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Summer 2008

 

Fayette County — The county attendance director has requested that all providers of home instruction in the county submit a detailed outline of a plan of instruction. Previously, the county had no special standards or format for plans of instruction.

One parent obtained a model of the plan of instruction the attendance director is now requiring. The model consists of about a half-page per child with a detailed list of topics for each subject; for example, Language Arts: Handwriting, vowel digraph design, vowel diphthong, compound words, spelling, composition, word study, sentence rules, ....

Homeschool parents reported that their conversations with the attendance director revealed that this new requirement is due to 1) the increased scrutiny Fayette Co. schools are under by the state (see http://wvde.state.wv.us/news/1374/ for details); and 2) the attendance director’s encounters with homeschoolers who do not comply with the law and/or don’t appear to take their responsibility for their children’s education seriously.

The law has this to say about the plan of instruction:

(C) The person or persons providing home instruction shall outline a plan of instruction for the ensuing school year;

A member of the Home School Legal Defense Association reported that that organization has advised her not to respond to this request until it has been formalized in writing.

Some homeschool families said that they have complied with the attendance director’s request, but at least one family has refused to comply. To date, the county has not taken any action against that family. [updated 5/11/13]

 

Winter 2006

 

Fayette County – The new county attendance director mailed a packet to homeschool families in December about the annual assessment requirement. One of the forms included in the packet was to be used to sign up for the WESTEST; it demanded that all families, not just those who wished to take the WESTEST, use the form to notify the attendance director by January 1 about which assessment option they would use that year.

Also included in the packet was a four-page form to be used for portfolio evaluations; the form required specific information about textbooks and resources the student used for each subject area mentioned in the law. The letter enclosed with the forms stated that portfolio evaluators must use the enclosed form, and that if a child’s assessment was not submitted by June 30, "the parent/guardian shall be denied the right to home school his or her child the following year." 

The letter encouraged homeschool students to take the WESTEST since the school principal would use the scores from that test for grade placement if a student were to enroll in public school the following school year. The school principal would also assess final credit for homeschool students’ coursework in grades 9-12, the letter explained. 

A parent who called the attendance director to discuss the packet reported a pleasant conversation. The attendance director explained that her letter was intended to determine how many homeschooled students would be taking the WESTEST. The county must order the tests in January, and she wanted to make sure there would be a test for each homeschooled student who wanted to take it. Regarding the portfolio form, The attendance director said she had developed the form in response to teachers’ queries about the information needed for a portfolio review. She is aware of the difficulty in finding teachers willing to review homeschoolers’ portfolios and thought that a form with clear requirements would ease teachers’ discomfort with the portfolio review process.