1999 – Durham District School Board Homeschooling Procedures

Historical Archive - This is provided for your information only, as an historical record of what the school board's policy used to be. It has since been replaced by Policy/Program Memorandum No.131.

Durham District School Board

Procedure #5155  Created on 10/15/99

Procedure:  Home Schooling

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 The Durham District School Board recognizes the right of parents/guardians to provide “satisfactory instruction” at home or elsewhere as specified in the Education Act, July 1995, Section 21(2).  Maintenance of “satisfactory instruction” is mandatory and will be further assured by direction from the Ministry of Education & Training if the need arises.

1.2 When the Durham District School Board is informed or has reason to believe that a family is home schooling, the Board shall provide the family with:

- a copy of this Procedure;

- a copy of the Notification to Home School Form (Attachment #2);

- a list of resources and services that the Board is able to offer in assisting the family;

- a directory of home school support groups the family may contact

1.3 The Superintendent of Education/Area or a designate shall:

- be responsible for the initial contact with the family and the providing of the package outlined in Section 1.1

1.4 Parents will return the Notification to Home School Form within 14 days.  For statistical purposes the parents will be requested to complete this form annually.

2.0 NOTIFICATION TO HOME SCHOOL FORM

2.1 On the Notification to Home School Form the parents or guardians are requested to provide their name, address and phone number, the name and date of birth of school aged children and the home school the children would attend.  Parents will sign the Form and return it to the Board selecting one of the following options:

- I/we as parent(s)/guardian(s) of the child/children named herein assume sole and full responsibility for the education of the child/children;

- I/we as parent(s)/guardian(s) of the child/children named herein assume sole and full responsibility for the education of the child/children, but request the Durham District School Board act as a resource in assisting in the education of the child/children.

2.2 Where Option 1 has been selected, the Superintendent of Education/Area or designate will issue a letter of acknowledgement to the family (Attachment #3).  Further inquiry into the matter will occur only if there are compelling reasons for believing that satisfactory instruction is not taking place.

2.3 Where Option 2 has been selected, the Superintendent of Education/Area or designate will issue a letter of acknowledgement (Attachment #4) and indicate the services and resources that the Board is willing to make available to the family.

3.0 DISPUTE RESOLUTION

3.1 The Superintendent of Education/Area or designate may have reason to inquire further into cases when they have reason to believe that satisfactory instruction is not occurring in order to ensure that the needs of children are being met.  Examples include:

- parents do not submit or refuse to submit a Notification to Home School Form;

- credible evidence exists that satisfactory instruction is not occurring;

- a child is suddenly withdrawn from school to be home schooled and there is reason to believe that home schooling is not the reason for the withdrawal.

In such cases, the appropriate area attendance officer will request the parent to submit a Form and request to meet with the parent to discuss the situation and concerns.  The parent could be referred to one of the provincial home schooling organizations if it is appropriate.

4.0 PROVINCIAL INQUIRIES

If the Board is unable to resolve the situation at the local level, the Superintendent of Education/Area or designate will request the Provincial School Attendance Counselor to inquire into the case under s.24(2) of the Education Act.  If an inquiry finds that satisfactory instruction is not occurring and orders that the child attend school, the Superintendent of Education/Area must decide what action is appropriate.

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APPENDIX A

HOME SCHOOLING

THE DURHAM DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD

HOME SCHOOLING

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS

If you decide to teach your child at home, you should be aware of the following information in order to provide a worthwhile learning experience for your child.

1. Home schooling applies only to students of compulsory school age as defined by the Education Act Section 21 (1) (a) and (b) see Attachment #1.

2. All instructional materials, records and expenses are the parents/guardians responsibility.

3. The “Notification to Home School” must be signed and returned to signify acceptance of these responsibilities and understanding of the procedure (See Attachment #2).

4. Credit for successful completion of a secondary school course may be granted only by a secondary school principal; therefore, home schooling beyond the grade 8 level is extremely difficult to arrange for both the parents/guardians and the Durham District School Board.

5. Should a parent request the Durham District School Board act as a resource, the Board will provide the parent with an up to date catalogue of curriculum materials available for purchase from the Board and provide assistance as deemed suitable by the Superintendent of Education/Program.

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ATTACHMENT #1

HOME SCHOOLING

The following excerpts from the Education Act, July 1992, outline the guidelines for compulsory school age, the criteria for excuse from school attendance for home schooling and the role of the Provincial School Attendance Counselor.

Compulsory Attendance

21 (1) (a)

Unless excused under this section, every child who attains the age of six years on or before the first school day in September in any year shall attend an elementary or secondary school on every school day from the first school day in September in that year until the child attains the age of sixteen years; and

21 (1) (b)

Every child who attains the age of six years after the first school day in September in any year shall attend an elementary or secondary school on every school day from the first school day in September in the next succeeding year until the last school day in June in the year in which the child attains the age of sixteen years.

When attendance excused

21 (2) A child is excused from attendance at school if,

(a) the child is receiving satisfactory instruction at home or elsewhere.

Provincial School Attendance Counselor

Provincial School Attendance Counselor is of the opinion that the child should not be excused from attendance, the Provincial School Attendance Counselor shall direct that an inquiry be made as to the validity of the reason or excuse for non-attendance and the other relevant circumstances, and for such purposes shall appoint one or more persons who are not employees of the board that operates the school that the child has the right to attend to conduct a hearing and to report to the Provincial School Attendance Counselor the result of the inquiry and may, by order in writing signed by him or her, direct that the child,

Inquiry by Provincial Counselor

(a) be excused from attendance at school; or

(b) attend school,

and a copy of the order shall be delivered to the board and to the parent or guardian of the child.

Powers of Provincial Counselor

24 (3)

The Provincial School Attendance Counselor has all the powers of a school attendance counselor and may exercise such powers anywhere in Ontario.

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ATTACHMENT #2

HOME SCHOOLING

THE DURHAM DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD

NOTIFICATION TO HOME SCHOOL

I (We), ________________________________________________________

The parent(s)/guardian(s) of:

_____________________________________________________________

AGE __________ GRADE ______

_____________________________________________________________

AGE __________ GRADE ______

_____________________________________________________________

AGE __________ GRADE ______

SCHOOL LAST ATTENDED:  ________________________________________

1. ________  assume sole and full responsibility for the education of the child/children named above.

or

2. ________  assume sole and full responsibility for the education of the child/children named above, but request the Durham District School Board act as a resource in assisting in the education of the child/children named above.

(Please indicate one of the above options)

______ ___________________________________________________

Date     Parent(s)

_________________________________________________________

Address

_________________________________________________________

Address

_________________________________________________________

Telephone No.

______ __________________________________________________

Date      Superintendent of Education/Administrative Officer

 

In their mailout to parents planning to home educate their children, Durham District School Board also included photocopies of the following Canadian and Ontario pages from the internet and from OFTP: