Letter of Intent to Homeschool

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.)

We've gathered all of the relevant contact information for all of the school boards in a list where you can find out what form your board uses for notifications of intent to homeschool, to whom in your board you should send it, and what your school board's response tends to be. (Some of the contact information was taken from the Ministry of Education's list of all the school board mailing addresses, but that list doesn't include email addresses nor the details about where and to whom to send a letter of intent.)

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, you can more easily ensure that the child will not be considered truant by the school during the time you're waiting for the board to inform the school of your child's withdrawal. The school can thereby understand your child to be excused from attendance under section 21(2)(a) of the Education Act even before receiving official direction from the school board to withdraw the child from the enrolment register.

Letter of Intent Files

When your school board doesn't have their own form to use, or they have one that's unacceptable for some reason, you can use a standard letter of intent template. OFTP has several sample letter-of-intent forms for you to use if you wish. You have several options:

Letter of Intent form

Based on 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, instead of OFTP's form, you use the PPM131 form directly (not really recommended, because it says "Sample" right on it), 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.

Notification of Intent form

Based on the above Letter of Intent but re-worded as a statement that the children are excused from attendance under Section 21(2)(a) of the Education Act and quotes that Section.

School Board Letter of Reply

PPM131 directs school boards to reply to a letter of intent with a letter of acknowledgment such as the sample response given in PPM131 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. (This highlights the fact that it is just a policy, not the law). 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 apply for GED testing through the ILC if you're under age 19
  • to make it easier to gain access to School Health Support Services (SHSS) — In this case, it's not actually a requirement, it's just that some LHIN offices think it is. Families who have insisted on their right to access have been able to do so without a school board letter.
  • it might still be helpful when the parent is on ODSP or Ontario Works assistance, but it is no longer required in order for the child to be eligible to be included in the benefit unit