GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS VIRGIN ISLANDS BOARD OF EDUCATION V I B E

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1 GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS VIRGIN ISLANDS BOARD OF EDUCATION V I B E Home Education Policy Approved by the 13th Elected Board of Education May 14, 1998 Revised by the 17 th Elected Board of Education 2015

2 Pertinent Law and Information Virgin Islands Code Title 17, Section 84 authorizes the Virgin Islands Board of Education to prescribe general regulations and orders for Home Instruction. Virgin Islands Code Title 3, Section 912, states that each regulation adopted, to be effective, must be within the scope of authority conferred and in accordance with standards prescribed by other provisions of law. Title 17, Section 21, confers the authority and jurisdiction on the Virgin Islands Board of Education to prescribe this policy as hereby set forth. In compliance with Virgin Islands Code Title 3, Section 933, an original and two duplicates of these regulations are filled with the Lieutenant Governor for publication in the Virgin Islands Rules and Regulations. Statutory Authority Title 17, Section 82, of the Virgin Islands Code describes the duties of parents for educating their children. It requires that parents or persons having control of children over five years of age and under seventeen years of age shall cause such children to attend school regularly. However, Section 84 also allows the parent or person having control of such child to educate the child at home. Parents wishing to educate children in the home may do so in compliance with the Virgin Islands Code and regulations of the Virgin Islands Board of Education. When parents/guardians are willing to discuss their decision to educate their children at home with school personnel, school district staff shall explain the advantages of a public school education to such parents/guardians without any criticism of parental choices. When parents/guardians choose to educate their children at home, the school district shall provide whatever reasonable assistance it can to ensure such children benefit appropriately from home education including but not limited to Promotional/Retention Policies, grade level standards and sample portfolios. If decisions are made by parents/guardians to return children who for a time have been educated at home to local public schools, the Department of Education shall provide an appropriate return to the public schools. Home Education Policy 2

3 Explanation of Home Education A home education program is education being provided at home by a person holding a high school diploma (or its equivalent) to students of compulsory school attendance age. Parents who exercise their right to provide required instruction at home to such students must fulfill their responsibilities under Education law, VIC Title 17, 84 Children may be taught at home under rules and regulations prescribed by the Board of Education when written permission has been granted by the Commissioner of Education for such children to remain out of school for this purpose, but such children may be examined by the Commissioner of Education or his authorized representative. Home education is legally accepted in all 50 states of the United States, but each state has its own laws that a family must adhere to. Home education models range from unschooling to traditional classroom schooling. Unschooling is based on interest-based learning in which the child expresses interest in a particular subject, and the parents take steps to provide the materials for that subject. Home education is conducted primarily by the parent, guardian or other person who has custody of the child or nonpublic school instruction provided in the child's home. A parent who is educating his/her child at home retains complete control of the child's education. Delegation of control to either a private school program or fee-based classes held outside the home for core subjects reclassifies the parents or legal guardians as something other than home education providers, at least in relation to the child/children involved in said program or classes. A home educator shall have at least a high school diploma or GED diploma. Home education involves learning outside of the public or private school environment. The word "home" is not really accurate, and neither is "school." For most families, their "schooling" involves being out each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, environment, and through interactions with other families who home education. Essentially, home education involves a commitment by a parent or guardian to oversee their child s educational development. Home Education Policy 3

4 Procedures for Home Education Parents/Guardians The following procedures are requirements that parents/guardians must complete to comply with the provisions of the Home Education policy. 1. Parents shall file with the Office of the Commissioner of Education a Notice of Intent for Home Education. The Department of Education shall provide to the Board of Education a list of all applicants at the end of every semester. Filing the Notice of Intent for Home Education must be completed on an annual basis at least 10 days before home education begins. The year is determined according to the Department of Education s school calendar. 2. A completed Notice of Intent for Home Education form shall include: the name of parent(s) or guardian(s), their physical and mailing address, s and contacts telephone numbers for all persons listed, to include the name(s), age(s), & grade level(s) of each student. The scope of the instructional plan should include but not be limited to: a. Name of teacher(s), subject(s )to be taught, b. Days of instructional contact c. Hours per day of instructional program d. Teacher s method of assessment shall include various levels of evaluation e. The home education program shall include but not be limited to : Primary level education- Reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and electives Secondary level education English, mathematics, science, Virgin Islands culture & history, physical education, foreign language & digital literacy The total number of education hours is 1080 f. The Virgin Islands Summative Assessment Test(s) shall be given in grade 3, 5, 7, and 11. The test will be administered at a designated location by the Department of Education. Results will be provided by the Department of Education to the parent or guardian of record. 3. Parents/guardians shall complete the Department of Education s student withdrawal process as part of the Notice of Intent for Home Education. 4. Books, curriculum & assessment tools are the responsibility of parents/guardians. Upon review by the Department of Education, the Department may provide resources to remediate or provide enrichment. 5. High school students must meet graduation requirements 6. Notice of Intent for Home Education will be kept as part of a permanent record. 7. A semiannual review of student/s record and progress will occur by a Department of Education representative. 8. The student portfolio should include a log of educational activities by date, samples of work in the curriculum areas to include, but not be limited to, writing samples, worksheets, workbooks, pictures of projects with description of the tasks, and evaluations. 9. The portfolio shall be preserved by the parent during all years of home education and be made available for inspection by the VIDE. Home Education Policy 4

