Letter from a school about the DofI

Email of the Day:
I am the School Secretary for the School District. I
hope I have reached the correct e-mail address to make a suggestion to your *Declaration of Intent to Provide Home-Based Instruction Form.*

Our District is now required to provide an Annual Report where the
information from the *Declaration of Intent to Provide Home-Based
Instruction Forms* have to be recorded.

The current Form *does not *have space for:
1. Date of Birth
2. Grade

Our Annual Report requires the GRADE of the student. It would be great if these spaces could be added to this form.

I look forward to hearing from you if you are able to accommodate this request. Please let me know.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

We’ve reached out to the OSPI about this problem.
Our Declaration of Intent form follows the law, which requires parents only to submit their child’s name, age, and if or not the family has hired a teacher to provide oversight:

RCW 28A.200.010 (1)(a) [Homeschool parents have the duty to] 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.

The law does not provide for school districts to collect additional information on homeschooled students. We have reached out to the OSPI several times to encourage them to stop frustrating districts by asking for this information. I am hopeful the new superintendent will be receptive to this and will stop asking you guys to collect this extra information.

Because the law states that the “legislature recognizes that home-based instruction is less structured and more experiential than the instruction normally provided in a classroom. Therefore, the provisions relating to the nature and quantity of instructional and related educational activities shall be liberally construed,” and that all decisions relating to philosophy or doctrine, selection of books, teaching materials and curriculum, and methods, timing and place in the provision or evaluation of home-based instruction shall be the responsibility of the parent,” many homeschoolers are working at many different grade levels at the same time. What we’ve found is that school districts often use the birthdate and grade information to lock students into a one-grade-per-year, and then use that algorithm deny homeschoolers placement in an appropriate grade level for part time attendance, or to deny them participation in Running Start, we recommend against homeschoolers providing that information.

I know this is probably a frustrating answer, and I am sorry for that. I am hopeful we can get the new Superintendent to change the Annual Report you have to file to conform with the law.

~Jen Garrison Stuber,

WHO Board Advocacy Chair