June 29, 2012

“Please Make Every Effort to Bring Your Children”

Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members regarding legal issues in Maryland. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

Carroll County Public Schools sent a letter to the B.H. family asking them to “make every effort” to bring their children to the school office during their coming portfolio review.

The letter said the children could read to the reviewer, answer questions from her, or show her their school projects or writing samples. The ostensible purpose was to “observe instruction.” But based on the list of sample activities, it was clear that the real purpose was to evaluate the children.

Members of Home School Legal Defense Association, the family asked us for direction. We consulted with them and explained that no law or regulation required them to bring their children to the school office.

Based on our guidance, the family told the school system they would not bring their children in. The portfolio review took place—without the children. The family brought their materials, and the reviewer acknowledged that they had provided evidence of regular, thorough instruction.

The school system did not ask the family to bring their children again.