Thursday, July 8, 2010

Good to Know

I have always found it extremely helpful to keep current with homeschooling law and policy here in our state as well as our particular town.  I would strongly encourage you all to do so as well.  
It is important for any number of reasons; to be aware when our rights are being infringed upon, to not put anything in our home education plans not required by case law, to be able to confidently say "NO", when we are asked for extralegal information or are harassed with bureaucratic nonsense.  
For instance, twice now I have had to deal with the school insisting that I fill out their "official" form.  I will not do so and I will tell you why.  I have already given them every single piece of legally required information and they have no issues with the content of our home education plan.  My legal responsibilities are complete.  I wrote back with a cordial letter explaining that I have already complied with the law and I will not be using their form and why.  It likely didn't hurt that I added a CC to our region's HSLDA attorney.  In any case, it is simple bureaucratic nonsense and we do not need to cave in to their little whims. 
I urge you, in fact, to NOT do so.  Every one of us who caves in gives them that much more perceived power over every other homeschooler in their district.  It is bad precedent for all of us when some of us comply to extralegal demands.  
Here are the best sites for home school information in Massachusetts.  I urge you to become familiar with the case law and policy governing for everyone's sake, not just your own.

One of my favorites, become a "friend" and get the best newsletters around.  I have found them extremely helpful over the years and have made some important changes in reporting due to the information I've gleaned.

They have a really good section on case law and a very helpful  pdf called Information for Superintendents that I have sent in along with my home education plan a time or two when the schools I report to have changed leadership.  I am not a big fan of their other resources pages though.  I feel strongly that there are better ones out there.

Lastly, I encourage you to have a copy of your school's written policy at hand, if they have one, to refer to and to look over and see if they are requiring information you should not be providing.

Falmouth's homeschool policy is here under the Department of Pupil Personnel Services
Notice that they include a handy form for you to use.  I don't and won't use it.  If anyone would like me to email them a sample of the home education plan I use feel free to email me as ask.
If you know of the website for your school where the policy is listed please add it in the comment section of this post or email it to Lizzie Borden at miklizro at comcast dot net


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