In this article, we will review the most common questions people ask about the notice of intent to homeschool. Sometimes, this "notice" is also called the "letter of intent" (or abbreviated as LOI).
What is the Notice of Intent?
The notice of intent is a way of informing the county school superintendent of your intention to establish a homeschool program for your student(s) and the date on which the program will begin. It is the legal way of notifying the superintendent's office of the students who will be in a home education program, as of the date on the notice.
What does it look like?
We provide a sample of the notice of intent here on our website. You may use ours or type up a similar one on your own. We suggest including only the required information on the notice of intent, as stated in the Florida Statutes (laws): the student's full legal name, address and birthdate. The letter must be in writing, and it must also be signed by the parent.
Read the applicable state law below:
The parent, as defined in s. 1000.21, who establishes and maintains a home education program shall notify the district school superintendent of the county in which the parent resides of her or his intent to establish and maintain a home education program. The notice must be in writing, signed by the parent, and include the full legal names, addresses, and birthdates of all children who shall be enrolled as students in the home education program. The notice must be filed in the district school superintendent’s office within 30 days of the establishment of the home education program.
What is the cut-off date for submitting a notice of intent for my child?
Students in Florida home education programs require a notice of intent by the age of 6. For this purpose, the cut-off date is February 1 of an academic school year (in Florida, the academic year typically begins in mid/late August). Any child who will be turning 6 with a birthdate prior to February 1 of an academic year needs to have a notice of intent on file at the beginning of the academic year. Students who turn 6 with birthdates after February 1 can wait for a notice of intent until August/September of the following academic year.
What if I am just moving here?
Families arriving from out of state should notify the county in which they live, using a notice of intent, within 30 days of beginning a home education program. This can occur at any time of year.
What if decide to homeschool in the middle of a year?
Home education students can begin any time of year, even during the middle of a traditional public school year. Families who withdraw students from another school entity during the year, or who arrive from out of state in the middle of a school year, should file a notice of intent whenever this occurs. These families should not wait until August or September, but should file the notice of intent upon the beginning the home education program, no matter when it is.
Do I need to submit a new notice of intent every year?
No, a notice of intent is only required once, at the beginning of establishing a home education program. You don't need to file another one every year, as it remains active until the home education program has been terminated (ended).
When do I complete the notice of intent?
If you're a Florida resident and just getting started, late summer is a good time to turn in the notice of intent. If you're moving to Florida but haven't arrived yet, wait until you arrive to notify your district that you'll be starting a home education program. Either way, if you have children of homeschool age in Florida, don't forget to submit a notice of intent. Not only will it establish your home education program, it will also establish your "anniversary date" for the next year, when your student's annual evaluation will be due.
What if I have another child I am going to begin homeschooling this year?
Every student in a home education program needs to be on a notice of intent. You should add extra students once they reach homeschool age (those who turn 6 by February 1st of an academic year) by filing a notice of intent for them, too.
How do I turn in my notice of intent?
The notice of intent can be mailed, emailed or delivered in person. It's important to keep a copy of the notice of intent in a safe place, since you'll have it for many years. We also recommend keeping copies of any emails or paper receipts you receive when filing the notice of intent.
Where do I mail it / drop it off?
First, find your district office on this list. Then, hand deliver, email or mail it to the person listed as your district contact. When using email, attach the notice of intent as a separate document.
I am moving to another Florida district. Do I need a new notice of intent?
When moving to another Florida county (staying within the state) parents should notify both the old and new county that the home education program is changing address. This is accomplished by transferring the home education program from the old county to the new county. The form used to effectuate this transfer is the Home Education Program Transfer Request form. By using the transfer procedure, the anniversary date and all other program information will be preserved. Therefore, another notice of intent is not required.
Will I receive any kind of confirmation after sending my notice of intent?
District homeschool offices may have different ways of acknowledging the notice of intent and are often very busy at the beginning of a new year. Therefore, we advise strictly following the guidelines outlined in this article for properly submitting the notice of intent, and keeping copies of all related correspondence. Should families wish to guarantee delivery of the notice of intent, we recommend using a method of mailing that produces a receipt, a method of email that produces a date stamp, or a method of physically delivering the document by hand and asking for a stamped receipt.
For more information about the notice of intent or anything else about Florida homeschooling, we recommend this article:
To receive individual guidance about this or any other topic, the Florida Homeschool Association membership option is available. Or, ask in any of our member forums.