Educational Rigor Prevails: Indian Prairie School District Homeschool Policy

This homeschool policy (705.02: Part-Time Attendance by Private or Home-School Students) was approved unanimously by the Indian Prairie School District 204 on June 22, 2009.

From the Beacon Herald:

D204 compromises on home-school policy

June 25, 2009 By TIM WALDORF

The first draft of this policy, presented at the May 25 board meeting, upset some home school families, who argued it would effectively prevent home school students from ever graduating from the district because their programs more often than not aren’t and can’t be accredited.
“The difference that you’re going to see in this new version versus the old is that in the old we indicated that we were not going to accept any credits from a no-accredited school toward graduation. So they would all have to be accredited or else we weren’t going to issue a diploma,” said Mike Popp, District 204’s school improvement and planning director.
“In this version, we’re saying, ‘You know what? That’s not appropriate.’ We’re going ahead and saying we are going to accept those credits, but we put in what you talked about last time: is there a way for us to sit down with an individual student and talk about those individual courses to go ahead and honor the credit that he or she earned?”

This policy below seems appropriate:

The policy will also require these students to complete two credits in a District 204 high school in each of two consecutive semesters prior to graduation. So, in their senior year, these home school students seeking District 204 diplomas — District 204 estimates there are roughly 15 of them a year — will have to attend a District 204 high school on nearly a full-time basis, and pass four senior-level classes in order to graduate.

Previously, these students only needed to amass two and a half credits for a District 204 high school over the course of their high school career to earn a District 204 diploma.

Home school families whose students don’t meet these criteria would, instead, have to issue their own diplomas.

That seems like a fair policy.  Oddly, the  National Center for Educational Statisics (NCES) criteria uses criteria that homeschoolers are any kids who are in the public school 25 hours or less/week.  5 hours a day in the public school classroom could deem one a homeschooler in the federal Department of Education definitions.

One other question is why homeschoolers would be entering the public high school just to get a public school diploma? That piece of paper might not be as useful as a homeschool diploma, or doing as many Illinois homeschoolers do,  and just entering ‘higher education’ with transcript in hand.

“The example, by way of analogy that’s in my head, is that it’s what a university would tell you,” said board member Mark Metzger. “You can’t accumulate credits at Eastern and Western and Southern, and then call up U of I and say, ‘I’m going to take a class there, and I want my diploma from you.’ It doesn’t work that way.”

If a public school diploma is sought, the student should be enrolled and that public school should be attended.

More here about the May meeting:
Educational Rigor

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3 Responses

  1. […] Educational Rigor Prevails: Indian Prairie School District Homeschool Policy […]

  2. […] Related post:  Educational Rigor Prevails: Indian Prairie School District Homeschool Policy […]

  3. […] The Naperville school district situation comes to mind.  Their school board approved individual assessments for homeschoolers going into the ps, rather than an outside accreditation agency affirming their educational status. I thought the […]

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