sponsor must provide a certified statement of progress or other form of evaluation from an accredited home schooling provider attesting to the dependent's satisfactory progress in the course of study that he or she is enrolled in. If the dependent is not enrolled in an accredited home schooling program, the sponsor must provide a self-certified statement attesting to the dependent's satisfactory progress in the course of study that he or she is taking.

How are grades verified when a dependent leaves a DoDEA school to be home schooled during the school year and wishes to continue participating in interscholastic, extracurricular, or other activities that have a grade requirement?

Grades earned by the dependent while enrolled in the DoDEA school will be used to determine scholastic eligibility for the duration of the activity that school year.

The DoDEA Policy Memorandum on Home Schooling states that a DoD home schooled dependent may be required to comply with standards of conduct to use or receive auxiliary services. What are these standards?

Home schoolers using or receiving auxiliary services must comply with the same standards of conduct applicable to dependents enrolled in DoDEA schools who use or receive the same auxiliary services. Students have the responsibility for conducting themselves in a manner that does not violate the rights of other people. They share with DoDEA administrators and teachers the responsibility for developing a climate within the school that is conducive to productive learning. Standards of conduct that students are expected to adhere to include, but are not limited to: maintaining textbooks and equipment, respecting property, obeying school rules, and accepting reasonable and appropriate consequences if responsibilities are not fulfilled. Individual schools have standards of conduct outlining policies on student dress and grooming, drug use, smoking, alcohol use, possession of weapons, etc. The specific information can be found in the each school's Student Handbook.


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Classes and Special Services

What is the difference between courses/classes and auxiliary services?

Courses/classes take place during the defined school day with a classroom teacher and defined curriculum standards. Auxiliary services are other services or activities that take place outside the defined school day.

What are the procedures that a home schooled dependent must follow if he/she wants to take single and/or multiple classes?

Home schooled dependents electing to take a single class or more at a DoDEA school must have their sponsors complete a registration form and comply with other registry procedures and requirements of the school.

May home schooled dependents receive English as a Second Language (ESL) services?

A home schooled dependent may receive ESL services if he or she meets the eligibility criteria for ESL services. Each DoDEA school has a copy of the eligibility criteria for ESL services. ESL services are provided in the context of a course or class during the defined school day with an ESL teacher and defined curriculum standards. Therefore, sponsors of home schooled dependents eligible to receive ESL services at a DoDEA school must complete a registration form for the courses or classes to be attended by the dependents and comply with other registry procedures and requirements of the school.

May home schooled dependents receive Gifted and Talented (GT) services?

A home schooled dependent may receive GT services if he or she meets the eligibility criteria for GT services. Each DoDEA school has a copy of the eligibility criteria for GT services. GT services are provided in the context of a course or class during the defined school day with a GT teacher and defined curriculum standards. Therefore, sponsors of home schooled dependents eligible to receive GT services at a DoDEA school must complete a registration form for the courses or classes to be attended by the dependents and comply with other registry procedures and requirements of the school.

What special education services are available to home schoolers?

A home schooled dependent may receive special education and related services if he or she meets the eligibility criteria for such services. Each DoDEA school has a copy of the eligibility criteria for special education and related services. Special education and related services (including transportation arrangements) will be provided as identified in the home schooled dependent's individualized education program (IEP). Sponsors of home schooled dependents eligible to receive special education and related services at a DoDEA school must complete a registration form and comply with other registry procedures and requirements of the school.


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Miscellaneous

Do schools receive any additional funding to offset costs associated with home schoolers use or receipt of auxiliary services?

No, not at this time.

Are there legal requirements on home schooling practices for DoD dependents?

A host nation, state, commonwealth, territory, or possession where a DoD sponsor is stationed may impose legal requirements on home schooling practices. Sponsors are responsible for complying with applicable local requirements and should consult with installation Staff Judge Advocates concerning these requirements.

Who is responsible for transporting home schoolers to and from DoDEA schools when they access auxiliary services?

Sponsors are responsible for transporting home schoolers to and from DoDEA schools when they access auxiliary services.

Who is responsible for transporting home schoolers to and from DoDEA schools when they are attending single or multiple classes?

Bus transportation is provided to all students to and from DoDEA schools at regularly scheduled times. If a home schooler's schedule coincides with the school's regular bus schedule, he or she may ride the bus. If the home schooler's schedule does not coincide with the school's regular bus schedule, the responsibility for the student's transportation resides with the sponsor.

If I have additional questions about DoDEA's Home Schooling Policy Memorandum, whom do I contact?

You may contact the Office of the Chief of Staff, DoDEA, 4040 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1635, telephone: (703) 696-1352.

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