Home-school students still ineligible for MSHSAA activities

Home school students are still ineligible to participate in many school activities after the California RI Board of Education rejected policy amendments at its December meeting.

Board members voted against amendments to policy IGCE-1, including including homeschooling as a non-traditional method of instruction, after further discussion in a closed session at the December 14 meeting. As a result of this decision, homeschool students will no longer be able to participate in MSHSAA-sanctioned sporting events, band or choir competitions, or other activities. During the public session portion of the conference, the Board had an hour-long discussion on this topic, attended by both sides.

Superintendent Daniel Williams said the board makes decisions based on fairness and does not want the policy to be abused.

For example, he noted that such policy changes would result in different standards for homeschool and conventional students regarding attendance.

“Students who are fully enrolled in school are here eight hours a day,” Williams said. “To be eligible on the day of an event, you must be in school for 8 hours that day. To attend the next event, you must be in school for 8 hours the day after the previous event. If you only have to be in the hallway for two hours a day, do you do it fair? And it’s been a very hot topic, but it’s not possible.There are two different criteria.

Academics were a major stumbling block for the board, as home school records can be falsified by parents and children to abuse the policy. There is no oversight in homeschooling in Missouri, and homeschooling parents are not required to submit records, Williams said. Under MSHSAA regulations, participants in MSHSAA sanctioned events must pass at least 80% of the courses (or 6 out of 7 courses in 1 day of 7 periods) to be eligible to participate, Non-traditional students are required to attend at least. You can take two courses (or one credit hour) at your school seat. There are no requirements for the type of class you take in person. Home Without being able to verify the academic performance of students at her school in courses taken at home, the school district cannot determine whether the student qualifies under her MSHSAA rules.

Williams also said there are concerns over potential conflicts with parents of traditional students cut during tryouts in some sports.

“If you were the parent of a student who attended eight hours a day, how would you feel as a parent if your child was left off the homeschooled child’s team? ) I wish this other kid was only in school for two hours a day, because he does weightlifting and (PE)?” Williams asked rhetorically, referring to President Derek Banruh at the December meeting Mentioned a fictitious board of directors. “There will be the same or even more aggressive stance from those people than we got from homeschooling parents.”

Williams also used the same weightlifting and physical education hypothesis regarding graduation concerns. There are no graduation requirements for student-athletes in the MSHSAA Bylaws.

“…we had a student who enrolled in weightlifting and PE as a freshman, and they enrolled in weightlifting and PE for four years, each semester, every year,” he said. It could be a buck, it could be the department I would hire for, it might not have a California RI high school diploma, it might not even read or write. would you turn your face to the face of

Alternative proposal

However, homeschool parents have a choice, Williams said. One option is to enroll your child in virtual school using the Missouri Course Access and Virtual Schools Program (MOCAP) through your school district.

“One option is a virtual school where students can enroll in non-hosted virtual programs and also participate in extracurricular activities,” Williams said. You can enroll in a virtual program and sit in your seat for two hours a day, and you have to do this virtual program.”

Unlike homeschools, MOCAPs are virtual schools where student grades, assessments, and other data are officially recorded by the provider. Many of his MOCAP vendors use his webcams and timers to prevent students from cheating during assessments, Williams said.

However, the MOCAP curriculum is standardized by the states. According to MOCAP’s website, “The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the State Board of Education oversee administrative and quality assurance activities such as the delivery of relevant content and courses.”

For homeschooling parents like Holly Bieri, who informed Democrats of the Board’s final decision and was present at the December meeting, MOCAP courses are not a viable alternative.

“For homeschooling parents like myself, this is not a preferred option because it leaves them with no control over what their child is being taught and how information is presented to them.” Bieri wrote in an email to Democrats. “I think this option is more convenient for children who, for one reason or another, cannot attend school in person…when the parent/guardian is (not interested) in homeschooling.”

She also said the school district will receive funding for students enrolled in MOCAP courses, even if they are not taking a seat course.

Another option, says Williams, is to join other teams, such as recreational leagues or travel teams. California City Parks and Recreation Supervisor Leslie Scheidt said local recreation leagues have varying age limits. Junior high school 8th grade, soccer until junior high school 9th ​​grade.

Bieri said traveling teams are not the same as other alternatives such as school-sponsored sports.

“For some sports, traveling teams may still be an option for children,” she wrote. cannot function.”

Bieri said some homeschool co-operatives in big cities have their own teams, but no such teams exist locally.

Beyond athletics, Williams said there are “too many” activities in school districts that homeschoolers can participate in that are not MSHSAA-sanctioned.

“We allow home school students to participate in activities not sanctioned by the MSHSAA,” he said. We have a lot.”

One example used by Williams was in marching bands. Homeschooling students could not participate in marching his band competitions (because they are MSHSAA sanctioned), but they could participate in sporting events and school activities.

Bieri said the board’s decision not only limits homeschoolers’ opportunities for exercise, but also their ability to participate with peers.

“Homeschooled children in our community have grown up playing sports with the same kids for several years,” she wrote. We look forward to continuing our sporting opportunities.”

Despite the alternatives, Vieri is disappointed with the board’s actions.

“It is simply disappointing that our school board has adopted a policy that was in place to restrict home school children from participating in sports activities and has decided to remove it entirely. Please vote that night (especially after telling us at the beginning of the meeting that they are unlikely to),” she wrote. “They already had policies and procedures to allow them to attend homeschooling with the appropriate requirements to provide grades and attendance….My husband and I are currently keeping our children Although we have decided to homeschool, we are still taxpayers in California R.-1 School District California R-1 School Board members advocate for the best interests of students educated within the school Not only that, but we also have a mandate to advocate for every child in our district, and I can’t believe they did that on this issue.”

Williams said the board’s judgment would not rest on the homeschooling parents who attended the meeting, but rather on thinking ahead and determining whether such amendments could abuse the policy. said it was.

“In my opinion, this wasn’t about the parents who were in the room because they are great parents.” You have to worry about creating policies that allow it, because unfortunately there are people all over the world with advantages like “you can produce whatever you want”. …I think that’s the concern. I’m not saying parents don’t create honestly, but how do you ensure that all parents do?”

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