A question that continues to give homeschool families pause is whether or not their child can dip into their local school’s classes without actually enrolling in the school.
The answer is yes, with conditions. Kids can join sports teams, P.E. sessions, drama and chess clubs, music classes, art programs and more as long as the school that they are zoned for has them available.
Rules in Nevada
In Nevada, elementary-aged and high school children can participate in specific classes in the school that they are zoned for while they are being homeschooled. Children may participate in extra-curricular activities, sports or special education services for free at the public school where they are zoned. Music, P.E., art, Spanish and other classes, called specials, are available for homeschool children to take part in. Kids can take classes in their zoned school. (Credit information can be found on Page 7, section g, h and i of the Homeschooling in Nevada Memorandum, January 2019.) This can be particularly helpful when homeschooling middle and high school kids.
Enrolling Children in Specials
Before you go through the process of enrolling your child for the specials at their zoned school, physically go to the school and take a tour of the specials that they offer. If you like what you see, then you will need to file a Notice of Intent to Participate in Programs and Activities, or NOIPPA, form with the school district. This needs to be done each year that you have your homeschooler attending classes or specials at the school.
Funding is connected to attendance so you will be held to the same standards as enrolled children. For instance, if that music class you want to attend is offered two days a week and you only make it once a week, then you may be dinged for excessive absences.
IEP and 504 Questions
If you have a 504 or IEP, then you may be able to attend school part-time. According to NRS 392.074 (1.a.), “At the parent’s request, a homeschool child must be authorized to attend a public school class or classes (up to a half-day) within the district if there is space available and if the child is qualified to participate.” We talked with Master Special Education Advocate Stephanie Wynn about how to navigate an IEP and homeschool.
Children who are in middle school may attend after-school clubs and activities. For a full rundown, Page 6 of the updated NRS codes explains all of this in great detail.