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Topic ClosedIHIP in NY

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Joined: 20/Oct/2006
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: IHIP in NY
    Posted: 20/Oct/2006 at 12:29pm
I am new to homeschooling this year.I need to find someone in New York state to give me advise on paperwork that I have to complete for the school.I enjoy reading the posts and have not seen anyone from New York. I don't know what to put for the plan of instruction goals or objectives part. I put in the books I will be using,thought that was enough and they sent back to me.My goal is for him to enjoy learning but I don't think thats what the school is looking for.I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ANY SUGGESTIONS OR IDEAS.I have to send it back to the school soon.My son is 10 years old,fifth grade.I appreciate any help.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/Oct/2006 at 10:11pm

This is not legal advice :-) but here are some things that a friend of mine wrote about hsing in NY:

You are required to keep attendance records and submit them upon request [which doesn't happen too often...].

print out a one-page year-long calendar.

at the top, write "Attendance Record for [insert child's name here]"

under that, write "Absences marked with an X"

File it away and produce it if necessary.

DONE.

Note: you are NOT required to keep lesson plans or student work. Claim the work and move on. And as Heidi said, you do NOT have to document hours, so just claim them and forget about it :-)

file it away.

Also:

Politics of the homeschool groups:

 

You have 2 homeschooling “factions” in NY: LEAH [Christian] and NYHEN [secular].

 

LEAH has several chapters thru out the state. NYHEN is more of a loose coalition of independent secular groups and more Yahoo-groups-discussion oriented.

 

I learned more about homeschooling in general thru LEAH, and more about the regs in specific thru NYHEN. NYHEN seems to have a bit of a beef against LEAH and HSLDA [I’ve seen it get down right vitriolic sometimes]; LEAH tends to lean towards placating school officials: i.e. send in your paperwork return receipt requested to cover your bu** [while NYHEN asserts that this is not necessary and puts you more in a defensive mode].

 

I’m more of an “assert your rights” kinda gal, and knew exactly what the school district can and can not do.

 

My best advice for NY? learn your regs!!! be able to quote them!

 

check out this site first: http://nyhen.org/RegsSum.htm, *especially* read the part about “Revised Questions and Answers on Home Instruction --  85 questions and answers on some aspects of the regulations which the State Education Department considers important” BECAUSE that is info straight from the state, not other homeschoolers. No bias problems there, eh? LOL! Print it out and have it on hand. I’m not sure if LEAH includes it in their own manual, but I suggest getting one of their manuals anyway. very helpful :-)

 

Here are some basics:

 

First, you need to notify the school district [*not* the local school or principal] every year. This is called your Letter of Intent [LOI]. The regs state that it should be in by July 1, but the regs also allow for it being in w/in fifteen days of deciding [or “commencing”] you will be homeschooling. You can simply take the position that you will be reassessing your child’s educational needs on a year-by-year basis and NOT worry about getting your LOI in till the end of August if that suits you better :-)

 

Once you have sent in your LOI, you need to send in an Individual Home Instruction Plan [IHIP]. This is simply a one-page sheet [per child] that lists all subjects required to be taught [see the regs] and what you plan to use for instruction [curriculum, internet, library, co-op, etc etc]. The school district can NOT decide if what you use is “ok”: they can only check to make sure that the subject *will* be taught: YOU are in charge of deciding how to teach. You can unschool in NY if you write up your IHIP correctly :-)

 

Don’t forget a disclaimer on your IHIP: “These plans are subject to change as needed for the child’s educational benefit”.

 

You will need to pick 4 dates [somewhat evenly spaced] that tell when you will be sending in your Quarterly reports {Quarterlies}. Pick a time that you know will not be stressful: putting down December as a quarterly date is asking for STRESS, lol! Usually some time the beginning of November,January, March, and end of May/June. Your school year does NOT have to follow the school district’s.

 

Quarterly reports:

this is basically your IHIP’s subject list, accompanied by how much of your “curriculum” you’ve covered, like lessons 1-50 in a workbook [if using library books, maybe 5 topics covered], and an assessment/grade level. I always put down “satisfactory” even my kid is a flipping genius. Period.

 

For “hours of instruction”, you are supposed to claim the hours but you are not required to DOCUMENT them anywhere except on those quarterlies and the state is NOT allowed to request “proof” of your hours: they can’t see lesson plans or daily schedules. Simply claim 255+ hours and be done w/ it. Many people use their IHIP that they typed up, copy it into another document, delete what they don’t need, and start updating it :-)

 

Attendance records:

You are required to document [and produce said documentation upon request] that your child attended 180 days of school.

 

  1. find a school-year calendar [9 months on one page]. --check donnayoung.org—
  2. . At the top, write “Attendance Record for [child’s name]”.
  3. . Under that, write “Absences Marked w/ an X”.
  4.  File it.

 

Done.

