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Appendix - Home Education Handbook

Procedures

NORTHERN GATEWAY SCHOOLS

  

HOME EDUCATION HANDBOOK

 

September 2003

 

Table of Contents

 

  1. Introduction 
  2. Northern Gateway Public Schools Home Education - Question and Answers

 

Introduction

Northern Gateway Public Schools recognizes that parents have a right and a responsibility to make decisions regarding the education of their children. In keeping with this right, Northern Gateway recognizes that some parents will choose to educate their children through a home education program under the supervision of either our Division or another school authority in the province. This Handbook is intended to provide information regarding the protocol, procedures and expectations for a home education program as made available through Northern Gateway Public Schools.

The School Act, Alberta Learning's Home Education Regulation, Northern Gateway Board Policy and Administrative Procedures, and the procedures expressed in this Handbook, will guide the delivery of home education within Northern Gateway. For practical reasons, the individual school in the student's immediate attendance area is delegated responsibility to supervise home education programs. Parents who wish to have their child complete home education under the supervision of Northern Gateway Public Schools are expected to contact the Principal of the appropriate school in their community. The local Principal or designate will inform the parent of all necessary information and provide the parent with the required forms and documents.

It is expected that students enrolled in home education programs supervised by Northern Gateway Public Schools will be registered in courses through the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC). Although parents have the option of registering their child in a home education program that uses curricular material from alternate sources, Northern Gateway will not register students in such programs. If parents wish to access an alternate curriculum, they will need to contact a willing non-resident board or private school to make arrangements.

Parents considering home education are encouraged to review and become familiar with this information.

 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about

Northern Gateway Home Education

 

  1. What is Home Education?
    1.  Home Education is an approach to educating a student that is decided by a parent and regulated by Alberta Education. Section 29 of the School Act (January, 2000) enables parents to choose to home educate their child but requires that a school board or an accredited private school supervise this education program. Northern Gateway Public Schools will register students in Home Education.
  2. What are the parent's responsibilities?
    1. A parent who provides a home education program to a student must develop, administer and manage a home education program that enables the student to achieve the learning outcomes described in the Home Education Regulation Schedule. More specifically the parent is responsible for:
      • Developing, administering and managing the home education program;
      • Maintaining a portfolio of student work and maintaining a record of the method and time of evaluation. (This record requirement will be considered to have been met if the parent keeps track of all current and returned ADLC modules in an orderly and accessible fashion);
      • Ensuring that their child writes the Provincial Achievement Tests (PATS) or their equivalents for Grades 3, 6 and 9;
      • Providing the school facilitator with a year end report summarizing the assessments and evaluations for the current year; and
      • Making the student available to the school facilitator for the purposes of assessing the progress of the student at least twice per year.
  3. What are the student's responsibilities?
    1. A student registered in a home education program is responsible for meeting the learning outcomes described in the Home Education Regulation Schedule. The student must also write Provincial Achievement Tests (PATS) or their equivalents for Grades 3, 6 and 9.
  4. Does Northern Gateway Public Schools offer home education services to students who reside outside of the Division?
    1. No. Northern Gateway Public Schools will only offer home education services to those students who reside within the Division's boundaries.
  5. Where can I get more information about home education?
    1. Each of the schools in Northern Gateway has an administrator or a teacher designated as the "home education facilitator". You can contact the school facilitator or the office of the Assistant Superintendent at 1-800-262-8674 for further information.
    2. There is also support for home schooling parents from other associations in Alberta. For example, Alberta Home Education Association has a website at http://www.aheaonline.com.
  6. How can I enroll my child in home education through Northern Gateway Public Schools?
    1. Parents can register their child in home education if he/she is six years of age as of December 31 or under twenty (20) years of age as of September 1 of the current school year. To register a student, it is best to contact your local school facilitator prior to the school start-up in the fall. Applications must be submitted on or before September 29 of a school year. Parts A, B and C of the Home Education Regulation Notification Form, attached to this Handbook, must be filled out and submitted to the school's home education facilitator. (This Form must be completed annually.) The facilitator will respond to the parent making the request within fifteen (15) days of receiving notification. A signed Home Education Agreement (Part D) between the parents and the school's home education facilitator establishes the program. A copy of Parts A, B, C and D shall be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent by the school facilitator for the purposes of monitoring and record keeping purposes.
    2. In addition, the local School's Registration Form must be completed.
  7. What types of programs are available for parents considering home education for their children?
    1. The Northern Gateway procedure on Home Education stipulates that the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC) materials must be used if Northern Gateway Public Schools personnel are going to supervise a home education program. A complete range of courses for all students in grades 1-12 is available through the Distance Learning Centre. There are two main delivery systems available through ADLC: the traditional system which makes use of print materials and the electronic system, "ADLC Online School", which uses an electronic, computer based program. It is strongly recommended that students in grades 1-3 use the traditional method as course material and teacher evaluation feedback are more difficult to convert into an electronic format in the primary grades. A separate Home Schooling Manual produced by ADLC provides very valuable information to parents.
    2. Parents using the distance learning material from ADLC are to check the first blank on Part B (Declaration by Parent) of the Notification Form.
    3. Alberta Education Program of Studies is being used. The remainder of Part B will still need to be completed but no additional description of program plan will be required.
    4. If a parent wishes to choose an alternate program of studies, they will need to contact another service provider to supervise their home education program.
    5. Blended programs are also possible. A blended program at the grade 1-9 level requires that fifty percent (50%) or more of the student's program be provided at the school with the remainder provided by their parents. Funding is pro-rated on the percentage of the student's program that is taken at the school. At the high school level, twenty percent (20%) or more of the program must be delivered at the school with the remainder provided by their parents.  Again funding is pro-rated.
    6. (Note: A student is not considered to be on home education when they complete one (1) or two (2) correspondence courses while continuing with their other regular classes.
  8. If I am a resident of Northern Gateway Public Schools and wish to register my child with a "willing non-resident school board", what do I have to do?
    1. There are some Divisions in the province that are willing to provide services to non-resident students. The Notification Form will need to be completed and sent to the willing non-resident board. Most of these Divisions require that you register prior to the end of August. As the cut-off date for obtaining education grants from Alberta Education is September 30, most willing non-resident Divisions will not accept registrations after that date.
    2. If your child is accepted as a student by a willing non-resident Division, you are encouraged to notify your resident Division as soon as possible. Sending a photocopy of Part C and D of the Notification Form to your resident Division is sufficient.
  9. What happens if I wish to register my child for Home Education after September 30?
    1. If your child was registered as a regular student in a Northern Gateway school prior to September 30, you are to contact the school facilitator. Upon completion of the required Notification Forms, the school will order the necessary materials from ADLC. Students in grades 1-3 will generally be provided with three courses. Students in grades 4-12 will initially be enrolled in one (1) or two (2) courses and if progress is deemed to be satisfactory, additional courses will be provided.
