Checking the teacher box

Posted by Jen Garrison Stuber

Email of the Day:
Hi Jen!

I have a Letter of Intent question.

I spoke with a friend who thinks that taking the parenting course means we are allowed to check the box indicating the home-based instruction will be supervised by a person certificated in Washington state pursuant to etc. I have always been under the impression that this means a certificated person, someone who has a teaching certificate of some sort. I went and read RCW 28A.410 which seems to confirm it for me, but I may be misinterpreting. Can you clarify?

Thank you!

Answer:

This is a surprisingly common confusion.

You are correct. There are four ways to qualify to homeschool in WA:
1) Have 45 college quarter credits (about 24 semester credits, or one year full time in college — any subject, any college).
2) Take a Parent Qualifying Course
3) Hire a WA state certificated teacher to provide oversight
4) Gain superintendent approval

If you choose #3, and hire a teacher to provide oversight for your homeschooling, then you check the box.

Here’s the law that defines #3:
RCW 28A.225.010(4)(a) Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and are supervised by a certificated person. A certificated person for purposes of this chapter and chapter 28A.200 RCW shall be a person certified under chapter 28A.410 RCW. For purposes of this section, “supervised by a certificated person” means: The planning by the certificated person and the parent of objectives consistent with this subsection; a minimum each month of an average of one contact hour per week with the child being supervised by the certificated person; and evaluation of such child’s progress by the certificated person. The number of children supervised by the certificated person shall not exceed thirty for purposes of this subsection

Here’s the part of the law that says, “If you’re doing #3, then check this box on the DofI”:
RCW 28A.200.010(1) Each parent whose child is receiving home-based instruction under RCW 28A.225.010(4) shall have the duty to:
(a) File annually a signed declaration of intent that he or she is planning to cause his or her child to receive home-based instruction. The statement shall include the name and age of the child, shall specify whether a certificated person will be supervising the instruction, and shall be written in a format prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction.

If you take a Parent Qualifying Course, you fall under RCW 28A.225.010(4)(b) Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and who has either earned forty-five college level quarter credit hours or its equivalent in semester hours or has completed a course in home-based instruction at a postsecondary institution or a vocational-technical institute.

In this case, you do NOT check the box, because you are not hiring a certificated person to oversee your homeschooling.

Warmly,

~Jen