Declaration of Intent for Oct. Birthday

Email of the Day:
If your child turns 8years old in late October when do you give the school district your letter of intent?

You can wait until the birthday, if you like. Many folks who have more than one kidlet just add the almost 8yo on the one due on September 15. Your choice. Warmly, ~Jen GS

Followup Question:
But once they are 8 years old then you need to do your letter of intent, right? You don’t wait until the next school year? Just really trying to clarify since I heard a seasoned homeschooling mom tell someone that they don’t need to do a letter of intent until the next school year since they turn 8 during the school year. Thank you again.

The compulsory attendance law is from 8-18.
The Declaration of Intent does two things:
1) It relieves the school of their burden to provide your child with an education.
2) It provides you with protection from a charge of truancy.
Thusly, I would submit on or by the child’s 8th birthday.

Consider the following scenario, using your kidlet’s October birthday and the HSing mom’s advice to wait until the next year as a reference:

It’s February of 2016, and your crochety neighbor calls CPS to complain that she thinks your child is truant (because she believes all children should attend school, and she’s pretty sure he’s school aged). In their investigation, CPS will call the district to verify that you are homeschooling. The proof they will look for is your Declaration of Intent. You don’t have one on file, because you followed the seasoned mom’s advice to delay until 15 September of 2016.

Now, you might be able to convince the judge that this seemed like a reasonable course of action, but the lawyer on the other side is going to point to the DofI law, which reads: ” Each parent shall file the statement by September 15th of the school year or within two weeks of the beginning of any public school quarter, trimester, or semester with the superintendent of the public school district” . . . if this incident had happened November, you could have argued that you were waiting until the beginning of the next term, per the law . . . but the term started over a month ago, back in January. It’s not something I would want to argue in court.

I’m not a lawyer, just well versed in the HBI law. I try to ground all my advice in four principles:
1) That which maximizes freedom.
2) While providing the most protection.
3) Grounded in the law.
4) That I would, myself, be willing to argue in a court of law.

~ Jen