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New York

September 12, 2005

Eastport South Manor CSD Harasses Families

Homeschooling families in the Eastport South Manor Central (Eastport) School District recently received a letter stating that their Individualized Home Instruction Plans (IHIP) were being returned. In their letter the District stated that homeschool parents were required to indicate the amount of instructional time planned for each subject and that each child was to receive a minimum of 5 hours per day of instruction. Eastport also demanded the table of contents from each textbook along with the syllabus, scope, and sequence. Finally, the District also insisted that parents indicate what they intended to submit for their annual assessment.

HSLDA attorney Thomas Schmidt wrote to the Eastport School District and informed them that parents are not required to provide an instructional schedule for the school year, let alone a schedule broken down by subject. Additionally, Schmidt pointed out that New York law only requires a parent to teach the substantial equivalence of 180 days of instruction. The cumulative hours required is 900 for elementary students and 990 for secondary students. If a parent wished, they could teach only a few hours a day all year round.

Schmidt also informed Eastport that a parent is only required to submit a list of the syllabi, curriculum material, textbooks, or plan of instruction for each subject. New York law permits a parent to choose any one of these four options in reporting the materials used for each subject. There is no authority for the District to attempt to require a parent to submit all of these items for each subject.

Finally, Schmidt pointed out that there is no deadline when a parent must indicate their choice for the annual assessment and/or administrator. While it is generally recommended that a parent notify the district of their choice by the third quarterly report, it certainly is not required to be submitted with the IHIP.

We will continue to monitor the Eastport School District closely but members should not expect any more difficulties with their IHIP forms.