How to write a school withdrawal letter (templates included)

School withdrawal letter

We receive a lot of questions from parents who want to homeschool their children, but their children already attend public or private schools. The questions vary, but they all run along the lines of: “How do we get them out of the school system once they’re already in?”

The first step is to formally withdraw your children from school. (See the other steps you should take in our Start Homeschooling section.)

Here’s an easy, comprehensive guide to write a school withdrawal letter:

Understand your rights as a parent.

Men's mentoring meetingHomeschooling is legal in all 50 states. No matter what happens, you should never feel pressured to give up that right – by school districts, government officials or even well-meaning friends and family.

You should also never feel obligated to do any of the following:

  • Explain the decision to withdraw
  • Submit to testing
  • Attend conferences or meetings by the school
  • Allow inspections of your curriculum or home

Write the school withdrawal letter.

  • If you’re living in Kansas…

A withdrawal letter is important if you’re living in Kansas, as three consecutive unexcused absences constitute truancy under state law. This will prompt an investigation by the county/district attorney or SRS.

(See a great discussion of the “Is Homeschooling Legal in Kansas?” question by CHECK, the Christian Home Educators Confederation of Kansas.)

Although you can withdraw by phone, letter or in person, we recommend a letter as a hard-copy option that can be used if any legal problems arise.

Here’s what this may look like for you, if you’re removing your children in the middle of the school year (we suggest you re-type this message in your own words):

Dear (Official’s Name):

We are writing to inform you that our child(ren), (Child(ren)’s Name(s)), is/are withdrawing from (School Name) and will not complete the current school year. He/she/they will instead be attending a private school for the remainder of this school year. Please remove his/her/their names from your records.

To the extent necessary to complete the enrollment at his/her/their new school, you will be contacted directly by the school regarding the transfer of records.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)

If you’re withdrawing your children before the school year begins, we suggest this message:

Dear (Official’s Name):

We are writing to inform you that our child(ren), (Child(ren)’s Names(s)), will not be re-enrolling at {School Name) for the coming school year. He/she/they will instead be attending a private school. Please remove his/her/their names from your records.

To the extent necessary to complete the enrollment at his/her/their new school, you will be contacted directly by the school regarding the transfer of records.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)

You can download our sample letter in PDF form here: Notification of Intent to Withdraw a Student.

(If you need help requesting a release of student records, feel free to use this sample template: Request for Release of Student Records.)

  • If you’re living in Missouri…

Families for Home Education (FHE), a homeschool organization in Missouri, recommends that parents write a withdrawal letter for children previously enrolled in school.

If the child is 5-7 years old, the law states that the parent or guardian must notify the public school in writing of withdrawal. The withdrawal letter should go to the school district where the student attended. Families need to send this letter, so schools know the child isn’t truant.

FHE has a sample withdrawal letter posted on its website.

RSMo 167.042 states that a parent or guardian “may” give the superintendent or the recorder of deeds a “Declaration of Enrollment.” Even though a school may not label their form as a “Declaration of Enrollment,” it frequently has all the components of one, so it is not necessary to sign any school form. A one-time withdrawal letter is all the parent or guardian needs to give to the school.

(Further questions on starting a Missouri homeschool? We recommend this in-depth conversation with Scott Woodruff, an HSLDA attorney, concerning Missouri homeschool laws. You can also contact FHE at 1-877-696-6343 or 1983fhemo@gmail.com.)

Make arrangements for legal support.

HSLDA recommendationWe’re big fans of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), in part because of the wonderful aid and counsel they provide to families nationwide and around the world.

That’s why we recommend that all new homeschoolers become HSLDA members. In case any issues arise, you’ll have instant legal protection and representation.

In fact, you can get $15 off an annual HSLDA membership as one of our membership benefits when you join MPE!

Interested in more homeschooling information? Check out our FREE “Homeschool Hints” newsletter, which goes out on the first day of the month.

This article was originally published in August 2015. It has been updated for timeliness and comprehensiveness.

3 Comments

  1. Trevasia
      May 3, 2018 at 4:27 PM

    Thank you for being so detailed and including templates!

    1.   May 4, 2018 at 6:00 PM

      Thanks for the kind words! Hope you found the templates helpful, and feel free to share with others. 🙂

  2.   June 25, 2018 at 10:47 PM

    Great blog Shanxi, thanks for sharing such a great blog and including templates also with it. It’s really helpful blog!!

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