625 – Compulsory Education; Competent Private Instruction; Dual Enrollment
Compulsory Enrollment. Any child at least six years of age and under sixteen years of age by September 15 who is a resident of the District must enroll in the District schools unless:
- The child is enrolled in another accredited school; or
- The child has completed the requirements for graduation in an accredited school or has obtained a high school equivalency diploma; or
- The child is excused for sufficient reason by a court of record or judge; or
- The child is attending religious services or receiving religious instruction; or
- The child is attending a private accredited college preparatory school; or
- The child is blind or deaf, and the superintendent of the state school determines that the child is physically or mentally unable to attend school; or
- The child is exempted by the Director of the Iowa Department of Education based on religious beliefs and principles of the child’s parents or guardians; or
- The child is receiving competent private instruction in accordance with state law and the rules of the Department of Education, either directly by a licensed teacher in a nonaccredited nonpublic school, directly by a licensed teacher in a tutorial or home school setting, indirectly by a licensed teacher assisting and supervising a parent, guardian or custodian who provides instruction, or directly by a parent, guardian or custodian.
Responsibility. It shall be the primary responsibility of the parents, guardians, and custodians to cause students to attend school regularly and in accordance with District policies or to demonstrate that the child is exempt from such requirement or that the child is receiving competent private instruction.
Attendance for Entire Time. The Board of Directors requires attendance of all regularly enrolled students for the entire time when schools are in session which shall be 180 days each school year, provided that students may be excused pursuant to the District’s excused absence policy, and provided that seniors may be dismissed up to 5 days early. Students who are dually enrolled in the District by enrollment in a course(s) in the District and in competent private instruction shall be required to attend for the entire time when the course is in session, unless the child is excused under the same terms as full-time enrolled students. The Board of Directors requires instruction for 148 days each school year (July 1 – June 30) for students receiving competent private instruction, with attendance for at least 37 days each school quarter.
Enrollment in Accredited Nonpublic School. If a nonpublic school located within the District boundaries is accredited by the Iowa Department of Education, the Board secretary shall each school year, request a certificate and report in duplicate of the names, ages and grade levels of the students attending the nonpublic school who are of compulsory attendance age, during the preceding year and from the time of the last preceding report. The report shall also identify all students of compulsory attendance age who were truant, the number of days of truancy, and the children who dropped out, withdrew from enrollment, or transferred to another Iowa school and the date their attendance ceased at the accredited nonpublic school. Such certificate and report shall be delivered to the Board secretary within ten days. The secretary shall retain one report and file one with the secretary of Heartland Area Education Agency.
Competent Private Instruction. Any parent, guardian or custodian whose child of compulsory attendance age is neither attending an accredited school nor participating in a home school assistance program operated by an accredited school, shall furnish annually, by the first day of school, a report in duplicate for each child on a form provided by the District. The Board secretary shall file one copy and forward the other copy to the secretary of Heartland Area Education Agency. If the child is being placed under competent private instruction for the first time, the parent, guardian or custodian shall also provide evidence that the child has had required immunizations. In addition, if the child is of elementary school age, the parent, guardian, or custodian shall also provide evidence of a blood lead test in accordance with Iowa law.
If a parent, guardian, or custodian decides, after enrolling a child in the District or in an accredited nonpublic school and after the deadline for filing the report, that he/she wishes to provide competent private instruction, the report shall be filed no later than fourteen (14) calendar days after removing the child from school.
A person who provides instruction to or instructional supervision of a student receiving competent private instruction shall be the student’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian or a person who possesses a valid Iowa teaching certificate or practitioner license as a classroom teacher which is appropriate to the age and grade level of the student under competent private instruction.
Any parent, guardian, or custodian whose child of compulsory attendance age is not attending an accredited school and is not being instructed or supervised by a properly licensed teacher shall furnish annually by June 30 of each year the results of the child’s annual evaluation (either the results of a standardized test or a portfolio assessment) to the Board secretary and to the Department of Education as required by law. The District shall notify the parent, guardian or legal custodian who has selected the standardized testing form of evaluation of the times and dates when the tests will be administered and of the costs associated with the tests. The Board Secretary shall annually report to the Iowa Department of Education by April 1 the names of all resident children who are subject to annual assessment and the form of assessment chosen by the parent, guardian, or custodian.
Instructional Materials. The District may provide to children receiving competent private instruction who are not dually enrolled in the District and who are not in a District home school assistance program available texts and supplementary materials on the same basis as provided to enrolled students. However, the District shall not be obligated to purchase additional materials.
Home School Assistance Program. The District may, with approval of the Board of Directors, operate a home school assistance program in accordance with rules of the Iowa Department of Education. Personnel employed to operate the program shall meet licensure requirements for the grade levels and courses taught or supervised. If the District operates such a program, students enrolled in the program may also request dual enrollment. The District shall provide available texts and supplemental instructional materials on the same basis as they are provided to regularly enrolled students.
Dual Enrollment. A parent, guardian, or custodian of a child receiving competent private instruction may submit a request for dual enrollment not later than September 15. The child shall be permitted to participate in academic activities and co-curricular activities available to children in the child’s grade and group. Students under dual enrollment are eligible for participation in the postsecondary enrollment options. All eligibility requirements must be met the same as for full-time enrolled students, and the child shall be subject to all rules applying to the activity. The District shall provide available texts and supplemental instructional materials when a student is dually-enrolled on the same basis as provided to regularly-enrolled students. If a fee is charged for regularly enrolled students for participation in the class or co-curricular activity, that fee may also be charged to dually-enrolled students on the same basis as charges for the regularly enrolled students. If the child is dually enrolled in the District, the District shall pay the cost of an annual test for purposes of evaluation if the standardized test option has been selected. Otherwise, the parent, guardian or custodian shall be responsible for the costs of the evaluation.
Special Education. A child of compulsory attendance age who is identified as requiring special education is eligible for placement under competent private instruction with prior approval of the placement by the Director of Special Education of Heartland Area Education Agency. A child who is identified as requiring special education who is to be dually enrolled in the District shall be permitted to participate in academic activities and co-curricular activities on the same basis as students with the same level of disability who are enrolled full-time in the District and in accordance with his/her IEP.
Noncompliance. The Board secretary shall report noncompliance with the reporting, immunization, attendance, instructor qualifications, and assessment requirements of the compulsory attendance law to the county attorney for the county of residence of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian.
Truants. Students enrolled in the District who are absent without valid excuse shall be disciplined in accordance with District policy and rules and regulations. In addition, the District shall attempt to find the cause for the child’s absence and use every means available to the school to assure the child does attend. If attempts to have a student attend school regularly are unsuccessful, and the student has been absent without valid excuse for a total of five or more school days during the year, the matter may be referred to the county attorney for mediation or prosecution. In addition, the Board secretary shall report to the Iowa Department of Education the number of children who are truant or who have accumulated 15 or more unexcused absences during a three-year period and, so far as possible, the causes of the failure to attend.
Date of Revision: December 10, 2018
Legal References: 257.6(1), Chapter 259A, 279.8, 279.10, 279.11, 280.2, 280.3, Chapters 299 and 299A, Code of Iowa; 281 I.A.C. 12.3(6), Chapter 31
URBANDALE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS