November 3, 2011

Carroll County Quickly Corrects "Probation" Error

HSLDA members Earnest and Sheri Woods (name changed to protect their privacy) received a letter from a Carroll County Public Schools assistant superintendent telling them that their homeschool program would be on probation because their two children’s standardized test math scores were below the 23rd percentile. He warned them that homeschooling would be denied if the scores did not improve.

After the family asked HSLDA for help, we contacted the assistant superintendent. We explained that Virginia law is not concerned with scores in individual subjects. It only looks at the composite score, which is composed of scores in various subject areas. After checking the law, the assistant superintendent agreed he had made a mistake.

He sent the family a letter saying “approval has been given for you to homeschool your children.” Of course, homeschools in Virginia don’t need “approval,” but more importantly, in this context, the letter neglected to say whether the family’s homeschool program was still on probation.

We faxed a letter to the assistant superintendent explaining that he needed to send a letter explicitly stating that the family’s program was not on probation. Four days letter he complied.

A family whose homeschool program is threatened with probation should take immediate action. Certain important deadlines apply for appealing, etc.