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Connecticut

June 5, 2006

District Seeks Curriculum Review

After a Home School Legal Defense Association member family filed a notice of intent to conduct home instruction with East Lyme Public Schools, they received a letter from the school district instructing them to make an appointment “in order to review the curriculum [the family would] be providing.“ Apparently this proposed curriculum review was an effort to determine whether these homeschooled children were receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools, as required by 10-184 of Connecticut General Statutes.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black sent a letter to the superintendent of schools explaining that the family had decided to comply with the guidelines established by the Connecticut State Board of Education on November 7, 1990. According to the state department of education, parents who follow these guidelines are considered to meet the “equivalent instruction” requirement. Because of this, Black explained, there is no reason for any school district to review the curriculum of homeschoolers who are following the guidelines. After receiving HSLDA’s letter, the public school officials made no further effort to require the family to submit their curriculum for review.

The guidelines provide that there is to be a portfolio review at the end of the school year “to determine if instruction in the required courses has been given.” This is the limited purpose of the portfolio review. There is to be no evaluation of the student’s academic progress, no review of any standardized test results, no examination of attendance records, and no review of curricular materials.

HSLDA member families encountering similar difficulties with public school officials concerning their decision to follow the state guidelines should contact us for assistance.