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In the DARK. in Minnesota. Need help.

 
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swift_chimera
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Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 8:30 pm    Post subject: In the DARK. in Minnesota. Need help. Reply with quote

I'll try to keep this short and simple. I am in serious need of some educated advice.

I pulled my son out of school in April, extremely dissatisfied with how we were being treated. It was becoming obvious that a working relationship with the school was not possible.

My intention was to home school him for the remainder of the year and then enroll him again in public school next year in a different district.

Upon exiting the school system I tried very amicably to enlist the help of this district's administration in gaining the information necessary for me to accurately document our work and maintain compliance with educational law.

I asked for information regarding documentation requirements and was told that that's "more for high schoolers, not grade school students."

I asked for information regarding standardized testing and was told that "there's no exit exam for the 2nd grade."

Of course, I did my homework and discovered otherwise, called the school and asked them to send me transcripts for the year and information regarding the standardized test my son would be taking. I received the transcripts, but was told the test "is just math and reading." and didn't receive any information at all.

I decided, based on the information I had that it would make more sense to have my son tested in August, when we had moved to a new district. Having some difficulty with contention in this one, it made sense at the time, and sent my son to visit his grandparents so I could make this move work.

Last week I received a call, saying that testing was taking place and that if I didn't have him available to take the test within the time frame of two days (which would have been IMPOSSIBLE, physically to achieve) that I could possibly be charged with educational neglect. I asked about alternative testing sites, alternative testing dates, and online testing but was told simply to "not worry about it, there's nothing to do for it, you'll just miss testing." I would not accept that as an answer, as I have no desire to not be in compliance, and finally was told I would be included in an alternative testing date being set for another home school family with schedule conflict, to sit tight and await a call regarding the date of testing.

I thought I had until at least the next school year to have him tested. But today I received a letter from the superintendent. Which is by the way the first communication of it's kind, of an immediately threatening nature, informing me that if I do not provide them with report card and proof of testing by the 8th they will report me to the authorities for neglect.

All I most desperately want to know is HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN? and WHERE DO I GO TO MAKE IT HAPPEN?

The school, it seems, is least likely to be helpful. Also the State Board of Education seems unlikely to be helpful, as I can't seem to get in touch with anything but a voice mail and am not receiving calls back. I've looked up law after law after law, but there is nothing that says specifically what my time frame is for testing.

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much.
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elliemaejune
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 595
Location: The Fireswamp

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 11:13 am    Post subject: Re: In the DARK. in Minnesota. Need help. Reply with quote

swift_chimera wrote:
I'll try to keep this short and simple. I am in serious need of some educated advice.

I pulled my son out of school in April, extremely dissatisfied with how we were being treated. It was becoming obvious that a working relationship with the school was not possible.

My intention was to home school him for the remainder of the year and then enroll him again in public school next year in a different district.

Upon exiting the school system I tried very amicably to enlist the help of this district's administration in gaining the information necessary for me to accurately document our work and maintain compliance with educational law.

I asked for information regarding documentation requirements and was told that that's "more for high schoolers, not grade school students."

I asked for information regarding standardized testing and was told that "there's no exit exam for the 2nd grade."

Of course, I did my homework and discovered otherwise, called the school and asked them to send me transcripts for the year and information regarding the standardized test my son would be taking. I received the transcripts, but was told the test "is just math and reading." and didn't receive any information at all.

I decided, based on the information I had that it would make more sense to have my son tested in August, when we had moved to a new district. Having some difficulty with contention in this one, it made sense at the time, and sent my son to visit his grandparents so I could make this move work.

Last week I received a call, saying that testing was taking place and that if I didn't have him available to take the test within the time frame of two days (which would have been IMPOSSIBLE, physically to achieve) that I could possibly be charged with educational neglect. I asked about alternative testing sites, alternative testing dates, and online testing but was told simply to "not worry about it, there's nothing to do for it, you'll just miss testing." I would not accept that as an answer, as I have no desire to not be in compliance, and finally was told I would be included in an alternative testing date being set for another home school family with schedule conflict, to sit tight and await a call regarding the date of testing.

I thought I had until at least the next school year to have him tested. But today I received a letter from the superintendent. Which is by the way the first communication of its kind, of an immediately threatening nature, informing me that if I do not provide them with report card and proof of testing by the 8th they will report me to the authorities for neglect.

All I most desperately want to know is HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN? and WHERE DO I GO TO MAKE IT HAPPEN?

The school, it seems, is least likely to be helpful. Also the State Board of Education seems unlikely to be helpful, as I can't seem to get in touch with anything but a voice mail and am not receiving calls back. I've looked up law after law after law, but there is nothing that says specifically what my time frame is for testing.

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much.

Here's the thing: When you withdrew your ds from school, there were probably steps you should have taken then to legally homeschool, even though you planned to send your dc back to school in the fall.

As far as I can tell, there are no statutes that fit your situation.

In the superintendent's eyes, your dc has been truant since April.

You have to have test scores by June 8? Well, that's how much time you have, unless you can negotiate something with the superintendent. There are a number of resources for acquiring standardized tests, but none of them will get results back to you by June 8.

This week you could try calling the superintendent and *very kindly* say that you've ordered a standardized test but that it will take longer than a couple of weeks to get the results, and could he give you an extension. In the meantime, you could generate a report card, and possibly a list of textbooks or other materials you've been using to teach your dc, and see if that will keep him happy.

You can order the California Achievement Test from Seton Testing Services. There are other places, as well, but this one is inexpensive and seems to have a decent turn-around time. Another source is Bayside School Services, which might be able to get things to you more quickly, but you'll pay dearly for that service.
_________________
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mother to 2 dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 sweet boy
Caretaker of 2 dear kitties, 1 French bulldog, 1 dachsund, and 3 budgies
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Beth Balmanno
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Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject: MN homeschool laws Reply with quote

Have you checked out www.homeschoolers.org? This is the Minnesota Homeschoolers' Alliance web page.

It sounds like the school district is definitely out of line in their requests. I am happy to talk with you regarding homeschool law in Minnesota and what you need to submit to the superintendent's office. You can email me directly at bethbalmanno@gmail.com

~Beth Balmanno,
President
Minnesota Homeschoolers' Alliance
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elliemaejune
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 595
Location: The Fireswamp

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does seem as if the superintendent overreacted, but in his defense, it doesn't sound as if the OP actually planned to homeschool; she was just keeping her dc out for the rest of the school year. It's possible that the withdrawal wasn't done as well as it might have been; I'm thinking that since she hadn't planned to homeschool, she didn't do her research before withdrawing her child, but just made some faulty assumptions (even though she asked questions).
_________________
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mother to 2 dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 sweet boy
Caretaker of 2 dear kitties, 1 French bulldog, 1 dachsund, and 3 budgies
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romacox
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Joined: 05 Apr 2011
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recommend contacting the Home School Legal Defense Association:
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/
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