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604.1 Private Instruction

Code No. 604.1


The Grinnell-Newburg Community School District recognizes that families with students of compulsory attendance age may select alternative forms of education outside the traditional school setting, including private instruction. The applicable legal requirements for private instruction, including, but not limited to those relating to reporting and evaluations for progress, shall be followed.

Except as otherwise exempted, in the event a child of compulsory attendance age as defined by law does not attend public school or an accredited nonpublic school, the child must receive private instruction. Private instruction means instruction using a plan and a course of study in a setting other than a public or organized accredited nonpublic school.

Private instruction can take the form of competent private instruction and independent private instruction. The Iowa Department of Education recognizes three options for delivery of this form of instruction: two options for delivery of competent private instruction and one option for independent private instruction.

Competent private instruction means private instruction provided on a daily basis for at least one hundred forty-eight days during a school year, to be met by attendance for at least thirty-seven days each school quarter, which results in the student making adequate progress.  Competent private instruction is provided by or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner or by other individuals identified in law.

Independent private instruction means instruction that meets the following criteria: (i) is not accredited, (ii) enrolls not more than four unrelated students, (iii) does not charge tuition, fees, or other remuneration for instruction, (iv) provides private or religious-based instruction as its primary purpose, (v) provides enrolled students with instruction in mathematics, reading and language arts, science, and social studies, (vi) provides, upon written request from the superintendent of the school district in which the independent private instruction is provided, or from the director of the department of education, a report identifying the primary instructor, location, name of the authority responsible for the independent private instruction, and the names of the students enrolled, (vii) is not a nonpublic school and does not provide competent private instruction as defined herein, and (viii) is exempt from all state statutes and administrative rules applicable to a school, a school board, or a school district, except as otherwise provided by law.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop administrative regulations regarding this

NOTE: This policy reflects Iowa law on competent private instruction and independent private instruction. For additional information, including applicable forms, please visit the “Options for Educational Choice” section of the Iowa Department of Education’s website, located at

Legal Reference:     
Iowa Code §§ 299, 299A.
281 I.A.C. 31.

Cross Reference:     
501 Student Attendance
502 Student Rights and Responsibilities
504 Student Activities
507.1 Student Health and Immunization Certificates
604.7 Dual Enrollment
604.9 Home School Assistance Program

Approved: 2/8/17, Reviewed: 6/14/23, Revised:
Grinnell-Newburg School District, Grinnell, IA