    2. If your child was not registered with Northern Gateway Public Schools prior to September 30, you may also contact the Principal to discuss your situation. However, as per Section 45(3) and 45(6) of the School Act, such a transfer will only be accepted if there are sufficient resources and facilities available to accommodate the student.
    3. (Note: On occasion, a school may recommend that a student complete an ADLC course at the school, while continuing with their other regular classes. This does not constitute a home education program.)
  10. What happens if my child was registered on Home Education on September 30 and later I wish to have him/her become a regular student?
    1. Section 45(6) of the School Act states that "A parent of a student enrolled in a school shall not request that the student be enrolled in another school during a school year unless the Division operating the other school consents." In this case, a "school" can refer to the place where the home education is being offered, such as a home. Therefore a regular school is not obligated to accept a transfer of a student after September 30. Nonetheless, if your child was registered for home education through your local school, you may contact the Principal to discuss your situation. If there is room in the regular school program and there are no extenuating circumstances, the Principal will likely accept your child into the school program.
    2. If your child was registered for home education with a "willing non-resident board", you may also contact the Principal to discuss your situation. As per Section 45(3) of the School Act, such a transfer will only be accepted if there are sufficient resources and facilities available to accommodate the student.
  11. What funding is available for Home Education Programs?
    1. For 2017-18, Alberta Education provides Northern Gateway Public Schools one thousand six hundred and seventy dollars ($1670.00) for each student registered in home education on or before September 30. Parents of these children are entitled to access fifty percent (50%) of this total grant, subject to the conditions expressed in Section 8 of the Home Education Regulations.
    2. Northern Gateway Public Schools will cover the costs for the compulsory components of required courses and will pay such expenses directly to ADLC for students registered prior to September 30. For ease of bookkeeping, Northern Gateway Public Schools will order from and pay ADLC directly; the costs associated with these components shall be deducted from the fifty percent (50%) percent of funds available to the parent. Where possible, textbooks      and workbooks will be made available from the school. Should the costs exceed this fifty percent (50%), the Division shall cover the additional costs. There are generally no monies available for a parent to access after the registration and material fees are paid.
    3. If a parent wishes to register their child on home education after September 30, it is advised that they first discuss this possibility with the Principal of the school. The school may choose but is not obligated to provide financial assistance for late home education registrants. (See Q & A #9 above.)
  12. Are there any costs to parents associated with Home Education?
    1. If a parent chooses to access non-compulsory ADLC resource components, they will be responsible to cover all costs from any remaining funds available to them or from their own financial resources.
    2. All non-consumable materials must be returned to the school when the student no longer requires them for the home education program.
  13. At what rate is my child expected to progress through the curriculum?
    1. Students are expected to complete a full year's work in a school year. The onus is on the parent to establish timelines for each course and monitor their child's progress. The school facilitator will also monitor progress and achievement.
  14. What role does the Northern Gateway Public Schools school facilitator have in the home education program?
    1. The school facilitator will be responsible for the following:
      • Advising parents and students programs and resources;
      • Facilitating registration of students;
      • Ordering and arranging instructional and resource materials;
      • Conducting a minimum of two (2) evaluative assessments in each school year which include a review of the student portfolio;
      • Ensuring that students in grades 3, 6 and 9 write the Provincial Achievement Tests or similar and equivalent alternate standardized tests;
      • Notifying the parents of any limitations a particular program choice may have on the student's being granted credits or eligibility to write grade 12 diploma examinations and/or obtain a high school diploma;
      • Advising parents on the student's progress;
      • Making recommendation to the parent on matters that will assist the student in attaining a higher level of achievement;
      • Providing parents with a copy of Division procedures respecting the supervision of home education students;
      • Supervising ADLC examinations;
      • Preparing and providing to parents a written year-end report on the progress of the student based on assessments by parents, examination of the student portfolio, and other assessments and information contained in the parent year-end report;
      • Maintaining records of the evaluation of the progress of the student that include a completed application form, written anecdotal notes from the evaluative assessments, copy of recommendation made to parents, copy of the parent report summarizing assessments and evaluations for the current year, copy of year end report to parent, etc.; and
      • Recommending termination of a home education program if progress is unsatisfactory.
  15. What school resources and services can students on home education access?
    1. Subject to mutual agreement between the parent and the Principal, the following school services and resources, and others agreed to, may be accessible:
      • School library privileges; and
      • Counseling services.
    2. While engaged in any such activities, the student shall be under the direct authority of the regular supervisor. Failure to comply with the rules or directions of the supervisor may result in the future loss of access to these services.
  16. How can a home education program be terminated?
    1. There are two (2) ways that this can happen. The parent may decide to terminate the program and enroll the child in a regular program. Such termination would occur in keeping with the terms identified in Q & A # 10.
    2. The second way would be initiated by the Division. If, after giving due consideration to the abilities of the student and the assessments made, it was determined that the student was failing to meet an acceptable level of achievement, or the parent providing the home education program was not meeting the requirements of the Home Education Regulations. In such a situation, the student will be directed to attend a regular school operated by the Division. Such termination would be in keeping with section 6 of the Home Education Regulations.
  17. Can decisions made by the School or the Home Education Facilitator be appealed?
    1. Northern Gateway Board Policy 13 – Appeals explains what can be appealed and the appeal procedures available. All Board policies can be accessed through the Policy link on the Division's website at www.ngps.ca
  18. How do I find out more information about ADLC?
    1. The easiest way is to visit their website at www.adlc.ca

  

References:

Revised March 2017