The Home School Court Report
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Akron is the rubber band capital of the world.


Creative Education Establishment

It lives, breathes, and has a mind of its own—the education establishment in the State of Ohio. Year after year, Home School Legal Defense Association legal staff deal with the same sort of problems at the beginning of the school year. However, the following requirements are not found in the home school regulations:

  • Assessment deadlines;

  • Notification deadlines;

  • Grade reports in addition to assessment;

  • “Approval” and “application” language;

  • Requests for grade levels;

  • Testing administered by certified teacher;

  • Mandatory participation in the school district’s own assessment program;

  • Copy of instructor’s high school diploma or GED;

  • Missing child report filed with attorney general’s office for families who moved;

  • List of subjects taught exceeding those in Ohio regulations;

  • Student grade level;

  • Student school building;

  • Documentation showing completion of all coursework;

  • Signature of home instructor on Letter of Understanding.

We’ll just stop right here, even though the list could go on. These issues have been dealt with time and again, but school districts seem determined to make up their own rules, despite the fact that they have no authority to do so.

Another important issue resurfacing this year is the definition of a written narrative—one of the two academic assessment options required by state regulation. Most of our members know that when Ohio’s regulations were enacted in 1989, several forms were devised that have been in use for the last 10 years: the notification form and two academic assessment reports.

This written narrative form is a statement from a certified teacher that “I hereby indicate that a portfolio of samples of ______’s work has been reviewed and that _______’s academic progress for [the year] is in accordance with ______’s ability.” Many superintendents do not like this form’s general nature and want an evaluation that includes specific examples of the child’s progress.

However, HSLDA and the statewide Christian Home Educators of Ohio have always taken the position that this form is in compliance with the regulations. They point out that the state’s interest in education is satisfied because an Ohio-certified teacher can be trusted to determine if academic progress is being made by the student.

A number of Ohio members have called our office for assistance after receiving letters from superintendents requesting information outside the district’s authority. Feel free to contact our legal department regarding any communication from your district.