Email of the Day:
I am looking for some guidance as I have been homeschooling my 9th grader this semester and we are trying to re-enroll him in public school. The counselor has stated they cannot enroll him until the new semester begins in January since he has no “accredited” earned semester credit. I am not sure how I am supposed to go about finishing out this semester at home if the work he is doing will not be accepted by the school. If the public school will not enroll him this semester, is there an accredited program that will allow him to enroll and finish out this semester? I asked if the school would offer him a placement or semester test for credit and they have no such test.
There’s a bunch of pieces to this puzzle:
1) When you’re transferring to a public school, the superintendent gets to decide course level and placement. This is usually done by the counseling office, but realize that you have a whole chain of command up which to appeal.
2) The superintendent doesn’t get to decide this in a vacuum. The law specifies that “the superintendent of the local school district in which the child enrolls may require a standardized achievement test to be administered and shall have the authority to determine the appropriate grade and course level placement of the child after consultation with parents and review of the child’s records.”
3) This is not easy when it’s highschool. They’re VERY reticent to take credits toward graduation. It’s all about “doing the time.”
4) It is NOT legal for them to require you to launder your credits through some kind of accrediting agency. The law clearly defines homeschooling in WA as being “provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only.” It does NOT allow for outside agencies.
5) One option that you always have is to send your child full time to the highschool, and then declare and transfer all the credits back to a homeschool transcript and graduate them from homeschooling. It’s a fall back position, but it might be worth pointing out to the school that, for their records, your student will then be counted as a drop out.
If you find yourself in this situation, email me. I have a .pdf letter that explains the legitimacy of homeschool transcripts and diplomas that I will be happy to send to you (or directly to the district on your behalf) that explains this.