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July 27, 2022 Meeting Minutes - Homeschooling

PALS Meeting Minutes

July 27, 2022 9:30 a.m.

Virtual Meeting using Zoom


Open Forum

Open Forum is an opportunity for participants to come together and discuss a variety of topics, offer resources, and ask questions related to special education.


Homeschooling

After two-and-a-half years of topsy-turvy educational settings, some families have decided to go all in on homeschooling. Homeschooling, in the traditional sense of the word means the family will be responsible for a child's education, meeting certain requirements. The student is not enrolled in a public school district's online course selection, an online charter school, or a private online school. Without the restrains of an organization's education schedule, a family will enjoy great freedom while taking on great responsibility. Here's what we found:

In Pennsylvania, children between the ages of eight and seventeen must attend school. Educating a child at home is one way to comply with compulsory school attendance laws.

Act 169 allows families to forgo typical educational settings for homeschool if: (1) the person teaching the child is a “properly qualified private tutor,” or (2) if a child’s parent or guardian conducts a “home education program” for the child. You can find the requirements for Pennsylvania here.


Basic information about what the phrase "properly qualified private tutor" means in Pennsylvania:

"As with all schools or institutions, the private tutor is to report to the school district of the student's residence the list of the names and residences of all children between six (6) and eighteen (18) years of age that they are tutoring, report as soon as they cease to tutor these students, and notify the district of any such child who has been absent three (3) days, or their equivalent, during the term of compulsory attendance, without lawful excuse (24 P.S. § 13-1332).

Tutoring must be to a single family at a time, not a quasi-school where students from different families gather for instruction. Private tutors provide the majority of the instruction to their students for which they receive a fee or other consideration for their instructional services (24 P.S. § 13-1327(a))."


Basic information about what the term "home education program" means in Pennsylvania:

"A home education program is commenced by the submission of a notarized affidavit or unsworn declaration to the superintendent's office, in the student's district of residence, by the home education supervisor (parent, guardian or person having legal custody of the child).

The affidavit or unsworn declaration covers the school year (July 1 – June 30) and must be submitted to the superintendent's office no later than August 1 of each school year a child is homeschooled. The exception is the first year a student is homeschooled; that year the home education program may begin at any time, as soon as an affidavit or unsworn declaration and supporting documentation is submitted."

As you make your way through the educational requirements of homeschooling, you are likely to come across information about the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards. The Pennsylvania State Board of Education has adopted academic standards in 12 subject areas. The academic standards are benchmark measures that define what students should know and be able to do at specified grade levels beginning in grade 3. The standards are promulgated as state regulations. As such, they must be used as the basis for curriculum and instruction in Pennsylvania's public schools.

These standards are like building blocks, each benchmark builds upon the one before it within the grade level and as a student progresses through the grades.

Let's take a look:

Here is an example of one state standard for ELA in primary grades.

Let's break it down:

Here are a few different resources that display the state standards in different ways:

Pennsylvania State Academic Standards

SAS

Perma-Bound


Read more from:

The Education Law Center

Homeschool and Private Tutoring

Pennsylvania Requirements

Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency

Support Groups and Resources


 

Next Meeting: August 31, 2022 9:30 a.m. Virtual Meeting using Zoom. Currently scheduled as Open Forum.

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SPECIAL NOTE

All meetings will be held virtually until further notice.


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