Pelham School Board Updates Home Schooling Policy

February 3, 2017

 

by Jay Hobson

The school board had a second reading of an updated policy on home schooling at its Jan. 18 board meeting.

The policy, known as IHBG, spells out the rules concerning the home schooling of Pelham students and the relationship of the school board pertaining to those students.

“As you recall we did this (update) because of legislation clarifying things. We checked and we have 27 students being homeschooled in our town right now,” said Superintendent Amanda Lecaroz.

Lecaroz said that the district had not been part of the evaluation process of home-schooled students and that an annual evaluation is now required.

“They (the students) now need to have an annual evaluation of their education and that has been added back in, should they choose to have it done by us or somebody else,” Lecaroz said.

The evaluation section of the policy reads:

“State law requires that the parent shall maintain a portfolio of records and materials relative to their home education program. The portfolio shall consist of a log which designates by title the reading materials used, and also samples of writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the child. Such portfolio shall be preserved by the parent for two years from the date of the ending of the instruction. Parents shall also maintain the results of each annual educational evaluation.

In addition, the parent shall provide for an annual educational evaluation in which is documented the child’s demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with the child’s age and ability. There are four (4) options available to parents to meet this annual educational evaluation requirement; some of which may involve participation by the district.

Any parent electing to request district participation in the annual evaluation shall contact the grade appropriate building administrator prior to the close of the public school year, as well as a sufficient time in advance of the proposed annual educational evaluation for it to take place in the form sought by the parent without hardship to the district. If the resident parent intends to use the state or local assessment provided by the district, the parent shall inform the district of his or her intent to do so as soon as practicable to provide the district adequate time to prepare and obtain the materials. The building administrator may decline the district’s participation in an untimely request. The building administrator may also decline a request when the district is not the participating agency.”

Lecaroz said that the students and parents currently don’t have to, “come see us, but they do have to give us an evaluation.”

“They may have told us that they were homeschooling three years ago, and we haven’t seen them ever since and if we don’t see an evaluation on them we really don’t know where they are,” Lecaroz said.

She said that it is the parents’ obligation to provide the evaluation to the district, not for the district to follow up on students.

There was no discussion on the issue and the school board vice chair made a motion to accept the policy IHBG with a second by member Megan Larson. The board voted unanimously to accept the policy update.