As reported in March, GSHE has struggled since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year with Equal Access in many districts. This law, RSA 193:1-c, allows families to participate in curricular and co-curricular programs offered at their local district schools. However, some districts, particularly Rochester SAU 54, has thrown up barriers to participation, claiming that Covid protocols for hybrid and remote learning inhibits their ability to offer programs to resident homeschoolers. GSHE leader Amanda Weeden has worked for months to try to find resolution without success. She also worked with resources in the NH Department of Education.
These persistent problems were a major part of the discussion at the Home Education Advisory Council (HEAC) meeting on March 25, 2021.
In mid-May, the NH DOE issued a Show Cause Hearing before the state Board of Education scheduled for Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 10am. It is a public meeting at which the Rochester district must demonstrate it is compliant with RSA 193:1-c. The meeting information, including a link for Zoom, and the hearing notice is available on the State Board page here.
We hope this finally resolves the problem and provides much-needed clarification for other families who have experienced difficulties with Equal Access.
Please reach out to GSHE leadership if you experienced obstacles participating in classes or extra-curricular activities offered by your local school district.
By Michelle Levell