Parents may withdraw their children from the school system for the purpose of homeschooling at any time of the year. To do so, they should send the school board notification in writing of their intent to homeschool. (If your child has never attended school, or you do not wish to send a yearly letter of intent to the board, see our PPM131 FAQ for your options.)
The website of the Ministry of Education includes a list of all the school board mailing addresses which can be consulted if you don’t know the address for your board.
It is both common sense and common courtesy to also provide written notification to the principal of the school the child has been attending, for example by sending a copy of the letter of intent that was sent to the school board. In this way, the child will not be considered truant but will be understood to be excused from attendance under section 21(2)(a) of the Education Act.
OFTP has drafted a sample letter-of-intent form for you to use if you wish. You have several options:
- download the pdf version, print it, and fill it out by hand
- download the doc version directly, fill it out by editing it in your word processor (e.g. Microsoft Word or the free OpenOffice software from OpenOffice.org), then print it
- download the zipped doc version and unzip it before editing as above
The OFTP sample letter of intent is based on the sample form given in Appendix B of the government’s Policy/Program Memorandum No.131 (PPM131): Sample Letter Indicating Notification of Intent to Provide Home Schooling. Note, however, that all the PPM131 appendices are included in a single pdf file. If you use the PPM131 form instead of OFTP’s form, DO NOT include the forms from Appendix D, which are for investigations rather than notifications of intent. The sample letter of intent is only the first page of the PPM131 pdf file.
PPM131 directs school boards to reply with a letter of acknowledgment such as the sample given in its Appendix C: Sample Letter in Response to a Parent’s Notification (page 2 of the PPM131 appendix file).
Not all school boards automatically reply with a letter of acknowledgement as directed by PPM131. There are certain circumstances in which you may need one, however, and might therefore have to request it specifically in your letter of intent:
- to gain access to correspondence courses offered by the Independent Learning Centre (ILC) run by TVO
- to gain access to CCAC services
- for the child to be eligible to be included in the benefit unit when the parent is on ODSP or Ontario Works assistance