Toolkit Topic

Home-Based Microschool Model Ordinance


This model ordinance is a featured item in our Local Government Toolkit.

  1. Purpose and Intent. It is the purpose and intent of the city council, in enacting this chapter, to provide those who wish to operate Home-based Microschools, as defined in this chapter, with clear and concise regulations to prevent issues related to health, safety, traffic, and nuisances.
  2. Definitions. For purposes of this chapter and pursuant to state law, “Home-based Microschool” means an individual or association of individuals that: registers as a business entity in accordance with state and local laws; and for compensation, provides kindergarten through grade 12 education services to 16 or fewer students from an individual’s residential dwelling, accessory dwelling unit, or residential property.
  3. Number of Students. Pursuant to state law, not all home-based microschools are allowed to have 16 students. The number of students is limited to one for each 35 (net) square footage of the instruction area. This means that an empty 10×20 room used as an instruction area could allow for five students. In this example, the home-based microschool is not limited to five total students per day, but five total students in the microschool at one time.
  4. Business License and Fire Inspection. A building being used for a home-based microschool shall meet all applicable building, fire and life safety codes. In addition, the home-based microschool shall:
      1. obtain a business license from this jurisdiction;
      2. obtain a fire safety inspection.
    1. Local Health Department Permit. A local health department permit is only necessary if the home-based microschool will prepare and serve food (as defined by the state health department).
    2. Traffic and Parking. When picking up or dropping off students at a home based microschool, parents shall legally park before letting students out of or into their vehicles and not interfere with the flow of traffic. In addition:
        1. Sufficient parking shall be provided for all instructors and students who park vehicles at the home-based microschool. Sufficient parking may include the on-street parking that immediately abuts the property of the home-based microschool, but shall not include on-street parking spaces abutting neighboring properties.
        2. When picking up or dropping off students, parents may temporarily park for up to ten minutes on the on-street parking spaces of neighboring properties.
        3. If there are eight (8) or more vehicles picking up and/or dropping off students at the same time, the pick-up and drop-off times shall be staggered. To prevent overlapping times of pick up and drop off of students, applicants requesting approval for a home-based microschool that holds more than one section per day shall schedule the sections at least forty-five (45) minutes apart.
      1. Hours of Operation. Hours of operation shall be limited to between the hours of seven o’clock (7:00) A.M. to eight o’clock (6:00) P.M. These hours may be temporarily exceeded to allow for parent-teacher conferences, occasional evening activities, etc.
      2. Signage. One name plate or identification sign no larger than 36″ by 36″ is allowed on site, so long as it is located within five feet of the primary dwelling or accessory dwelling unit.
      3. Outdoor Play and Noise. Loud outdoor play, at a volume normally associated with kids’ outdoor play, shall not occur in the front yard of the home-based microschool. If the home-based microschool is located one hundred (100) feet or closer to another residential dwelling, loud outdoor play shall be limited to two (2) hours per day.
      4. Zoning Compliance. The primary dwelling, accessory dwelling unit, or residential property used for a home-based microschool is subject to the setback, height, bulk, and other zoning regulations that may apply.

      Are you a local elected official and interested in chatting with us more about this model ordinance? Please reach out to us at localgovt@libertas.org—we’d love to chat!