Home Instruction Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What are the most recent FAQ updates?

A Reminder to Maine Home Instruction Parents and SAUs Regarding Annual Assessment Requirement

  1. What is the exact web address for the Home Instruction Portal for parents who wish to submit the Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction online?


  1. When should a parent or legal guardian submit a Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction?

A Notice of Intent must be filed annually by the parent or legal guardian. A school year starts July 1 and ends June 30. For parents in the first school year of home instruction, file the notice within 10 days of withdrawal from school. If you are starting a subsequent school year of home instruction, a Notice of Intent must be filed by September 1, together with the annual assessment.

  1. Must I use the Home Instruction Portal, or the official Maine DOE Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction form?

Using the Home Instruction Portal is not mandatory, and you may provide Notice to the superintendent's office in a different format, provided it contains all required information, listed here:

  • Applicable School Year

  • Parent/Guardian Full Name

  • Physical Address, City, Zip Code; and Mailing Address (if different)

  • Child’s Full Name

  • Child’s Date of Birth or Age Expressed in Years

  • Indicate First or Subsequent Year of Home Instruction

  • Date Starting Home Instruction (if First Year)

  • Assurance (if First Year): FIRST YEAR HOME INSTRUCTION PARENT ASSURANCE. The home instruction program will provide at least 175 days annually of instruction and will provide instruction in the following subject areas: English and language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, health education, library skills, fine arts and, in at least one grade from grade 6 to 12, Maine studies. At one grade level from grade 7 to 12, the student will demonstrate proficiency in the use of computers. The home instruction program will include an annual assessment of the student's academic progress that includes at least one of the forms of assessment described in 20-A M.R.S. § 5001-A (3)(A)(4)(b).

  • Prior Year Assessment (if Subsequent Year)

  • Statement of Intent to Continue Providing Home Instruction (if Subsequent Year): SUBSEQUENT YEAR HOME INSTRUCTION PARENT STATEMENT.  I intend to continue providing home instruction and enclose the prior year annual assessment of the student's academic progress as outlined in 20-A M.R.S. 5001-A(3)(A)(4)(b).

  • Signature

  • Date of Signature

  • A valid email address if parent would like an acknowledgment

  1. How do I find my local school superintendent's address?

You will find an up-to-date list of addresses on our website.

  1. Do I need to file a Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction for my 5-year-old child?

According to Maine law, school attendance is compulsory from the 6th (sixth) birthday to the 17th birthday.

  1. Does the parent receive a letter or notice after the Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction has been received?

Yes, via email, provided the parent has supplied a valid email address.

  1. Do annual assessment results have to be submitted along with the Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction?

Yes. Only for subsequent year students, assessment results are due by September 1st, submitted together with the Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction. Assessments must be attached to the paper notice or uploaded during the Notice submission process to the Home Instruction Portal. Notices that are submitted without annual assessment results will be flagged for followup.

  1. Is the parent or legal guardian required to submit an annual assessment every year?

Yes, every year after the first year of home instruction. In the event that the student completes the school year as a home instruction student, but will not be participating in home instruction in the subsequent year, annual assessment results are still required. Parents are requested to include a note along with the assessment results stating that the student will no longer be participating in home instruction, and the date that they exited home instruction.

  1. If my child is enrolled in a distance learning program, do I need to file annual assessment results?

Yes. Unless the student is enrolled in one of Maine’s two virtual public charter schools – Maine Connections Academy or Maine Virtual Academy - a Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction with annual assessment results is required as usual if your child is enrolled in another distance learning program outside of one provided by the resident local school unit.

  1. What should a parent or legal guardian do in the event that the student ceases participating in home instruction during the school year?

If home instruction ceases and the child is still of compulsory school attendance age, parents must comply with attendance laws in some other way. As a courtesy, please notify the Superintendent of any changes.

  1. How many days and hours of instruction are required?

A total of at least 175 instructional days are required. There is no hourly requirement, per day or per year.

  1. If a parent or legal guardian begins home instruction during the school year, must they provide at least 175 instructional days?

The number of days that the student attended school prior to beginning home instruction can be deducted from the 175 instructional day requirement.

  1. How does a parent retrieve or edit their submitted home instruction forms?

A parent cannot retrieve or edit their home instruction information, except through request to the school administrative unit or Department of Education. Because of privacy, all requests must be made by the parent who submitted the Notice (or by the former student) and are subject to signed release and verification.

  1. Can a home instruction parent provide age, defined in years, instead of date of birth?


  1. Can a home instruction parent provide a PO Box and not a physical address?

No, the physical address determines the school administrative unit of residence, so is required.

  1. Who gets notified when a parent submits home instruction information via the Home Instruction Portal?

Both the parent (if a valid email address is provided) and Superintendent office receive acknowledgments.

  1. Is the Home Instruction Portal information relayed securely?


  1. What happens if a required assessment that is submitted does not comply with one of the approved methods outlined in the statute?

The submission is noncompliant.

  1. Is there a fee to provide home instruction in Maine?

There is no fee charged. However, parents bear the responsibility for all costs.

  1. What instructional materials are provided to students participating in home instruction by the local school?

The local school may provide textbooks as long as extra copies are available. The local school is not required to provide additional instructional materials such as workbooks, lesson plans, computers, etc.

  1. Are home instruction students eligible to receive laptops through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative?

No, this program is not available to home instruction students.

  1. Can a parent or legal guardian file a Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction a student for one course?


  1. What are the curriculum standards for each grade level?

Subjects must include English, language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, health education, library skills, fine arts, Maine Studies (in at least one grade from 6 to 12), the student must demonstrate proficiency in the use of computers (at one grade level from 7 to 12). There are no specific curriculum standards for Maine home instruction.

  1. Will the state of Maine issue a diploma or certificate of completion when a parent feels that their student has completed their studies?

No. Since there are no standards of achievement for home instruction in Maine, the state does not issue grades, credits, diplomas, transcripts, letters of course completion or letters of grade level promotion. Parents are advised to contact post secondary institutions, the military recruiter or potential employer to inquire about what will be required for acceptance, admission and employment.

  1. When should the parent or the school administrative unit contact the Department?

Please contact the DOE when a verification or change in home instruction status is needed or when an error is found that needs to be corrected. The school administrative unit’s student information system is not connected to and does not communicate to or retrieve information from the home instruction portal.

  1. How many children are participating in home instruction in Maine?

The following statistics pertain to students who are registered with their local superintendent of schools and the state for home instruction:

  • 2004-2005= 4,094

  • 2005-2006= 4,721

  • 2006-2007= 4,571

  • 2007-2008= 4,897

  • 2008-2009= 4,998

  • 2009-2010= 4,927

  • 2010-2011= 5,099

  • 2011-2012= 4,730

  • 2012-2013= 4,995

  • 2013-2014= 5,025

  • 2014-2015= 5,561

  • 2015-2016= 5,441

  • 2016-2017= 5,467

  • 2017-2018= 5,749

  • 2018-2019= 6,124

  • 2019-2020= 6,770 (as of 6/30/2020)

  • For 2020 and beyond, please visit the student enrollment tab of the Data Warehouse: https://www.maine.gov/doe/data-reporting/reporting/warehouse