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Age of Required Attendance
The state of South Dakota requires your child to attend school from the age of 5 to 18 years old. Legal schooling options include;
- public school
- non-public school
- homeschool (i.e. alternative instruction)
(see legal reference #1 & #2)
Notify The School District
The South Dakota Homeschool Law requires you to notify your local school district of your choice to homeschool. You must send a Notification For Public School Exemption Certificate to your local school district office each year that you homeschool. The annual Notification Certificate is different than the initial Notification Certificate; if this is your first year, make sure you fill out the initial Notification Certificate not the annual one!
(see legal references #1, #2, & #3)
If You Need To Withdraw Your Child
If your child is already attending a South Dakota public school you will need to officially withdraw them before beginning to homeschool. You will need to fill out an Initial Notification For Public School Exemption Certificate and send it to your local school district’s office. Also contact your child’s school and ask if they have any specific forms for you to fill out.
(see legal reference #4)
The South Dakota Homeschool Law does not require you to meet specific qualifications in order to homeschool.
Hours Of Instruction
The South Dakota Homeschool Law requires you to homeschool for an “equivalent period of time, as in the public schools”. This is equal to a minimum of 437 hours/year for Kindergarten students, 875 hours/year for students in grades 1-5, and 962 hours/year for students in grades 6-12.
(see legal reference #5)
The South Dakota Homeschool Law requires you to teach the following 2 educational subjects:
- Language Arts
NOTE: These are the only subjects required by the state. You can of course teach other subjects as long as you are teaching these two as a minimum.
(see legal reference #2)
The South Dakota Homeschool Law requires you to keep your child’s birth certificate in your records.
HSLDA strongly advises all homeschoolers nationwide to keep records of the amount of time your child homeschools and samples of your child’s work. I would add that it is wise to also keep a copy of any correspondence you have with the school district, or your child’s school if you have withdrawn them in order to homeschool.
(see legal reference #6)
The South Dakota Homeschool Law requires your child to take a Nationally Standardized Achievement Test in grades 4, 8, and 11. This test can be taken at your local school or at another location. If you choose to have your child tested at a different location than your local school you will be responsible for the cost of the test.
The South Dakota Homeschool Law also requires you to submit your child’s test results to the local school district office.
NOTE: HSLDA suggests you also keep a copy of your child’s test scores in your records.
(see legal references #2 & #3)
Immunization Law For South Dakota Homeschoolers
The state of South Dakota requires children who are enrolling in a public school to receive immunizations. Homeschool is an alternative instruction method and homeschools are not considered schools. Therefore, homeschoolers are not required to vaccinate their children in South Dakota.
(see legal reference #7)
Helpful Websites For South Dakota Homeschoolers
For local support and information visit these South Dakota homeschool websites:
- Required Age of Attendance: South Dakota Codified Laws 13-27-1.
- South Dakota Homeschool Regulations: South Dakota Codified Laws 13-27-3.
- Notification For Excuse From Attendance: South Dakota Codified Laws 13-27-7.
- Child Excused From School: South Dakota Codified Laws 13-27-2.
- School year defined: South Dakota Codified Laws 13-26-1.
- Records: South Dakota Codified Laws 13-27-3.2.
- Immunizations: South Dakota Codified Laws 13-28-7.1
This summary is for informational purposes only and is not given as legal advice. HomeschoolStateLaws.com does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above.