The Pelham School Board recently voted to change their home education policy at their January 18th meeting. Although there has been no recent change to home education statutes, the Superintendent presented it as if an update is needed.
In the Pelham-Windham News article dated February 3, 2017, SAU 28 Superintendent Amanda Lecaroz is quoted as saying, “They (the students) now need to have an annual evaluation of their education and that has been added back in, should they choose to have it done by us or somebody else.”
Further in the article, Lecaroz is again quoted to say, “…but they do have to give us an evaluation.”
The statute was changed in June 2012 to allow home educating families to keep year-end evaluations private. Parents have a choice of year-end assessments: a standardized test including the statewide assessment offered at the local district, teacher evaluation, or another method that is mutually acceptable to the parents and Participating Agency, but they are not required to be shared with the PA.
Pelham’s newly approved policy, IHBG, states that “the parent shall provide for an annual educational evaluation…..” While it is true that home educated students must have annual year-end assessments, the policy is misleading, implying that they must be reported and the Superintendent is misinformed about the requirements.
The home education statutes may be found in RSA 193-A with the part specific to reporting and testing in section 6.
We left a message with Superintendent Lecaroz’s office and hope to have a conversation soon to clarify the statute for her.
In the meantime homeschoolers, particularly Pelham residents, should write to the School Board letting them know that policy IHBG and Superintendent Lecaroz’s understanding is not correct or consistent with home education state statutes. Below is a list of the school board members’ emails for an easy copy/paste. Brief and police messages are most effective.
Update 2/6/17 at 1:30pm: Superintendent Lecaroz was polite and apologetic about the misunderstanding. Thank you to all vigilant homeschoolers for helping to quickly remedy the situation.
Update 2/6/17 at 4:00pm: Superintendent Lecaroz spoke with us and indicated that her statements were taken out of context or she was misquoted. They do not require or expect local home educating parents to report their children’s year-end assessments to them. Their homeschool policy had not been updated since the 2012 law change, and this recent change was to have their written policy accurately reflect the current statute. She may have a Letter to the Editor printed to correct any additional misunderstanding.