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10/7/2004 4:08:31 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Massachusetts--Ashburnham Forum

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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October 7, 2004


Massachusetts--Ashburnham Forum


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Thank you so much for your rapid response to the situation in
Ashburnham! We have received many e-mails from member families who
are forwarding the Ashburnham alert along to other e-mail lists, and
each of the four statewide homeschool organizations has indicated
plans to send at least one leader to the "forum" at the Overlook
Middle School Library in Ashburnham. While I cannot personally attend
this event, Donald Perron, a local homeschool leader, will be
coordinating efforts on the scene. Since so many people are planning
to attend, I have decided to make the critical documents available to
all on our website. The public notice indicates that a "forum" will
be held on Wednesday, October 13, at 6:00 p.m. at the Overlook Middle
School Library. If you want to attend, use MapQuest www.mapquest.com
to get to 10 Oakmont Drive in Ashburnham.

Dr. Zapantis is familiar with my letter
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1855 of August 31, 2004 where I
advised him that his draft policy would never be upheld by the Supreme
Judicial Court.

I got my copy of the draft policy from Donald Perron. Dr. Zapantis's
letter http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1856 to him was my first
indication that homeschoolers were expected to seek approval by May 15
of each year.

The proposed Ashburnham application form
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1857 requires a number of items over
and above the May 15 deadline. The most troublesome is the
requirement that each student identify the "minutes per week" planned
for each subject.

The proposed policy for home instruction
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1858 cuts far beyond anything
contained in the form. It authorizes pre-assessment and
post-assessment testing, weekly logs, and work samples, all over and
above standardized testing to be administered by school personnel at a
date, time, and place chosen by the superintendent.

The home instruction procedures http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1859
establish the May 15 deadline and proves that this policy had already
been drafted and read by the school committee on June 20, long before
any homeschooler was aware of its existence.

If you can come to the forum, please print these documents out in
advance. We are particularly interested in homeschooled teens who
feel prepared for public speaking on behalf of homeschool liberties.


Sincerely,

Scott W. Somerville, Esq.
Home School Legal Defense Association
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