The Belchertown Public School District respects the right of parents/guardians to provide their children with a home education program. Belchertown Public Schools adheres to Massachusetts’ compulsory attendance laws, which provide that children between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school or receive approval in advance by the Superintendent for a home education program. Our home education approval process is consistent with state laws, district policy, and district procedures. The Belchertown Public School District understands and acknowledges the standards set forth in case law, including the 1987 SJC decision, Care and Protection of Charles. The decision sets forth legal standards for approval of home education programs of children of compulsory school age in Massachusetts. The Belchertown Public School District policy and procedures are entirely consistent with this case, in requesting that parents/guardians meet the home education application process as follows:
- Parent/Guardian completes the annual home education application and submits it to the Superintendent’s Office. The following information must be submitted with your home school application:
- Proposed curriculum and the number of hours of instruction per subject:
- The textbooks, workbooks, and instructional materials that will be used in your education plan
- Description of the academic background, life experience and/or qualifications of those who will be instructing the child(ren), as they relate to the instructional program described
- The method of student progress or assessment that you will use in your home school program.
- The parent/guardian will regularly assess the child’s progress in the method agreed upon and will send copies of these assessments to the Superintendent’s office at the end of June each year. If you choose to remove your child from Homeschooling before the end of the school year, you will need to send in your end of year reports in order to do so.
Acceptable methods include:
- Report Cards
- Dated Work Samples
- Standardized Assessments
- Scope and Sequence
- Narrative Report
- The Superintendent’s Office will approve, seek modification of, or disapprove the plan.
- Once approved, the parent/guardian will withdraw their student from the school he or she currently attends, and the homeschool program may begin.
- Each subsequent year, the parent will submit a letter of intent to continue homeschooling, complete the home education application and include a curriculum outline/syllabus for the new grade level.
If you have any questions, you may contact the Superintendent’s Office at (413) 323-0423 ext. 100.