Policy #2.21-Home Education

MILLIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS


                                                                                                                        2.21

HOME EDUCATION POLICY

 

The Millis Public Schools recognizes and respects the right of parents/guardians to home school their child(ren). The mission of the Millis Public Schools is to provide, and to assist parents, in the provision of the best education possible for all the children in this district. Understanding the approach to home education is different than public education, the Millis Public Schools is committed to forming a healthy relationship with each parent/guardian in the best interest of the child(ren). This Home Education Policy is designed for thoroughness with a minimum of administrative control. This will allow each home education family the freedom to create and implement an individualized program, and still allow the Millis Public School system to fulfill the obligation required by state law.

 

APPLICATION

 

We request that the parents(s)/guardian(s) of the child(ren) concerned indicate their intention to instruct the child(ren) in a home education program at least two months prior to the intended date of inception of such program. The parents should do this by contacting the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee in writing, providing all the information requested in this policy. The Superintendent or his/her designee has the authority to shorten the two month time period.

 

REQUIREMENTS

 

PLEASE NOTE: Approval of a home education plan will be given only from the proposed date of inception to the end of the current school year. A new application must be made for each subsequent year. Individualized plans must be submitted for each child in the family. No joint plans will be given consideration.

 

1.         The proposed home education plan must include a statement as to the academic     background and life experiences of the parent educator(s) which may aid the       Superintendent or his/her designee or the School Committee in determining the             educator's(s') competency to conduct the home education program. Parents need     not be certified teachers nor have college or advanced degrees.

 

2.         The proposed plan must indicate a written statement of intent to provide at least 180 days of instruction.

 

3.         The home education proposal must include a complete list of materiaIs and/or        resources to be used. The titles, publishers, and dates of publication is sufficient         for texts and workbooks. Brief descriptions of other materials may be necessary.

 

4.         The proposed plan must include an outline of concepts and skills to be learned in each subject area for the period covered by the plan (this includes reading, written     and oral language, spelling, mathematics, science, social science, the arts (music,          art), American history, citizenship duties, health and physical education, industrial             arts and homemaking skills, and vocational and educational guidance as       appropriate to the age and individual needs of the child). This provision may be            met by supplying the Millis Public Schools with list of textbook chapter titles or        curriculum scope and sequence plans. However, the parent(s)/guardian(s) is/are      not required to use textbooks to instruct the child(ren).

            Parents may choose from a variety of methods, including conventional and non-     conventional approaches.

 

5.         The educational plan must include one method of periodic reporting. In order to     verify that education is taking place, the parent(s) will provide the Superintendent   or his/her designee a reasonable evaluation that best corresponds to the type of     educational program being followed. The parent(s) will choose one of the   following methods of evaluation:

 

                        A. Student work portfolio reviewed periodically by school superintendent                                     or his/her designee

 

                        B. periodic consultation with the principal of the appropriate school                                  (where the child(ren) would be assigned if attending public schools) with                                  student work portfolio

 

                        C. an independent report made by someone acceptable to both the Millis                           Public Schools and the parent(s), containing student's progress in each                               subject area

 

                        D. quarterly written progress reports made by the parent(s) and mailed to                          the appropriate building principal

 

                        E. annual standardized test results as administered by a neutral third party

 

                        F. dated work samples mailed to the appropriate principal on a quarterly                           basis

 

                        G. any other method agreed to by both school officials and the parent(s)

 

6.         The parent(s)/guardian(s) may be represented in the application and home education reporting by a representative of a local religious organization who shall       serve as a liaison between the parents and the Millis Public Schools.

                       

                        A. A "local religious organization" shall be defined to include a church,                                synagogue, mosque, etc. or private religious school.

 

                        B. The liaison may be clergy or his/her designee, the school                                      principal/headmaster, private religious school teacher, or other recognized                           leader within the "organization".

 

                        C. The home educating family will submit all information required in this                            policy in a form acceptable to both the liaison and the parent(s)                                                /guardian(s) to the liaison in time for the liaison to inform the                                        Superintendent or his/her designee two months in advance of inception of                             the home education plan that this option is being utilized.

 

                        D. The liaison will provide in writing the following information to the                                 Superintendent or his/her designee:

 

                                    1.         the name(s) of the home educating parents(s)/guardian(s)                                                     and the name(s) and birth date(s) of the child(ren)

 

                                    2.         the name of the religious organization and the liaison's                                                          position within the organization; he/she may also include                                                     information as to his/her qualifications (academic and life                                                          experiences) which will aid him/her in acting as a liaison

 

                                    3.         written intent to act as a liaison for the family, which has                                                     been endorsed by signature by the family

 

                                    4.         A summary of the home education plan shall be provided to                                                the Superintendent or his/her designee

 

                        E. At the conclusion of the home education plan, the liaison will contact                             the Superintendent and his/her designee notifying him/her that education                                   has taken place and explain the method of evaluation used to make that                           determination, and summarizing the student's educational progress.

 

ROLE OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

            It is the intention of the Millis School Committee that school staff shall act as a resource to persons involved in home education. School personnel shall share materials with parent(s)/guardian(s) whenever possible if requested by the parents. However, the development of the proposed home education plan is the sole responsibility of the parent(s)/guardian(s). They agree to accept all responsibility, including financial responsibility, for the child's(ren's) education. The Millis Public Schools will allow home schooled child(ren) to participate in extra-curricular activities such as drama, band, sports teams, etc. We request that the parents(s)/guardian(s) of the child(rcn) concerned indicate their intention to participate in any extra-curricular activity through the Superintendent.

The Millis Public Schools has no obligation and will not grant a diploma to a student(s) who is home schooled.

            Within twenty-five (25) days of receipt of a proposed home education plan the Superintendent or his/her designee will review the plan and will recommend it for approval or disapproval.

 

            If the Superintendent has rejected the proposal, the School Committee will provide parents(s)/guardian(s) an opportunity to explain their proposed plan and present witnesses on their behalf. If, after such a hearing, the School Committee deems a proposal unacceptable, the School Committee will detail reasons for the decision. The parent(s)/guardian(s) will then be given the opportunity to revise the proposal. However, the parent(s)/guardian(s) may commence the education of their children at home during this process. The parent(s)/guardian(s) will receive notification of the plan's presentation to the School Committee (not less than two (2) days in advance) and will be informed as to whether the recommendation will be made to approve the plan.

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

 

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are entitled to all due process rights in regard to this policy. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) also have a right to a hearing before the School Committee in regard to any aspect of this policy or in regard to a decision made by the Superintendent of his/her designee. A request for a hearing must be made through the Superintendent's office at least five (5) business days prior to the previously scheduled School Committee meeting at which the parent(s)/guardian(s) wish to have a hearing. Notice of such hearing, along with all relevant materials, will be provided to all School Committee members by the Superintendent's office at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing. At the hearing, parents may be represented by counselor an advocate, call witnesses, and present evidence.

 

REF.: M.G.L. CHAP. 76, SECTIONS 1, 2, AND 4

 

            Care and Protection of Charles, 504 N.E. 2d 592, 600 (Mass. 1987)

 

 

 

First Reading by the Millis School Committee: October 3,2006

 

Second Reading by the Millis School Committee: October 17,2006

 

Approved by Millis School Committee: October 17, 2006

 

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