 

You are required to do 180 days of school. YOU decide what counts as a day of school. You may decide to do 2 days worth of work in one day. Do your school work the way YOU want to do it, and don’t worry about the specific day count. Again: claim it, but you aren’t required to keep lesson plans, children’s work, or anything else except your attendance record.

 

Testing:

you are required to use a state-approved standardized test starting in 4th grade. Technically, you are s’posed to test “every other year beginning in 4th grade”, so 4th grade can be your “other” year and you can put off testing till 5th grade. there are about a dozen tests recognized by the state ed dept, and the PASS test is one of them. Also, you do NOT have to send in your student’s results unless the district throws a fit: you simply have to say that they scored “at or above the 33d percentile”. For tests that require a certified teacher, ask your local groups or private Christian schools. More at NYHEN.org.

 

End of year assessment:

You are allowed to give a narrative of your child’s progress. The easiest? “[Child’s Name] has satisfactorily completed their school work for the 2004-2005 school year. Please see IHIP and Quarterly Reports for more details.”

 

DONE!

 

All in all, your file of “paperwork” for NY would look like this:

  1. one page w/ 3 sentences on it as your LOI
  2. one page for your IHIP.
  3. 4 one-page quarterly reports
  4. one page end of year assessment

 

Home visits? absolutely not allowed unless you are on probation [see the regs] AND they ARE REQUIRED to give you three days notice by certified mail.

 

That’s what I remember being the stickler parts when i was in NY; i may be forgetting something, but you can always post a Q on the NYHEN board and get immediate -and usually very good- answers.

 

More links:

 

nyhen.org [join their NYHEN-support list and read the regs and State’s Q&A’s regarding homeschooling]

 

leah.org [EXCELLENT convention in Syracuse! Highly recommended!]

 

homeschooling in NY is really simple, surprisingly. And if you get a packet of info from your school district that requires lots of intrusive forms to fill out, simply IGNORE it.

 

I take a very “make them prove they are communicating w/ me” approach :-) If you actually get a school district that asks you questions, simply quote the regs to them. If they persist, a simple “I will be having my attorney contact you if you continue to request information that is not w/in your rights to ask. Please contact the State Education Department to clarify what your responsibilities truly are. you can find these at [give them the state’s website on Q&A’s on homeschooling]. have a nice day”. Click.

 

I *never* had the school district call me. One gal actually stopped by once. “we haven’t received your forms for homeschooling-- are you still doing that?”

me: Yes. I have sent them in. I can send a duplicate copy if you’d like”

Her: that would be fine. Thank You!”

 

Off she went. Easy peasy. Notice I didn’t offer her a copy then and there, lol!

 

I do suggest joining HSLDA the first year-- at least until you are comfortable w/ your knowledge of the regs and know more about the atmosphere towards homeschooling in your district.

 

From Julie in NY:

In the area of end of the year testing: 4th - 8th requires every other year (and yes, 4th can be your other year so you can start in 5th and then in 7th). Narratives can only be done in grades 1-8. Yearly testing must be done in grades 9-12 using an approved test (such as Iowa, Standford, etc.) I have also used the ACT, PSAT, and Sat and they have never questioned me. You must notify them when you turn in your 3rd quarterly report of the test you will use for your end-of-year assessment. If they ask for your scores, you must submit them. I used to say "Scores available upon request" and often they never asked. The district I am in now always asks, so I just say "Scores available the end of August." Then I send them in. You are only required to submit Core test scores. Full scores (social studies, etc.) can be submitted or omitted according to your choice. (Sometimes it's easier to just xerox the whole thing - up to you.)

IHIPs are due Aug.15 OR within 4 weeks after receiving notice from the school district that they received your letter of intent. Note: sometimes I put down a book that is supplementary and just say "selected portions". That way I'm not tied down to a specific amount and have to justify my 80%. Also, I often cite "topics covered" on my quarterlies if it fits better than "chapters covered".

As to attendance, this silly regulation IS required, but I have never kept records and they have never asked. I always put down on my quarterlies “Days absent: 0“ and I've never had a problem. I figure if they are at home, they aren't absent regardless of whether we do any schoolwork that day or not. We make it up on another day if they are sick and just don't count the sick day as school.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/Oct/2006 at 8:02pm
Thank you so much for the information. My school did send me a big packet of forms. They told me when to send my quarterly reports. Didn't give me a choice. They also send me forms for my IHIP and quarterlies with things they don't have the right to ask. They want to know how many hours are spent on each subject.I did join a local group but haven't found anyone from my school district who homeschools.My district seems a little picky. It makes me nervous. I'll get better as I go. Thanks again. You really know this stuff. I'll learn.About unschooling. It sounds interesting.I thought it might be hard to do in NY because they want to know what you are doing in all subjects.I know I should do what I want and tell them what they want to hear. I just wasn't sure how to word things to please the district. It's good to hear from someone in NY. I have been seeing so much from other states. Some seem like they have easier regs.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29/Oct/2006 at 8:51pm

I'm thinking it would be a really good idea for you to join Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Although I believe we should comply with the law, I don't believe we should do one iota more than the law requires. In fact, I think you should join online immediately if not sooner. www.hslda.org.

