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1/19/2007 1:53:15 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Rhode Island--Warwick Policy Improves Greatly with Homeschool Family Input

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Rhode Island--Warwick Policy Improves Greatly with Homeschool Family
Input

On January 9, the Warwick school committee adopted a new homeschool
policy that is far more parent-friendly than the previous one. Here
are the major changes:

1. The role of the superintendent diminished. The old policy allowed
the superintendent to reject a homeschool plan. Under the new policy,
his role is to simply make a recommendation.

2. Increases the role of the school committee. The old policy
allowed the chairperson of the school committee to reject a homeschool
plan. Under the new policy, only the school committee can reject a
plan. The chairperson can accept a plan, however.

3. The contract-like "agreement" is abolished. The new policy
requires only a "letter of intent."

4. Partial improvement on progress reports. The new policy
specifically acknowledges that the parent's preference as to the type
of progress report to be submitted will be respected. The old policy
did not. Regrettably, the new policy fails to reduce the number of
progress reports from two to one per year, as homeschoolers had
requested.

5. New restrictions blocked. The new policy clearly states that
administrative officials cannot create new burdens or restrictions.
The old policy gave no such protection.

6. Authority to demand attendance records limited. The old policy
appeared to give administrators unlimited power to demand attendance
records. The new policy specifies that attendance records are to be
submitted twice annually, in January and July. The new policy gives
parents the freedom to use the format of their choice for the reports;
the old policy required parents to use a form developed by
administrators.

7. Authority to make content demands abolished. Under the old policy,
an administrator demanded that families include the state content
standards in their homeschool program. The new policy gives families
full freedom to choose the content within the required subjects,
requiring only that they list the title, author, and publisher of
books to be used.

These improvements are the result of a tremendous amount of work and
input from homeschoolers aided by the assistance of school committee
member Joyce Andrade, herself a homeschool mom. We will look for an
opportunity to abolish the unjustifiable requirement of two progress
reports per year. Meanwhile, Warwick homeschoolers enjoy significantly
more protection under the new policy.

Our thanks go to Joyce Andrade and all the other homeschool moms and
dads who worked to bring about these improvements. We salute the
families who stood for what was right and resisted improper demands,
even when they might have been faced with prosecution. We acknowledge
the cooperation of administrative officials who agreed they would not
initiate legal action against such families pending final action on
the new policy.

It is our general recommendation that families who have not been
"approved" for this year promptly follow the steps outlined in the new
policy. A link to the complete policy is
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/ri/20071190.pdf. If you believe your
situation requires individualized legal advice, please contact us.

Sincerely Yours,
Scott A. Woodruff


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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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