Home schooling requirements in Yellowstone County

With the first day of school just one month away, some parents are looking at home schooling as an alternative to remote learning or in-person instruction.

BILLINGS, Mont. -- With the first day of school just one month away, some parents are looking at home schooling as an alternative to remote learning or in-person instruction.

Last year, 841 students participated in home school in Yellowstone County.  Sherry Long, Yellowstone County Treasurer, Assessor, and Superintendent of Schools, says if you choose to home school in Montana, the parent or guardian is completely responsible for the curriculum, textbooks, educational philosophy, selection of instructional materials, and method of instruction.

"It is a great responsibility that you're taking on.  You're solely responsible for that child's education, starting even with the curriculum and going forward with it, so you definitely have to have a lot of dedication," she says.

If a parent or guardian does choose home schooling for their child in Yellowstone County, they must send a letter of intent to the Superintendent of Schools.  They must also keep track of the number of hours they have home schooled during the year.  Requirements for number of hours vary by grade level.  Long also wants to remind parents, if you choose to participate in remote learning, you are still considered a part of the public school system, and will not have to sign a letter of intent to home school to the county.

Long says she does not want to speculate how many people will choose home schooling this year, but she says the county is ready if that number increases because of the pandemic.

For more information on home schooling, head to https://www.co.yellowstone.mt.gov/schools/

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