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Topic ClosedNeed help getting started (NY state)

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JudyE View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Need help getting started (NY state)
    Posted: 22/Aug/2008 at 10:29pm

Hi,
I am new here and my husband and I are new to homeschooling.  I am also confused on a few issues.

We are in NY state and will be homeschooling our son in kindergarten this year.  He will be six the end of November.

What I am not clear on is the letter of intent.  Is this even necessary for kindergarten?  I am in a panic because I sent the letter of intent several weeks ago and they still have not responded.  Here school starts right after labor day and I am not prepared. 

My question is was it even neccessary to send a letter of intent for kindergarten since there is no actual curriculum?  What about the fact that he is turning 6 before December 1st?
Any advice or help would be appreciated.
Thanks
Judy

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Ann64 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/Aug/2008 at 6:48am

Hi Judy,

This link should help. It has the laws about homeschooling in NY.

http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/New_York.pdf

It seems that you do have to send the letter of intent and that it should have been sent by July 1st, however they have another rule for it you start homeschooling in the middle of the year.  Check out that link and it will give you more info than I could.

Ann

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/Aug/2008 at 6:53am

The law says "a minor who becomes six years of age on or before the first of December in any school year." So yes, you have to send the LOI this year. Technically, it would be his first grade year, not his kindergarten year, but compulsory school attendance is by age and not by grade level.

HSLDA says: "subsequently, fill out an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) form by August 15th or within four weeks of the receipt of the IHIP form from the school district (whichever is later), containing (1) the child’s name, age, and grade level; (2) a list of the syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or a plan of instruction; (3) dates for submission of quarterly reports; and (d) name of the persons giving instruction."

So I guess you need to call the district.

Because technically your ds is first grade, not kindergarten, you're gonna have to do the whole IHIP. But it isn't all that difficult. #2, for example, says "a list of the syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or a plan of instruction." That means you can come up with a plan of what you'll be doing with your ds that looks good on paper, even if you don't have lots of Official School Stuff.

Here's what my New York friend recommends:

  • 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. You do NOT have to document hours, so just claim them and forget about it :-)

And more (She's really good, lol):

LEAH (Loving Education at Home) has several chapters thru out the state. NYHEN (New York Home Educators Network) 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.

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mac68 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23/Aug/2008 at 7:06am

Hi Judy

I am in NY too. ( dd turns 6 in Dec)  All you need to do for the letter of intent is to send a quick note to your superintendent saying you plan on homeschooling.  Within 14 days they are required to send you the paper work to fill out.  You can use their IHIP or write up your own.  My district sends it to me electronically as and excell file so that is what I use.  You can go to the link below and there is a homeschool manual produced by my district that lays every thing out pretty clearly. 

http://www.brainegames.com/readinggames.htm

If you have any questions feel free to pm me too.

I am a member of LEAH and I love it.  This past year's convention was held in Rochester and I think that is where they are planning the future ones due to the lay out of the convention center.  The convention is really worth going to.

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/Aug/2008 at 11:30am

Thank you so much to all of you for your help.  I hope you don't mind but I will probably be sending you all some more questions via pm.

Judy

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/Jan/2009 at 8:24pm
Originally posted by elliemaejune elliemaejune wrote:

The law says "a minor who becomes six years of age on or before the first of December in any school year." So yes, you have to send the LOI this year. Technically, it would be his first grade year, not his kindergarten year, but compulsory school attendance is by age and not by grade level.

HSLDA says: "subsequently, fill out an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) form by August 15th or within four weeks of the receipt of the IHIP form from the school district (whichever is later), containing (1) the child’s name, age, and grade level; (2) a list of the syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or a plan of instruction; (3) dates for submission of quarterly reports; and (d) name of the persons giving instruction."

So I guess you need to call the district.

Because technically your ds is first grade, not kindergarten, you're gonna have to do the whole IHIP. But it isn't all that difficult. #2, for example, says "a list of the syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or a plan of instruction." That means you can come up with a plan of what you'll be doing with your ds that looks good on paper, even if you don't have lots of Official School Stuff.

Here's what my New York friend recommends:

  • 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. You do NOT have to document hours, so just claim them and forget about it :-)

And more (She's really good, lol):

LEAH (Loving Education at Home) has several chapters thru out the state. NYHEN (New York Home Educators Network) 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.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/Jan/2009 at 8:35pm
hello what do you mean 4 one page quarterly reports? Does new york require i show them the hours of subjects ahead of time when i file my paperwork. Or are they just looking for the dates that i will be sending in her quarterly reports? Please let me know thank you
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/Jan/2009 at 8:42pm
hello im new at this i dont know what i did and how my name got on elliemaejune's post but i was just trying to ask her a question sorry
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/Jan/2009 at 9:30pm

Quote hello what do you mean 4 one page quarterly reports? Does new york require i show them the hours of subjects ahead of time when i file my paperwork. Or are they just looking for the dates that i will be sending in her quarterly reports? Please let me know thank you

I'm not sure what it is you're asking.

When you send in your IHIP you tell them the dates you will be sending in your quarterly reports.

My friend says that you do not have to prove any hours. You just claim them.

According to her (this is what I included above), after you turn in your letter of intent (LOI) you have to turn in a IHIP for each child: "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]. "

Then she says that the quarterly report 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."

So each quarterly report is just one page per child.

Does that help?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/Jan/2009 at 5:28am
thank you very much that helps alot. You seem to be very aware of all the regulations and I appreciate that. I'm sure I'll be asking you more questions in the future. Thank you again for your quick response!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/Jan/2009 at 5:48am
Your district may even have a form that you can use.  Mine sent us an excell spreadsheet that we just fill in the blanks.  We are doing hs for sd so we are breaking down the hours per class(not required but recommended for high school to show credits for some colleges) and a grade (for the transcript) but for dd next year we will just give the total hours and something like satisfactory or meeting grade expectations (words they are using in our district). 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/Jan/2009 at 6:50pm

  need help getting started in new Jersey,

   any help would be appreciated.

Thanks so much Denise

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13/Jan/2009 at 11:15am

Check out this link to HSLDA http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp?State=NJ

It looks pretty simple.  You are not required to notify the school, no testing just provide an equivalent education.

If you do choose to homeschool I would recommend joining HSLDA just to be on the safe side.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/Feb/2009 at 8:25am
i have a question about home schooling i'am new to this my daughter is a junior in hs and she wants to drop out of school i need to get some information so that she can finish hs at home
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