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My contract with the school department.

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I had to sign a contract with the school department and I went in there thinking the laws were different. I checked the laws with Rhode Island department of education government website. I found out the true laws of homeschooling. Things are going to be so much harder this year than last year. I can do it, I just have to do more planning, give them more information monthly, I have to give Destinay tests and give them the score. Oh and I am supposed to teach her 5 hours per day, no less than 25 hours per week. Give them worksheets with her name and date on them. I swear this is so foolish. Well I just wanted to complain over this and any advice is appreciated. Have a nice day.
by on Aug. 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM
Replies (21-29):
by on Aug. 18, 2013 at 2:28 PM
1 mom liked this

I see this:

Compulsory attendance - six years of age and over and under sixteen years of age on or before September 1.

Parental Qualifications - None mandated

Testing - Not mandated

Record Keeping - A register of attendance must be kept and turned in.

More details at the link.

You also might want to contact local homeschoolers about what they are actually doing. Many times a local education board will try to bamboozie one.

by on Aug. 18, 2013 at 5:07 PM

I don't know anything about the laws in R.I. However, school districts DO have the right to 'slightly' alter the laws a bit.

For example: I had homeschooled and had my kids attend a school district... but then moved to Tx for a year to help my dad... and then came back to Pa. This time I am living in a different county and school district. The state law says that I have to keep attendance and homeschool for a certain amount of hours or days a year. It also lists what subjects HAVE to be taught. This new school district, when I filed here, had me come in and talk to someone. They wanted to clarify that I knew exactly what they expected. It is a small town and I am the ONLY homeschooler in the school district they said. But anyways, they said that I have to combine all of these together as attendance. I called the dept of education and they confirmed that it was at the school districts discretion to do it. I have to maintained records of detailed attendance. Listing what we did for each hour that we account as "school" - (the subject, the materials used, and for list the date/times). When I called the dept of education, the lady I spoke with, said that schools are trying to make homeschoolers more accountable. Supposingly they are seeing a lot of homeschoolers slack off and then put the kids back in the school system where the schools then have to pool resources to catch the child up. 

I would call the dept of education in your state and ask them specifically about what the school district is asking.

by Bronze Member on Aug. 18, 2013 at 6:01 PM

ok! this thread is making me want to join the HSLDA anyway even if I never need them because I believe in their mission and I believe in a parent's right to homeschool and for the district/state/federal government to keep out of it. I think if standardized testing is extened to homeschoolers that is disasterous. I think standrdized testing in general is disasterous and the root of many of our public school problems....

(I keep meaning to buy this sticker for my car that says "Think for yourself and question authority")

by on Aug. 18, 2013 at 6:32 PM

I agree...I would probably move, lol.

I am in NH, we have to send a letter of intent and we have to either do testing or a portfolio review by a certified teacher at the end of the year.  So we will do the portfoliio route-but it's weird because we don't have to actually give or show our portfolio eval to I'm not sure why we *have* to do it, lol.

I also agree those that said to check the actual law.  Everything I read says to only do what the law says you have to (in regards to handing stuff in or proving stuff to the district) because even if you don't mind sharing extra, other hsers might not agree, and we don't want to end up making things harder for any other hsers or ourselves in the long run.

Quoting Boobah:

Yikes! I'd probably move. Haha! I am also in Ohio and we just have to send a letter of intent, and a signed assessment form at the end of the year.

by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2013 at 9:54 AM
Hi I checked out the website for the district law. I live in Central Falls the paper from the website is the exact print out that I was given.

Quoting romacox:

Some school districts have written their own laws, and some try to bluff parents into signing contracts that are only binding if the parent signs them.  .  If the State and District laws contradict, parents can challenge them.  However R I is showing district laws on the one of the RI home school association sites.  Check it out, and don't simply take the DOE word for anything. They lose money when a child is pulled out of P.S., and many of them will try to make it as hard on parent educators as they can possibly get away with. One can also call the Home School Legal Defense Association.  

Currently more children are enrolling in home school than in P.S.  That means lost revenue for P.S..  As a result, schools are trying every trick in the book.. Our children's education should be about what is in the best interest of the children, and not about money.  But it is what it is.

