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Home-Based Instruction

Welcome to the Ferndale School District!

General Information

This site is intended to provide parents with information and resources regarding home based instruction and alternative learning environments. You may be new to the home schooling community, or simply investigating alternatives, or you may be a parent who has been home schooling for years – hopefully you will find something helpful in these pages.

In Washington State, children between the ages of 8 and 18 are required by law to enroll in a public school, enroll in a private school, or to receive home-based instruction (under RCW 28A.225).

Washington State defines homeschooling and the requirements parents must meet to be eligible to homeschool their child with RCW 28A.200:

“…instruction shall be home-based if it consists of planned and supervised instructional and related educational activities, including a curriculum and instruction in the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation of art and music, provided for a number of hours equivalent to the total annual program hours per grade level established for approved private schools under RCW 28A.195.010 and 28A.195.040 and if such activities are:

  • Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and are supervised by a certificated person. A certificated person for purposes of this chapter and chapter 28A.200 RCW shall be a person certified under chapter 28A.410 RCW. For purposes of this section, “supervised by a certificated person” means: The planning by the certificated person and the parent of objectives consistent with this subsection; a minimum each month of an average of one contact hour per week with the child being supervised by the certificated person; and evaluation of such child’s progress by the certificated person. The number of children supervised by the certificated person shall not exceed thirty for purposes of this subsection; or
  • Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and who has either earned forty-five college level quarter credit hours or its equivalent in semester hours or has completed a course in home-based instruction at a postsecondary institution or a vocational-technical institute; or
  • Provided by a parent who is deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction by the superintendent of the local school district in which the child resides.

Your responsibilities as a parent choosing home-based instruction include (RCW 28A.200.010):

  • To file annually a signed “Declaration of Intent” to provide home-based instruction for any children between 8 and 18 by September 15th of the school year.
  • To have your child either academically tested or assessed annually. (Visit the State Board of Education Home Instruction FAQ page for more information.)
  • To ensure that test or assessment records and immunization records are kept in the child’s permanent record “If it is determined that the child is not making reasonable progress consistent with his or her age or stage of development, the parent shall make a good-faith effort to remedy any deficiency.”

The “Pink Book”, offered by OSPI, is a booklet in question and answer form put out by the state to address different parts of the home-based education laws. Click here to download the Pink Book from the OSPI website (PDF).

If you live within our district and would like to file an intent to home school, please click here to download the Intent to Home School form. This form is due annually by September 15 of each school year, or within two weeks of any semester start date. Forms may be emailed to Lea Morris at