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Exempt School [Home School] Program

General Information

Parents (or legal guardians) may educate their child at home by electing not to meet State approval or accreditation requirements (Section 79-1601 R.R.S.). In Nebraska, “home schools” are referred to as exempt schools and are considered non-approved or non-accredited schools.  By filing for and receiving exempt status, parents are electing not to have their child attend a school that meets State approval and accreditation requirements while also complying with the mandatory school attendance law (Section 79-201 R.R.S.).

2020/21 School Year

Review Status of Rule 13 Exempt (Home) School Filings, 10/01/2020

Our office continues to receive an unprecedented number of calls & emails from parents new to homeschooling due to Covid-19.  Therefore, it is taking much longer than 6 weeks for processing.   Most of the Rule 13 submissions received through June 30th have been reviewed; we are currently working on early July submissions.  Our priority continues to be processing filings; therefore, we ask that you please refrain from calling & emailing status checks if at all possible as that will slow down the turnaround time.

Remember –

  • Your filing is effective upon receipt by NDE.  You do not have to wait until you receive the Acknowledgement Letter to begin homeschooling.
  • Students do not need to attend the local school in the interim while waiting on the Acknowledgment Letter. [The local schools should not count absences during this time.]
  • When the review of the submission is complete, the Acknowledgement Letter is emailed to the Parent Representative for online filers, and mailed to the Parent Representative for paper filers and multi-family schools.
  • If upon review by NDE of the filed materials it is discovered the filing is incomplete or improper, the parent representative will be notified and have a stated time by which it must be completed or corrected to be effective.

Note –

  • If you have changed your mind about “homeschooling” due to the availability of remote learning through the local district (or other reasons), please email Beth Bolte ( with your full name and the students’ full name, and indicate you wish to cancel your filing.

Resident public schools are able to access a report of those families in their district who filed to date, and the status of the submission.  We have asked schools to refrain from checking status with parents and this office and refer to this report.

Thank you for understanding.

  • A Rule 13 exemption election filing applies only to traditional “homeschooling.”  If the student is schooling at home due to a school closure, or through remote learning, and is still enrolled in that approved or accredited public or private school, a Rule 13 filing does not apply.
  • Exemption election submissions are due annually by July 15.  For parents/legal guardians who are waiting for schools to announce re-opening plans, there is an existing provision in Rule 13 to allow for filing after July 15, see section 003.02A on page 4 of Rule 13.  File promptly once you make the decision to “home school.”
  • Note for Paper Filers – Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Department of Education is closed to the public.  Submit the documents by mail only (drop-off at the Department of Education in Lincoln is not allowable at this time) (no faxes or emails will be accepted).  Please plan accordingly and allow sufficient time to meet the filing deadline.


Statistical Information


Program Contacts

  • Beth Bolte: (402) 471-2795 or
  • Micki Iverson: (402) 471-1894 or
Updated October 1, 2020 2:22pm