New York and Pennsylvania have some of the toughest laws (although not *the* toughest).

The information I gave you came from Internet friends who hs in New York. I can give you basic advice ("Don't do anything not required by law.") but Amy and Julie actually lived there and they *know* the law.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/Nov/2006 at 7:46pm

Hi.  I was just passing through and saw your post.  I'm in NY and I copy and paste the typical course of study from worldbook.com for my IHIP.  It's general enough to get it all covered (even if you're unschooler, like us!).  It's always been in compliance for us and it's easy.  I also put a paragraph in listing all the stuff we'll use throughout the year (just what we have in the house, what I'm plannig to buy, and any classes they take).  My whole IHIP is about a page long.  I find that it's best not too send them too much info.  Here are links to all the correspondence I send:  NY IHIPQuarterly Report (I send the same form every time and just change the dates), Annual Assessment (on a testing year I will put a note at the bottom stating dd scored above the 33rd %ile).  And don't forget your Letter on Intent every year. 

You do NOT have to use their forms (I don't).  And you don't have to send an attendance form (I write "no absences and at least 225 hours of instruction" every quarter - based on the yearly requirement of 900 per year).  The IHIP I send is a perfect outline of a "plan of instruction".  That's all they need.  We never know all the books we'll be using throughout the year so we don't bother with that. 

The NY-HEN Yahoo group is my favorite and I learned everything from reading back several months worth of posts.  I've never had a problem.  I don't recommend joining HSDLA since I'm not hearing great things about them.  Do a google search on them and decide.

My dd is 10 and in 5th grade also.  And I'm homeschooling her 13 y/o sister and 5 y/o brother, too!  NY is a wonderful state to homeschool in.  Don't let the regs scare you.  I'm in Queens, where are you?  :)

Angela

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14/Nov/2006 at 8:18am
Thank for the information.I am in Holley, a small town near Rochester. I am worried about testing because I am not testing or giving him grades. In school he had test anxiety.I like unschooling and not being strict and structured but I have to wonder how he will pass the test required by the state. I have not seen a test so I don't know what's on them. I know I can test every other year at this point. I plan on avoiding it this year. You are also not the first person who mentioned sending in their test scores. I thought the test had to be given by a teacher that they agreed on. I am worried he won't be able to pass the test. Even if he doesn't have to take it this year I am concerned for the future. If he is not tested he has to have an evaluation. I am not clear on who does it or what it amounts to. If testing or evaluation is mentioned he gets very upset. School had a very negative effect on him. He just wasn't tough enough to survive in that environment. I am trying to get him to relax and not be worried and nervous. At school he couldn't finish his work in the time they allowed. At home he can take all the time he needs. The teachers said he needed one on one help and much reassurance. I guess that wasn't in their job description. He has one on one help all day now. Thank you for your help. Enlighten me on testing and evaluation if you can.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14/Nov/2006 at 8:38pm

You can do fun tests online - like at bookadventure.com  or even take a practice standardized test like the Texas TAKS which is free online - Or those test prep workbooks (but make it a fun together-time, and just suggest it, don't make him do it).  He doesn't have to test until next year (you can use this year as an alternate) but showing him it can be fun might help for when the time come.  Let him lose some of the test anxiety, so introduce the fun testy stuff in about a year.  My dd has test anxiety too, and I try to find things she'll enjoy. 

Some districts demand a test be given by a certified proctor.  Most NY parents actually administer the test themselves and state their child scored above the 33%ile on such-and-such test.  Most districts are fine with that.  You need to correspond with homeschoolers in your particular district to see how strict they are. 

The popular tests to give your child are the CAT-E or the PASS (which was actually designed for parents to administer).  Check them out.  They cost about $25 and the testing company scores it for you and sends you the results. 

On non-testing years, an annual assessment done by you should be fine (see my examples above).  NY-HEN has tons of posts about testing and evaluation.  I know it will help you and calm your fears.  Good luck!

Angela

http://homeschoolinginnewyorkcity.blogspot.com

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25/Feb/2007 at 4:35pm

I love this wrap up for the NY-IHIP, it's straight forward & so down to earth. I know the paperwork sounds so overwhelming, but it's really not. I will be passing this post along! But I have a question for Julie in NY. My 15 yr old daughter Alyssa is in her 1st yr of home school studies (2nd quarter), was supposed to be in 10th grade at West Sr High. She's an honor student so I've been preparing her for testing: AP, ACT, & later SAT.  I would rather have her take the PSAT but their website stated it was not available for "outside of High School" testing. If you or anyone can give me some info on the PSAT I would really appreciate it! I also have to find info on Student Financial Aid for her to take a few college classes to supplement her Jr year. I hope this is not too off-topic, did a PSAT search & it got me right back here. PS:Thank You in advance! This site is awesome!

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