Heavily Redacted Email of the Day:
When I went to enroll my kidlet in a class at our local school today, the Secretary/Registrar informed me that “the incoming 6th grade class was quite large and that classes, including the course we were seeking to enroll in, were only open to part-time students on an “availability only” basis.
She further stated that since full-time students would be enrolling throughout the summer, we would not know until full-time student placement had concluded one week prior to the start of fall classes whether or not Kidlet would be allowed to enroll in the class we had requested, implying that all other students have priority enrollment placement privileges for all classes over students seeking part-time enrollment.
If you are attempting to enroll in your local school (not a district that you’ve “choiced” into), the school is wrong.
I suspect you’ve interacted with a lower-level employee who is not aware of the law. The principal of the school and the superintendent of the district should be notified to rectify this misunderstanding, as it could have severe negative impacts for the school and the district.
Here’s the info, if you’d like to send it, or I’m happy to send it on your behalf. The only real benefit of me doing it is that I use my spiffy WHO title.
I would appreciate it if you sent it, as I’m not convinced my efforts will be effective.
Letter to Principal, CC Secretary, CC Counselor who affirmed Secretary’s position, CC Superintendent:
I received a letter from our mutual constituent, who attempted to enroll her homeschooled son, Kidlet, in the course at School today. She met with the Counseling Secretary/Registrar who was pleasant and professional, but told Parent after conferring with Counselor that “the incoming 6th grade class was quite large and that classes (the implication was that all classes, including electives and the Course we were seeking to enroll in) were only open to part-time students on an “availability only” basis.”
She further stated that since full-time students would be enrolling throughout the summer, we would not know until full-time student placement had concluded one week prior to the start of fall classes whether or not Kidlet would be allowed to enroll in the class the Family had requested, implying that all other students have priority enrollment placement privileges for all classes over students seeking part-time enrollment.
I assured Parent that this is a common error on the part of staff who are unfamiliar with the homeschool law, and pointed her to to RCW 28A.150.350(1)(d)”
For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(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.
as well as RCW 28A.150.350(2) The board of directors of any school district is authorized and, in the same manner as for other public school students, shall permit the enrollment of and provide ancillary services for part time students: PROVIDED, That this section shall only apply to part time students who would be otherwise eligible for full time enrollment in the school district.
I explained to Parent that although it is true that a homeschooler who has “choiced” into another district is a second class citizen in that district, and his or her attendance is subject to space availability in the district of choice, but that, in their resident district, they are entitled to “any combination of courses and ancillary services which is made available by a public school to full-time students.”
An eligible part-time public school student who qualifies as a resident of a public school district pursuant to the definition of a “resident student” set forth in chapter 392-137 WAC, as now or hereafter amended, shall be entitled to attend the schools of the district within his or her attendance area tuition free on a part-time basis. Eligible part-time public school students who meet the admission policies of a public charter school shall be entitled to attend the school tuition free on a part-time basis.
An eligible part-time public school student shall be entitled to take any course, receive any ancillary service, and take or receive any combination of courses and ancillary services which is made available by a public school to full-time students. Eligible nonresident part-time public school students may be enrolled at the discretion of a public school district pursuant to the terms and procedures established for nonresident student attendance in chapter 392-137 WAC, as now or hereafter amended.
I assured her that this was merely a misunderstanding on the part of an employee who most likely had not encountered very many part time requests from homeschoolers, and who obviously didn’t know that the school’s funding is contingent on compliance with the law (WAC 392-134-030: Each public school district and charter school shall certify compliance with this chapter as a condition to the reimbursement of costs pursuant to RCW 28A.150.250, 28A.150.260 and 28A.150.350, as now or hereafter amended. State and federal funds shall be withheld in whole or part or recovered in whole or part through reduction in future entitlements of a district or charter school as necessary to enforce the provisions and intent of this chapter.)
The Washington Homeschool Organization has this misunderstanding crop up a couple of times a year, and we help guide families through it without any issue. I have CC’d Parent on this email for follow up.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance in this or any other homeschool-related matter.
~Jen Garrison Stuber
Advocacy Chair, Washington Homeschool Organization
We got in!