Email of the Day:
We are pulling our daughter out of public school and they are currently in the process of creating an IEP for her. The teacher/counselor says that because she will have an IEP in place she still has to attend classes that are required under the IEP.
We home schooled in Hawaii with an IEP and that was never required. They followed up with me to make sure we were staying on track with it there but nothing else.
Is this under Washington law that requires her to attend public school because she has the IEP?
This is not true. Our part time attendance law gives parents the option to attend school on a part time basis and/OR to access ancillary services. It does not require the former in order to access the latter.
Here’s the law RCW 28A.150.350(1)(d) “Part time student” shall mean and include: Any student enrolled in a course of instruction in a private school and taking courses at and/or receiving ancillary services offered by any public school not available in such private school; or any student who is not enrolled in a private school and is receiving home-based instruction under RCW 28A.225.010 which instruction includes taking courses at or receiving ancillary services from the local school district or both; or any student involved in any work training program and taking courses in any public school, which work training program is approved by the school board of the district in which such school is located.
And here is the WAC 392-134-005
As used in this chapter the term:
(1) “Ancillary service” shall mean any cocurricular service or activity, any health care service or activity, and any other services or activities, except “courses,” for or in which preschool through twelfth grade students are enrolled by a public school. The term shall include, but not be limited to, counseling, psychological services, testing, remedial instruction, speech and hearing therapy, health care services, tutorial services such as home or hospital instruction for the physically disabled, and sports activities;
(2) “Course” shall mean any instructional curricular service or activity in which preschool through twelfth grade students are enrolled by a public school;
(3) “Part-time public school student” shall mean a student who is enrolled in a public school for less time than a “full-time equivalent student” as defined in chapter 392-121 WAC, as now or hereafter amended, and shall include:
(a) Private school students to the extent they are also enrolled in a public school as a student thereof for the purpose of taking any course or receiving any ancillary service, or any combination of courses and ancillary services which is not available in the student’s private school of attendance;
(b) Any student who is enrolled exclusively in a public school for the purpose of taking courses or receiving ancillary services and/or participating in a work training program approved by the board of directors of the district or charter school board; and
(c) Any student who is participating in home-based instruction to the extent that the student is also enrolled in a public school for the purpose of taking any course or receiving any ancillary service, or any combination of courses and ancillary services.
(4) “Private school” shall mean any nonpublic vocational school and any nonpublic school which provides instruction in any of the grades kindergarten through twelve inclusive of nonpublic sectarian (religious) schools;
(5) “Private school student” shall mean a student who is enrolled in a private school “full time” as defined by the private school of attendance; and
(6) “Home-based instruction” shall mean an instructional program established pursuant to RCW 28A.225.010(4).
One last thought — if the IEP is only for accommodations in her classes (and not, for example, to also access speech therapy or another ancillary service), it is unnecessary if you’re homeschooling her. (For example, our neuropsychologist recommended special ed for our kidlet — we never darkened the door of a public school; we just worked in our own way in our own time at home without an IEP or 504 Plan). There are reasons a homeschool family might want to continue an IEP, but it’s not something that is required of us, even if we have children who qualify.
Let me know if I can be of further assistance and/or if you need me to send an email/make a phone call to the district on your behalf.
–Jen Garrison Stuber, WHO Board Advocacy Chair