We were pleased that at the June Regents Meeting all 2019-2020 testing and assessment requirements for homeschool families impacted by the Covid-19 crisis were removed. Unfortunately, the SED hasn’t been able to post this somewhere on their web site, and we have heard from many homeschoolers that their local district superintendents or BOCES staff are unaware of this change. Some are even giving homeschool families a hard time about this. We spoke yesterday with our contact at the SED seeking their help with this problem – it is not the responsibility of homeschooling parents to prove that this change was approved by the Board of Regents! They promised us that this will be addressed in the next weekly email communication sent from the SED to local district superintendents, the BOCES staff, and the NYC superintendents. This is known as the “P-12 Mailer”, and it will go out on 6/30/2020 (sooner would have been better, we agree!).
We have been working on this with TJ Schmidt, HSLDA’s attorney for New York. The following statement is his and it is good clarification and guidance for us all regarding this change:
This amendment enables homeschool parents to have greater flexibility in wrapping up their home instruction program for the 2019-2020 school year. They can now submit 1) test results, 2) the alternative written narrative evaluation, or 3) a statement that their child has achieved at least 80% (i.e. was on pace as of March 15 to complete) of all learning outcomes laid out in their IHIP. This statement can be in your own words but can be as simple as “[Name of child] was on pace as of March 15 to complete all learning outcomes laid out in their IHIP. We can certify that he/she has completed at least 80% of the material laid out in their IHIP.”
Our best practice recommendations are that a parent should submit their 4th quarterly report and one of the above options available for the completion of this school year. As always, it is best to have a separate document for your annual assessment with your child’s name, grade level, and school year. You can title this document “Annual Assessment/Statement of Completion.” If your child is in high school, especially a senior, it might be best to provide the alternative written narrative (or test if already done). While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the completion of the 2019-2020 school year will likely be felt for years to come, maintaining this type of documentation will put your student in the best possible footing.
In light of what was learned yesterday, we would suggest that you also reference that the SED will inform the Districts of this amendment in their 6/30/2020 P-12 Mailer, and if they have any questions they can contact their local BOCES. Remember – this is their responsibility to verify, not yours.