Group: Umbrella Schools

I submitted a notice of intent (NOI) to the school district and want to enroll in an umbrella school. What should I do?


This is common and easy to correct by notifying the district.

There is no legal requirement to notify the school district when you enroll in a private school after submitting an NOI. However, if you have already submitted an NOI prior to enrolling with an umbrella school, it is recommended that you notify the district that you have enrolled in a private school and are no longer homeschooling under an NOI. This will prevent unnecessary confusion.

What is an umbrella school?


An umbrella school is a private school that allows parents to educate their children at home.

There are two exceptions to compulsory attendance at a public school in Colorado: homeschool and private school.  Each of those exceptions come with certain legal requirements, with the private school requirements being less restrictive than those for homeschool.  When the wording of the private school exception changed from “attending” to “enrolled in” private school, it became possible to enroll but never physically attend a private school to avoid compulsory attendance.  What that means is that if you choose to enroll your child in an umbrella school, the child is technically considered to be a private school student and you are no longer obligated to meet the requirements of the homeschool law. Instead, you need to meet the requirements of the school.

My children are enrolled in a publicly funded homeschool enrichment program and the district is asking me for a notice of intent. What do I do?


Submit a statement of enrollment instead.

My own children attend an Options program while enrolled in PRS and I have had no problem using their statement of enrollment in place of an NOI. You can print or download a copy of your statement of enrollment from your account page.

Keep in mind that individual school districts may have different policies and may not understand what an umbrella school is. The best approach is to ask the district and work out any issues before enrolling. Please contact PRS if you need assistance.

Can my children enroll in a publicly funded homeschool enrichment program if they are enrolled in an umbrella school?


Yes, but it’s best to check with the district ahead of time.

The law limits enrollment to only one publicly funded program at a time. Since umbrella schools are not publicly funded, this isn’t a problem. The district may ask you to submit a notice of intent (NOI) because they will assume you are schooling under the homeschool law. You may submit your PRS Statement of Enrollment instead.

My own children and others enrolled in PRS attend publicly funded enrichment programs with no issues. However, it is important to know that individual school districts may have different policies and may not understand what an umbrella school is. The best approach is to ask the district and work out any issues before enrolling. Please contact PRS if you need assistance.

Do I need to submit a notice of intent (NOI) to the school district if I enroll with an umbrella school?


No and you should not submit one.

Students enrolled in an umbrella school are not subject to the homeschool law. They are considered private school students, so a notice of intent is not required. When you submit an NOI, you are obligated to follow the homeschool law, which includes providing test or evaluation results on odd years starting with 3rd grade. If you have already submitted an NOI and then enroll in an umbrella school, it is recommended that you notify the district that you have enrolled in a private school.