The Shutesbury School Committee recognizes the right of parents and guardians to educate their child (ren) at home. The School Committee appreciates the personal and cultural uniqueness of each family and desires to ensure that the process by which school officials approve and review home education programs is both lawful and equitable. Therefore, the School Committee establishes this home education policy.
1. Requirements for approval of home instruction will include:
a. The parent or legal guardian must request permission to hold home instruction on an annual basis.
b. A home instruction application form will be provided to the parents or legal guardian by the Superintendent. This form must be completed and returned to the Superintendent before approval may be granted.
c. The Committee delegates the review of home instruction to the Superintendent to make a recommendation. The recommendation is presented to the Committee for approval.
2. Children in home instruction at the discretion of the Superintendent or Principal may participate in school programs or specialized classes at SES.
Children who are age six or older are eligible to be home schooled. The Superintendent, in consultation with the Principal, will assess eligibility for home schooling in the district. Parents shall inform the Superintendent of their interest in home schooling their child by submitting documentation approved by the School Committee prior to commencing a home education program.
Home Education programs shall be considered in an equitable, objective, and timely manner. The Superintendent or School Committee when reviewing home school participation:
a. The academic background, life experiences and/or other qualities of those who will be instructing the child(ren) as they relate to the educational program. Home educators need not be certified teachers nor have any diplomas or degrees.
b. An overview of the educational program that is to include subjects and instructional materials. In order to meet the specific educational needs of their child(ren), the parent(s) or guardian(s) may adjust the material to achieve the goals of the educational program without further notification to the Superintendent’s Office.
c. A schedule including the number of instructional hours that will be provided.
3. A mutually agreeable method of assessment which corresponds to the type of educational program being followed and may include one or more of the following:
a. Daily logs, journals, progress reports, portfolios or dated work samples;
b. An independent report made by someone acceptable to both Superintendent and parent(s)
c. Standardized test results;
d. Consultation with the Superintendent
e. Any other method agreed to by both Superintendent and home educator(s).
4. Auditing functions of the Committee for the home instruction will include:
a. The Committee at any time may request a review by the Superintendent of the attendance rolls, records of test scores or other achievement indicators in each required subject for any child in home instruction.
b. The Committee may request at any time that the Superintendent review the instructional materials and methods used by the person(s) responsible for the home instruction.
5. A student being educated in a home-based program within the district may be informed of, and have access to, public school activities of either a curricular or extra-curricular nature. Arrangements for such participation are to be in accordance with the generally accepted scheduling procedures of the schools. Children participating in any school activities must meet all requirements regarding immunizations.
Whenever possible, if requested by the parent(s) or guardian(s), school personnel shall provide materials such as sample curricula and/or textbooks. If school materials are provided, they must be returned consistent with return policies and the district’s fee policy.
Administrators are encouraged to give all due assistance to home education families in their efforts to provide appropriate information concerning their home education program.
6. The Superintendent shall be responsible for and responsive in monitoring home schooling agreements to ensure that all children in the Shutesbury School District receive competent, adequate instruction. If the Committee determines that a home instruction situation is inadequate, a conference between the parents or legal guardian and the Superintendent will be scheduled to find mutually acceptable ways to correct any deficiency.
7. If deficiencies in a home education situation are not corrected or the proper annual application or summary is not completed by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s), an appropriate referral will be made by deadlines set by the superintendent.
8. Parent(s) or guardian(s) are entitled to all due process rights with regard to this policy and with regard to any procedures followed and actions taken. During any resolution process, the parent(s) or guardian(s) may continue, but not commence, the education of their child(ren) at home.
The Superintendent has the responsibility for the development of the procedures and forms necessary for the implementation of this Home Schooling Policy.
LEGAL REF: M.G.L. 69:1D; 76:1
First Reading: 09/22/04 Second Reading,
First Vote 11/17/04 Final Vote: 12/15/04
Reviewed and Amended: 02/28/13