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April 13, 2017

Official Retracts Faulty Letter, Apologizes for Alarming Family

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Landon Farmer LANDON FARMER
Legal Assistant for South Dakota

A South Dakota member was homeschooling this spring when she received a letter from the local public school district curriculum director, reminding her that standardized test scores were due this year for her son.

South Dakota law does require standardized test scores in the 4th, 8th, and 11th grades. The member’s son was in the 8th grade.

Since she was already planning to submit privately administered test scores in accordance with state law, and because there is no deadline for submitting these scores, our member simply ignored the letter.

When our member received a second letter, warning bells began to go off. The curriculum director demanded that she “call or email as soon as possible to indicate the option that [she] chose to use for the testing of [her] child.” Of course, this is beyond what the law allows schools to require, so our member emailed HSLDA for help.

Immediately, HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff emailed a response to the curriculum director. Surprised, the director called back within minutes to explain that he mistakenly sent our member an outdated version of the letter.

He elaborated: “It was never the intent of the … school district to mandate that homeschooled students within our district take the SAT 10, or give any implication of requiring approval for other options. Our district has no interest in either of those pathways. Instead, our intent was to offer the SAT 10 as a service to families, free of charge.”

HSLDA is always thankful when officials like this curriculum director are so willing to correct mistakes and move towards a better future.