5 10. The review shall occur in the major subjects required for promotion as indicated in the promotion retention policy. Major subjects department chairpersons maybe available to sit with principal, counselor, student, and parents. Procedures for Home Education - Department of Education 1. The Commissioner of Education shall appoint a designee who will receive, review, and forward Approved/Disapproved Notice of Intent for Home Education to the Virgin Islands Board of Education, the Superintendent of Schools, the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, and the parent or guardian. 2. The Commissioner shall notify the parent or guardian of approval/disapproval of the Notice of Intent for Home Education no later than 15 calendar days after the receipt of the Notice of Intent. A copy of the Home Education Policy should be enclosed with the response. A letter of explanation should be attached if there is cause to disapprove an intent document. 3. The Commissioner of Education shall require the parent or guardian to produce educational records, if it is determined that the student s Home Education program is not in compliance with the guidelines established by law. 4. If assessment scores or the composite scores for the student is below proficiency level, or the child is judged not to be making progress, the Department of Education may advise parents to seek help to enhance the student s skills. Procedures for Home Education- Districts 1. The district shall keep a file of yearly approved/disapproved list of Intent for Home Education. 2. A copy of the home education notification should be placed in the student's cumulative folder and the child should be listed as withdrawn or re-entry. 3. A copy of the home educator s high school diploma or GED diploma must be kept on file. 4. Home education approved date and withdrawn or entry information shall be sent to the Registrar in the student s respective school district. 5. Students using a Home Education program shall follow the District s registration, enrollment or withdrawal procedures, where applicable. 6. All students requesting re-entry into the public school system shall be tested for placement purposes). 7. Home Education students transitioning to the public school system must meet the requirements established for Virgin Islands public schools (e.g., immunization, graduation credits, assessments, grade point average, etc.) Home Education Policy 5

6 Home Education Policy Form (Complete one form for each child) Date: Notice of Intent for Home Education Part A. Name of Student Date of Birth Physical Address Mailing Address Contact numbers Home: Cell: Other: Current Grade Level: School Last Attended (Public or Private) Reason for decision to educate the student at home: Part B. Academic program (list subjects) The minimum recommended number of home education hours is Home education instructor s method(s) of assessing student s progress: Parents utilizing home education of other persons and/or entities must review business licenses and other practices before accepting terms and conditions of services to be rendered. Home Education Policy 6

7 Part. C. Academic Review An annual academic review shall be done in accordance with the Department of Education s school calendar year, and may include a student/parent interview. The student s home education portfolio shall be submitted to the Department of Education upon notification and request. The Virgin Islands Summative Assessment Test(s) shall be given in grades 3, 5, 7, and 11. The test will be administered at a designated location by the Department of Education. Results will be provided by the Department of Education to the parent or guardian of record. Part D. Confirmation & Signature(s) Whereas, I am the legal parent or guardian of, I do herein acknowledge and accept full responsibility for the education of my child in accordance with the requirements of Virgin Islands Law VIC Title 17, 84. I affirm that the information provided in this form and its supporting documents are true and accurate. Parent/guardian s signature (print & sign) Date Physical address: Mailing address: address: Contact number: Parent/guardian s signature (print & sign) Date Physical address: Mailing address: address: Contact number: SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me on this day of 20. Notary Public Do Not Write Below This Line. For Official Department Use Only. Approved Disapproved Signature Date Commissioner of Education cc: VI Board of Education District Superintendent Home Education Policy 7

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