HAMILTON-WENHAM REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
The School Committee recognizes the rights of parents/guardians to educate their children outside of a public school setting as provided by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, § 1 and the guidelines established by the MA Supreme Judicial Court in Care and Protection of Charles and others, 399 Mass. 324 (1987).
When a parent or guardian of a student below the age of 16 wants to establish a home-based educational program for his/her child, the following procedures shall be followed in accordance with the law:
- The parent/guardian must submit written notification of establishment of the home-based program to the appropriate administrator 14 days before the program is established, and submit notification on an annual basis as long as the child or children are being educated in a home-based environment.
- Home schooling programs should normally begin at the start of a school year and requests should be submitted sufficiently in advance to allow for proper review and analysis.
- The parent/guardian must certify in writing, on a form provided by the District, the name, age, place of residence, and number of hours of attendance of each child in the program.
- If a homeschooling plan is rejected, the Superintendent must provide the reasons for this decision and provide the parent/guardian with the opportunity to explain their proposed plan and/or revise their proposal to remedy the inadequacies. Responses by both parties should not exceed a two-week period.
- The Superintendent shall give the notice to produce records required by law if there is probable cause to believe the program is not in compliance with the law. Factors to be considered by the Superintendent or School Committee in deciding whether or not to approve a home education proposal may be:
- The proposed curriculum and the number of hours of instruction in each of the proposed subjects.
- The competency of the parents to teach the children,
- The textbooks, workbooks and other instructional aids to be used by the children and the lesson plans and teaching manuals to be used by the parents.
- Periodic standardized testing of the children to ensure educational progress and the attainment of minimum standards.
A student being educated in a home-based program within the District is not considered to be enrolled in the public schools. Therefore, home-educated students are not eligible to receive a high school diploma. A student being educated in a home-based program within the district may have access to either curricular or extracurricular public school activities subject to availability and approval of the Superintendent. Home-educated students may participate in MIAA athletics as long as the student meets the standards for eligibility as outlined by the MIAA. Students may participate in other extracurricular activities with the approval of the building principal.
LEGAL REF.: M.G.L. 69:1D; 76:1, Care and Protection of Charles
Care and Protections of Charles - MASS. Supreme Judicial Court 399 Mass. 324 (1987)
Adopted: February 5, 2015