HOME SCHOOLING

The Leicester School Committee acknowledges the right of parents to educate their children at home or elsewhere subject, however, to approval in advance. The School Committee hereby designates the Superintendent as its agent to approve or disapprove parents’ requests for conducting such home education. (See Annex A, chapter 76, section 1, MGL). The School Committee wishes to ensure its cooperation with parents who may choose to educate children at home so that the best interests of children will be served. In reviewing such requests, the parties will adhere to the following procedure:
  1. Parent(s) seeking approval for home instruction shall:
    1. The parent/guardian must submit written notification of establishment of the home-based program to the appropriate administrator 14 days before the program is established. The parent must resubmit notification on an annual basis as long as the child is being educated in a home-based environment and the child is under 16 years of age
    2. Provide a complete individual home education plan which fully lists amount of time to be devoted to home instruction in every subject area on a weekly basis and the name of any and all persons who will conduct the home instruction
    3. Provide a complete list of all materials to be used for the home instruction of the child
    4. Provide a plan for evaluation of the child’s progress in every subject area
    5. Schedule a hearing, if requested by the Superintendent, at which time the parent(s) shall explain the plan and answer questions about it
  2. The overall standard to be used by the Superintendent in deciding to approve or disapprove the plan is whether or not the instruction is equal in thoroughness and efficiency, and in the progress made therein to that which would be achieved in the public schools. The Superintendent will consider, but is not limited to, the following factors in evaluating a proposed home education program:
    1. The competency of the teachers/parents to teach their children and their willingness to do so in good faith. Parents will be required to submit written documentation of their own educational background demonstrating their ability to provide home instruction. Although not a requirement, evidence of an earned college degree and/or Massachusetts certification as a public school teacher, as well as the absence thereof, will be taken into consideration
    2. The number of hours and days devoted to teaching
    3. The adequacy of the texts, materials, methods and subject matter to be covered
    4. The availability of records or portfolios of accomplishments of the child’s educational activities
    5. Evidence of periodic progress consistent with the individual plan of each child
    6. Evidence that the child will be tested periodically to measure educational progress and ensure that minimal standards are being maintained. In this regard, it is important to note that the tests shall not necessarily be deemed as a “pass/fail” tool; rather they will be used as some fair indication of whether appropriate progress is being made given the plan chosen by the parents. Further, the parents’ good faith statement of intent to develop a testing program upon consultation among school authorities and parents shall be a sufficient measure of this criterion. Parents are urged to comply with the public schools’ annual standardized test of students in this regard
  3. Following approval by the Superintendent, these additional procedures shall be observed by the parents providing home instruction:
    1. It is recommended that the parent(s) submit reports consistent with the system’s marking periods to the Superintendent indicating the general area of student study and the progress of the student in each subject during the quarter. Should the Superintendent determine the reports to show insufficient progress, the parent shall be so notified and a meeting shall be convened to determine whether the approval shall be revoked.
    2. At the request of the Superintendent and/or his designee, the parent(s) will present the student, at a schedule convenient to the school, designated to participate in those system wide assessments of progress which are administered to students at each grade level. These
    3. currently include assessments under Chapter 766 and achievement testing, although grade level requirements for these tests vary
    4. Students being educated in a home-based program are not eligible to take the state MCAS tests
  4. Any home instruction plan must be approved annually if the student is to continue in a home study program for more than one school year.
  5. Students being educated in a home-based program do not receive Leicester High School credits and, therefore, cannot receive a L.H.S. diploma. In order for a home-schooled student to receive a high school diploma, the student must be enrolled in a home schooling program and through their credit system. The student must meet their diploma requirements. A student may transfer credits from an accredited home schooling program. However, no class rank or Q.P.A. will be assigned through use of the home schooling credits.
  6. 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 taken. During any resolution process the parent(s) or guardian(s) may continue, but not commence, the education of their child/children at home.

ADOPTED: Prior to 2013