ADE Director's Communication Memo Form


Memo Number : IT-00-002

Date Created : 08/25/1999

Attention:

Superintendents
Co-op Directors

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: No
   
Section:   Information and Technology - Mr. James Boardman
Subject:
Home School Update

Regulatory Authority:
Act 1117 of 1999

Contact Person:
Maxine Lewis

Phone Number:
501-682-4218

E-mail:
mlewis@arkedu.k12.ar.us

Since the distribution of the proposed amendments to the home school regulations (Director's Memo IT-00-001) and the start of the new school year, two issues seem to be at the center of most of the questions received at the Department from both home school parents and school administrators. The questions primarily concern the 14-day notice/waiver for parents not submitting the intent form by the August 15 deadline and the placement/credit of students returning to public school after being home schooled.

Section 1 of Act 1117 of 1999 requires a parent to submit a written notice of intent to home school to the superintendent at the beginning of school or no later than August 15 or 14 calendar days prior to withdrawing the child from school. The superintendent or local school board may waive the 14-day waiting period.

An exception to the 14-day notification process is made for students under disciplinary action for violation of any written school policy. Students who are under such disciplinary action are not eligible for home school unless the superintendent or local school board allows the child to enroll in home school, the disciplinary action has been completed, the semester ends, or the student has been expelled.

In effect, a parent can enroll a child, not under disciplinary action, by August 15 for the school year or December 15 for the second semester or any time during the school year with a 14-calendar day notice. The superintendent or local school board has the discretion to waive the 14-day waiting period.

Act 1117 did not change the local school district's authority to assess any home school student, who enrolls or reenrolls in the district, in order to determine educational placement. The school district is to utilize the norm-referenced test approved by the State Board of Education, among other means of assessment, to determine placement in the appropriate grade. Currently, the State uses the Stanford Achievement Test as the State adopted norm-referenced test.

The major problem seems to be in determining grades and course credit at the high school level. School districts have the authority to determine both grades and course credit. Some schools look at the home school records and others give some type of course exams such as semester tests. Several districts use a combination of assessment measures for placement. In any case, it would seem prudent for a district to have written policies regarding education placement for students entering their school from home school, private school or other non-public school situations.

Additional information may be obtained from Act 1117 of 1999, Ark Code Ann. 6-15-501 through 507, Director's Memo IT- 00-001 or by calling Maxine Lewis at 501-682-4218.


Attachments:
    None

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