Quoting sha_lyn68:

I looked over the RI department of Education website and I couldn't find anything but an FAQ page, Compulsory Attendance law (which does not say you have to teach her 5 hrs a day), and the requirements to teach health, civics and PE. I then checked a couple of RI homeschool groups that that all they given info on too as far as laws go. Nothing I find mentioned monthly contact with the school district etc. All I am finding is that you send in a Letter of Intent at the beging of the year stating that you are complying with the laws and a letter at the end of the year stating that you complied with the laws and you include the standardized test scores with that letter.

by on Aug. 19, 2013 at 11:09 AM
2 moms liked this

 mommynay , maybe you should call the local homeschool group and find out what your really have to do concerning your laws? list of some here

by on Aug. 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM

HA.  In Michigan we don't even have to do that!!

Quoting Boobah:

Yikes! I'd probably move. Haha! I am also in Ohio and we just have to send a letter of intent, and a signed assessment form at the end of the year.

by Member on Aug. 20, 2013 at 3:17 AM
1 mom liked this

According to this, you do not have to submit a minute-by-minute detail.

from the HSLDA (homeschool legal defense assoc.) website:

Compulsory Attendance Ages:

Required Days of Instruction: Required Subjects:

Age 6 as of September 1, but not yet age 18; or is age 16 and is in an accredited college program, or has a waiver from the school superintendent following his approval of an “alternative learning plan.” General Laws of Rhode Island § 16-19-1(a). The increase to age 18 became effective July 13, 2011.

Rather than requiring “instruction” for any particular amount of time, state law requires “a period of attendance” substantially equal to what the laws require for public schools, i.e., 180 days. R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-19-2 and R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-2-2.

Reading, writing, geography, arithmetic, civics (§ 16-22-2), English (§ 16-19-2), health and physical education (§ 16-22-4). The Commissioner of Education confirmed that home schools are required to teach health and physical education in Gauvin v. Scituate School Committee, (R.I. Comm’r. Educ. July 5, 1990).

Home School Statute: R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-19-1 and R.I. Gen Laws § 16-19-2.

  1. A child may receive a “course of at-home instruction approved by school committee of the town

    wherein the child resides” if the following requirements are met:

    1. The period of attendance is “substantially equal” to that of the public schools,

    2. An attendance register is kept, and

    3. The teaching in the required subjects listed above is “thorough and efficient.” R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-19-2.

  2. If the local school committee denies parents the right to home school, the parents may appeal to the Department of Education and have a right to a hearing. R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-19-2.

  3. Commissioner ruled that it is a “Constitutional right” to educate one’s children. Payne v. New Shoreham School Department, R.I. Comm’r. of Educ. Sept. 15, 1987, at 8.

Note: The Commissioner of Education ruled in an appeal brought by HSLDA “that home visitation cannot be mandated by public school authorities over parental objection.” Kindstedt v. East Greenwich School Committee (R.I. Comm’r Educ. August 7, 1986). In addition, the Commissioner held “it is our view that both the Fourth Amendment and also the constitutionally derived right to privacy ... protect individuals from unwanted and warrantless visits to the home by agents of the state under circumstances such as those present here.” Kindstedt, slip op. at 5, n. 12.


by Member on Aug. 20, 2013 at 3:19 AM
1 mom liked this

page 2:

Alternative Statutes Allowing for Home Schools: R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-19-1.

In some school districts, parents may present a certificate that their child attends a local private school’s satellite program in lieu of complying with the home school statute described above.

Teacher Qualifications: None.

Standardized Tests: Not required by statute. However, the Commissioner of Education has ruled that local school districts have the authority to require some type of evaluation under their “approval” authority as long as they “accommodate the preferences of parents for certain mechanisms for measurement.” Thifault v. North Smithfield School Committee, (R.I. Comm’r. Educ. July 2, 1990 at 7-8).

If the parents choose standardized testing, the Commissioner ruled that religious home schoolers, under the first Amendment, have the right to choose their standardized test and the testing site. Thifault, slip op. at 13-14. The Commissioner held: “we cannot discern the presence of any administrative burdens placed on the School Committee by accommodation of the parents’ choice of standardized test. Thus, we do not find the School Committee’s test choice (or its requirement that children be tested in the public school) to be the “least restrictive alternative.” Thifault, at 13-14.

Religious Freedom Act: R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-80.1-1, et seq. 

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