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602.2 - Competent Private Instruction

In the event a child of compulsory attendance age, over age 6 and under age 16, does not attend public school or an accredited non-public school, the child must receive competent private instruction. Competent private instruction (CPI) means either private instruction provided on a daily basis for at least 148 days during a school year, to be met by attendance for at least 37 days each school quarter; by or under supervision of a licensed practitioner which results in the student making adequate progress; or private instruction provided by a parent or legal custodian.

A parent or legal custodian choosing CPI for a student must notify the school district prior to the first day of school or within 14 days of beginning CPI on forms provided by the school district. The forms are available in the central administration office. One copy of the completed forms will be kept by the school district and another copy will be forwarded to the area education agency.

The superintendent [or designee] will determine whether the completed form is in compliance with the law. Specifically, whether the individual providing the instruction is either the student's parent, legal custodian, or an Iowa licensed practitioner; whether the licensed practitioner's license is appropriate for the age and grade level of the student; that the student is being instructed a minimum of 148 days per year; that immunization evidence is provided for students placed under competent private instruction for the first time, and that the report is timely filed.

The school district will report non-compliance with the reporting, immunization, attendance, instructor qualifications, and assessment requirements of the compulsory attendance law to the county attorney of the county of residence of the student's parent or legal custodian. 

Students receiving competent private instruction are eligible to request open enrollment to another school district. Prior to the request for open enrollment, the student will request dual enrollment in the resident district. The receiving district will not bill the resident district unless the receiving district complies with the reporting requirements. If the parent or legal custodian fails to comply with the compulsory attendance requirements, the receiving district will notify the resident district. The resident district will then report the non-compliance to the county attorney of the county of residence of the parent or legal custodian. 

Students receiving CPI from a parent or legal custodian must be evaluated annually by May 1st, unless such person is properly licensed. The parent or legal custodian may choose either a standardized test approved by the Iowa Department of Education or a portfolio evaluation. If the parent or legal custodian chooses standardized testing and the student is dual enrolled, the school district will pay for the cost of the standardized test and the administration of the standardized test. If the student is not dual enrolled, the parent or legal custodian will reimburse the school district for the cost of the standardized test and the administration of the standardized test. If a parent or legal custodian of a student receiving CPI chooses portfolio assessments as the means of annual assessment, the portfolio evaluator must be approved by the superintendent [or designee]. Portfolio evaluators must hold a valid Iowa practitioner's license or teacher certificate appropriate to the ages and grade levels of the students whose portfolios are being assessed. No annual evaluation is required for students receiving CPI from an appropriately licensed or certified Iowa practitioner.

Upon the request of a parent or legal custodian of a student receiving CPI or upon referral of a licensed practitioner who provides instruction or instructional supervision of a student under CPI, the school district will refer a student who may require Special Education to the area education agency for evaluation.

Students in CPI must make adequate progress. Adequate progress includes scoring at the 30th percentile on a standardized test or a report by the portfolio evaluator indicating adequate progress. Students who fail to make adequate progress under CPI provided by the student's parent or legal custodian will attend an accredited public or non-public school beginning the next school year.

The parent or legal custodian of a student who fails to make adequate progress may apply to the director of the Department of Education for approval of continued CPI under a remediation plan. The remediation plan is for no more than one year. Before the beginning of the school year the student may be retested and if the student achieves adequate progress, the student may remain in CPI.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent [or designee] to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

Adopted: 11/92
Reviewed: 6/11; 9/13; 1/18; 2/21
Revised: 7/12; 4/15; 9/21
Related Policy: 602.3
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 299; 299A; 281 IAC 31
IASB Reference: 604.01