Advocacy In Action:
WHO received an email the other day from a mom who’d approached her school over the summer to sign her 10th graders up for the PSAT. (You can sign up for the SAT online and then just show up at the school, but you have to sign up for the PSAT at a school). She was brushed off and told to return in September, which she did, only to be told to return in October, and they would let them sign up “if there’s space.” She was told that tests were ordered for all of the [full time public school] 10th graders and they couldn’t say whether there would be enough for her children to participate or not, and they most definitely wouldn’t order extra tests. She was also told that there would be a cost, but not price or date could be given to her at the time, as they had no information ready to give her.
She approached WHO, as the time for the PSAT is coming up very quickly (mid-October), and I wrote the following letter Sunday night:
Dear Superintendent of the District and Principal of the School,
I am writing on behalf of Parent, a homeschool mom in Your SD, who came in on the 11th of August to sign her students up for the PSAT/NMSQT. She was told that they “absolutely could not help me that day and [she] needed to come back the first week of school (Sept 6 and after). [Parent] explained to them that [she] didn’t want to miss signing up and told them of the ‘four months’ advice on the College Board website but was assured (and the front desk lady called the dept that handles the PSATs to confirm) that they could help her in Sept.” She returned on Sept 8th and this time was sent to the Counseling and Career Center. After waiting for some time, she was told that they couldn’t help her either. They said that they weren’t “ready to sign people up for the test.” They told her to return on October 1st and they would let them sign up “if there’s space.” She was told that tests were ordered for all of the [full time public school] 10th graders and they couldn’t say whether there would be enough for her children to participate or not, and they most definitely wouldn’t order extra tests. She was also told that there would be a cost, but not price or date could be given to her at the time, as they had no information ready to give her.
As you know, RCW 28A.150.350 guarantees homeschoolers and private schoolers the right to part time attendance and/or ancillary services, WAC 392-134-005 specifies testing as part of the ancillary services covered, and WAC 392-134-030 makes school funding contingent on compliance with the RCW.
I feel certain that this is a simple misunderstanding on the part of administrative employees who are unfamiliar with this part of the law, and that this can be remedied, and Parent can get her children signed up for the PSAT/NMSQT this week.
Parent can be reached at ____.
~Jen Garrison Stuber, WHO Board Advocacy Chair
I hope you will be as pleased as I was that I received this letter from Parent this morning:
“I just got off the phone with the principal at School (he called me). He first apologized for the misunderstanding and then assured me that he has talked to the counseling dept directing and is certain that they have enough tests and that my kids will definitely be able to test. He does need me to come back on the Oct 1 to do the sign up but he ‘is certain’ that my kids can test with them and they will have enough tests. He apologized again and then told me to contact him directly if I have any problems in the future. He said they have a new counselor that is being trained and he thinks there was confusion with how they handle homeschool students but there should be no confusion and I can contact him and he will take care of anything in the future if there are confusions again.
Thank you so much Jen! I’m feeling much better in every way. I really appreciate you getting involved and helping move things along.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!”