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News and Information

(Note:  This information provided for information only, not as legal counsel)
13-27-3.   Child excused if provided alternative instruction -- Application -- Investigation -- Revocation -- Restrictions -- Testing. A child shall be excused from school attendance, pursuant to § 13-27-2, because the child is otherwise provided with alternative instruction for an equivalent period of time, as in the public schools, in the basic skills of language arts and mathematics. The parent or guardian of the child shall identify in the application the place where the child will be instructed and any individual who will instruct the child. The individuals are not required to be certified. The secretary of the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs may investigate and determine whether the instruction is being provided. Failure to provide instruction is grounds for the school board, upon thirty days notice, to revoke the excuse from school attendance. The secretary of the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs may inspect the records of an alternative education program with fourteen days written notice if the secretary has probable cause to believe the program is not in compliance with this section. The records to be inspected are limited to attendance and evidence showing academic progress.
     No individual may instruct more than twenty-two children. All instructions shall be given so as to lead to a mastery of the English language. Children receiving alternative instruction who are in grades tested under the state testing program shall take a nationally standardized achievement test of the basic skills. The test may be the test provided by the state and used in the public school district where the child is instructed or another nationally standarized achievement test chosen by and provided at the expense of the child's parent, guardian, or school giving alternative instruction. The test may be monitored by the local school district where the child is instructed.

Attendance similar to public; Submit a notarized application to the local superintendent using the standard form provided by state department of education. Administer a standardized test to children in the same grade levels tested under the state testing program (grades 4, 8, and 11) . (6-16)

South Dakota requires homeschooled children to take a standardized test in grades 2, 4, 8 and 11.  The SAT9 will be administered in the Rapid City Area School District on March 25 to April 12, 2002.

Parents have a number of options.  Do your research and talk with others to find what will work best for your family.

    1. You can test at the school in your area.  Contact individual schools for schedule.
    2. You can test at home using the test furnished by the Homeschool Office at no cost to you.  The materials may be picked up starting the week of March 18th. They must be returned to the administration office to be scored.  The results are sent to the administration office.  Parents must pick up the results there.
    3. You may choose another nationally standardized achievement test purchased and administered by yourself.  Results must be furnished to the Homeschool Office before enrolling in the 2002-2003 school year.
We have a list of other sources for tests available such as CAT, MAT, PASS, SAT, ITBS, CTBS.  Some tests require someone certified to administer and we have contacts for that.  Technically we are only required to take the language arts and math sections, but use your own judgement.

There is something in the air about a new computerized test - DACS.  Watch for more info on this.

Don't stress yourselves over these tests!!!  If you need to talk with someone, please do!!

The 2002 Legislative Session is underway.  Homeschoolers have a number of people keeping an eye out for our interests.  You may receive urgent emails or phone calls to respond to a bill affecting us.  Right now the only pertinent bill relating to homeschooling is HB 1072 allowing equal access.  You can read the statutes 13-27 on homeschooling law at: