Parental Instruction

Parental Instruction
(Home Schooling)

Enroll In Home Schooling

First Semester Homes Schooling Portfolio Reviews will be conducted remotely from December 1st through January 31st.

The following information is intended to explain how portfolio reviews are implemented in Calvert County in accordance with Maryland's regulations for home instruction.

What is a portfolio?

For home schooling, a portfolio is an organized collection of student work and instructional plans for each required subject area. The portfolio is maintained by the parent/guardian and presented to CCPS staff at the end of each semester in order to demonstrate that the student is receiving regular, thorough instruction.

A portfolio includes important instructional materials such as, but not limited to:

  • Student writing samples, written assignments, worksheets, etc.
  • Assessments (tests/quizzes)
  • Projects (research based, multimedia, cross-curricular, creative, etc.)
  • List of instructional/reading materials and/or curriculum documents
  • Photos of art projects may be submitted to document art
  • Dated logs or calendars may be submitted for music and physical education

What is the purpose of the portfolio review?

The portfolio review is required in Maryland to ensure that each child participating in a home instruction program is receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year, in the studies usually taught in the public schools, to children of the same age.

When are portfolio reviews held?

First semester reviews occur in January. Second semester reviews occur in June.

What are the options for remote portfolio reviews?

Historically, the reviews have been held at the CCPS Central Office. Considering the coronavirus pandemic, no face to face portfolio reviews will be held until further notice. Parents may choose from the following portfolio review options (select each option for a full description):

  • Email Grade/Progress ReportYou do not need to contact us if you submit the required documentation via email by January 3, 2021. You will no longer need your previously scheduled appointment.

  • Email 3 Artifacts for Each Subject Area - You do not need to contact us if you submit the required documentation via email by January 3, 2021. You will no longer need your previously scheduled appointment.

  • Mail or Drop Off the PortfolioYou will need to contact us by January 8, 2021 to arrange a time to drop off your portfolio. You will no longer need your previously scheduled appointment.

  • Participate in a Video ConferencePlease contact us by December 20, 2020 to confirm your previously scheduled appointment. We will email you a link for the conference. If you do not have an appointment or don’t remember when it is scheduled, please call us.

If none of the above options work for your family, please contact the Department of Student Services at 443-550-8460.

Who reviews the portfolios?

Calvert County Public Schools hire a team of reviewers comprised of current and retired educators. Each reviewer brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the team. The reviewers thoroughly enjoy meeting with the families and share in the joy of the students’ accomplishments each semester.

What happens at the portfolio review?

Regardless of how the portfolio is shared, the reviewer will document the evidence that is provided for each subject area. Notes on the Portfolio Review Form may include the name of the curriculum, textbooks, instructional resources, websites, skills covered, pages numbers of workbooks completed, etc. Once finished, a completed Portfolio Review Form will be sent to the parent via email. Upon request, a copy can be sent via USPS.

What does a parent/guardian include in a portfolio for a student using an online program?

The expectations of a portfolio review for online programs are the same as home instruction programs that do not incorporate computer work. Most online schools and programs have some form of a grade/progress report or transcript to inform parents of a student’s progress. Parents are welcome to submit this progress report as documentation if they so choose. They may also provide additional samples of the student's work; however, additional work samples are not required if the grade report is electronically generated from the online program or school. Online programs, academies, and schools utilized for home instruction in Maryland do not override the state’s regulations.

How much work should be included in the portfolio?

We request 3 pieces of work per subject area. For a portfolio review, the regularity and thoroughness of the home instruction program are primarily determined by the quantity and quality of the documentation that is provided to the reviewer. Try to provide a sample from the beginning, middle, and end of the semester.

What happens if the portfolio does not have sufficient evidence of instruction?

If a parent/guardian does not provide adequate documentation of the home instruction program, the reviewer will document the deficiencies on the review form. Another portfolio review meeting will be scheduled to provide the opportunity to correct the deficiency within 30 days. If not corrected (or if the parent does not attend the mutually scheduled portfolio review to correct the deficiency), the student must be promptly enrolled in a public or private school.

Failure to choose and complete one of the portfolio review options is considered non-compliant with home instruction regulations and requires a child’s immediate enrollment in a public or non-public school.


IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR NEW HOME SCHOOLING FAMILIES

Home Instruction Notification Forms are processed in the order received and as quickly as possible. You will receive a parent acknowledgement letter by mail. If your child is currently enrolled in Calvert County Public Schools, we will handle withdrawing your child from their current school. You can mail or email your Notification form to begin the process.

Answers to most parent questions can be found on this webpage, in the comprehensive short videos (listed in the third column below), in the Orientation Handout, and in the MSDE Frequently Asked Questions document.

Home schooling regulations are governed by Maryland State Board of Education and are mandatory for school age children 5-18 years old (age 5 on or before September 1st). The purpose of these regulations is to establish a procedure to be used to determine if a child participating in a home schooling program is receiving regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age.

A parent or guardian who chooses to teach a child at home must initially complete a Home Instruction Notification Form. The form must be submitted to the address on the Home Instruction Notification Form at least 15 days before the beginning of a home schooling program. Each year thereafter, a parent or guardian needs to verify the continuation of home schooling and notify the Department of Student Services or their supervising nonpublic institution if there is a change of status during the school year.

The home schooling program must be under the supervision of either the student’s local school system or a nonpublic entity that is registered with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). A home schooling program under the supervision of Calvert County Public Schools will be reviewed by CCPS staff at the end of each semester. The program shall include instruction in English, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education. The Maryland State Curriculum may be found on the MSDE website. A home schooling program under the supervision of a nonpublic entity registered with MSDE will not be reviewed by CCPS.

Home Schooling Program Contact Information:

Molly Gearhart
Supervisor of Student Services
LEA Home School Coordinator
Email: gearhartmo@calvertnet.k12.md.us
Phone: 443-550-8460
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