Withdrawing From School

There is no Wisconsin law that requires parental notice of withdrawal from school.

Parental notice of the intent to homeschool is not required by law.

Schools and school districts have no power under the law to require parents to provide any notice, or fill out any forms, or go through any additional process to withdraw from public school.

However, you may provide notice of the intent to homeschool as a courtesy.

Regardless of whether or not you give courtesy notice to your school, remember to properly file the PI-1206 Homeschool Report on or before October 15. If you begin homeschooling after October 15, file the PI-1206 immediately. Learn more about When and How to File the PI-1206 Homeschool Report.

If you choose to provide notice of the intent to homeschool, that notice is sufficient under the law for the school to remove your child from attendance, until October 15. After you file the PI-1206 Homeschool Report between the third Friday in September and October 15, the school will receive timely notice of your child’s enrollment in your homeschool from the Department of Public Instruction.

If you choose not to provide notice of the intent to homeschool prior to October 15, your child will be marked absent with an unexcused absence, and the school attendance officer will contact you to find out if the absence should be excused. The answer is yes, the absence is excused. Under Wis Stat 118.15(4), “Instruction in a home-based private education program that meets all of the criteria under s.118.165(1) may be substituted for attendance at a public or private school.” This conversation with the school attendance officer is sufficient notice for the school to remove your child from their attendance rolls. After you file the PI-1206 Homeschool Report between the third Friday in September and October 15, the school will receive timely notice of your child’s enrollment in your homeschool from the Department of Public Instruction.

Remember that if you begin homeschooling after October 15, you must file the PI-1206 immediately, before beginning homeschooling. The school will receive timely notice of your child’s enrollment in your homeschool from the Department of Public Instruction.

Regardless of when you begin homeschooling, WHPA recommends offering notice of the intent to homeschool to your school as a courtesy because it provides clarity and removes any questions as to whether or not your child’s absence is excused. Again, such notice is not required by law.

Following are sample letters to help you write a courtesy letter, if you choose to notify your child(ren)’s school, in a way that fits your personal situation.

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