About Susan Raber

Married for 25 years with four children, homeschooling since 1994.
Website: http://athomeandschool.com/
Susan Raber has written 24 articles so far, you can find them below.


Where should Greene County homeschoolers send Home Education Notification Forms?

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Office_and_Stationer_g145-Twisted_Red_Pencil_p75505.htmlBecause of a change in wording in the Ohio Revised Code 3321.04, there has been some confusion as to where Greene County homeschoolers send their homeschool notifications.

The Xenia, Yellow Springs, Greeneview, Cedar Cliff, and Sugarcreek/Bellbrook school districts contracted the task of handling homeschool notifications to the Greene County Educational Service Center. But with the change in ORC 3321.04 from

“city or exempted village school district or the educational service center”

to

“the superintendent of the school district in which the child resides”

the HSLDA and CHEO have sent out messages advising homeschoolers that it would be best if they send their homeschool notifications directly to the local school superintendent.

Why is this confusing?

Because the Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3301-34 Excuses from Compulsory Attendance for Home Education already stated in 3301-34-03 Notification that

A parent who elects to provide home education shall supply the following information to the superintendent”, and the superintendent is defined as ” the superintendent of schools of the city, county, or exempted village school district in which the parent resides.”

It was the wording in the ORC seemed to provide an exception to this by allowing an “educational service center” to provide excuses from compulsory attendance if certain criteria were met, which included an exemption for home instruction. Now the relevant portions of the ORC 3321.04 state:

Excuses from future attendance at or past absence from school or a special education program may be granted for the causes, by the authorities, and under the following conditions:

(A) The superintendent of the school district in which the child resides may excuse the child from attendance for any part of the remainder of the current school year upon satisfactory showing of either of the following facts:

(2) That the child is being instructed at home by a person qualified to teach the branches in which instruction is required . . .

There are a couple of ways to look at this:

#1 This change in the law doesn’t directly address where notifications are mailed – it still states that homeschoolers notify by supplying their school superintendent with the information required. So if the district contracts the handling of paperwork to the GCESC, it isn’t a violation of the law to continue to do so, or to ask homeschoolers to send their notifications to the GCESC. The important part is that the superintendent receives the homeschool notification and does the excusing. If this is being done, then the means used to deliver homeschool notifications to the school superintendent are irrelevant.

#2 Both the Ohio Administrative Code and Ohio Revised Code instruct homeschooling parents to send their notification directly to the school superintendent. This means exactly what it says; that homeschoolers in these districts mail homeschool notifications to the superintendent’s office in compliance with the OAC and ORC. If we as homeschoolers must follow the Ohio Code to the letter, then so does the local school district, and they shouldn’t ask homeschoolers to ignore the letter of the law for any reason.

This is the best information we have at our disposal at this time, so it is up to each homeschool family to decide for themselves how they want to handle this situation.

One thing to take into consideration: if the superintendent’s office in your district contracts the handling of notifications to the GCESC, and homeschoolers send their notification to the superintendent, the school district office will most likely forward it to the GCESC anyway.

This means it the superintendent may miss their 14 day response window, which could result in homeschoolers waiting longer than usual to receive their excuse letters.

UPDATE: I spoke to Xenia School Superintendent Pro Tem Denny Morrison on the phone today, and he assured me that if homeschoolers in his district send their notifications to his office, he will forward them to the GCESC as quickly as possible. He is not advising homeschoolers to ignore the Ohio Code on this issue, and will do whatever he can to expedite the homeschool notification/excuse letter process.

If anyone has any additional information that would be helpful, please let us know by using the Contact Form, or leave a comment below.

Attend our Homeschool Information Workshop on Thursday, August 14th

homeschool information workshopYou are welcome to attend the PEACH Homeschool Information Workshop on Thursday, August 14th, from 7pm to 9pm at Arrowbrook Baptist Church in Xenia. We open the doors at 6:45pm.

At this meeting you will learn about homeschooling in Ohio, meet PEACH officers and activity coordinators, find out if PEACH is a good fit for your family, be able ask questions of veteran homeschoolers, and enjoy food, fun, and fellowship with area homeschoolers.

There is literally something for every homeschooler at our workshop, so make plans now to attend.

All of our regular monthly meetings are free and open to the public, so bring friends and family who are interested in learning more about homeschooling.

 

The new PEACH Year begins July 1st!

welcome to peach buttonPEACH will open for new memberships beginning July 1, 2014 for the 2014-2015 school year. If you are interested in joining PEACH, please use the Contact button and an invitation will be sent to you.

Membership renewals begin mid-July, and the deadline for renewal is the September PEACH Meeting (Thursday, September 11th). A late fee of $5.00 will be charged for membership renewals received after the September PEACH meeting.

Please note that as a homeschool support group, we restrict membership to those who are engaged in home education as defined by Ohio Code 3301-34-03. This means that those who use virtual/cyber schools or have enrolled their children in a private school are not eligible for membership. Technically, virtual schools like Ohio Virtual Academy or Ohio Connections Academy are defined by law as public school students.

Please read carefully the PEACH Statement of Faith, Bylaws and Policies before joining, as agreement with these is required for membership.  

If you have any questions about membership, use the Contact form or email us at membership@peachhomeschool.org.

Sinclair English Department reaches out to homeschoolers

Sinclair Community College’s English Department is hosting the second annual Jack Bennett Youth Writing Festival on Saturday, April 5, 2014, and homeschoolers are welcome to attend these fantastic workshops!

The first session begins at 10am, an the last session ends at 3pm. And it’s FREE.

Award-winning Sinclair faculty — poets, novelists, essayists, performance artists, and short story writers—will be facilitating sessions for 6-8 and 9-12 graders. They are offering an exciting array of sessions encompassing writing poetry to college-applications.

This year, special guest artists from Metaphorically Speaking will offer workshops for both age groups in writing and performance skills.

In addition, a session for high school teachers on preparing secondary students for writing in college will be presented from 10-1:30 that day.

You may register on the day of the event in the loggia of the Sinclair Library, Building 7.

This event is FREE and lunch will be provided. Last year lunch included pizza, fruit and bottled water and this year will probably be similar.

The session for High School teachers may be of interest for parents who are homeschooling teens who plan to attend college.

You can download the .pdf flyer for this event by clicking on this link – Youth Writing Festival Flyer.

Homeschoolers and Equal Access

In June of 2013, the Ohio Legislature passed House Bill 59, which grants homeschoolers equal access to extracurricular activities in their local public schools.

PEACH (Parents Educating at Christian Homes, Inc) was formed with a specific mission;  to provide support, encouragement and fellowship to Christian families who are home educating, and to provide information about home education. We do not attempt to act as mediators between parents who wish to use this access to extracurricular activities and officials in their public school district, nor do we in any way try to act as facilitators for parents who are choosing this option.

What PEACH can do is provide information from reliable sources to help parents make this decision for their family, as well as make a few recommendations:

  • When communicating with your local school district, always do so in writing. This provides you with proper documentation should questions ever arise.
  • If you need professional legal help, contact a law firm that specializes in homeschool regulations, such as HSLDA  (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) or NCLL (National Center for Life and  Liberty).
  • HSLDA has a couple of articles on their website for homeschooling parents who are considering this option for their children:

Sports and Public School Classes
Ohio Homeschoolers Granted Equal Access to Extra Curricular and PSEO Funding

Ultimately, parents are responsible for their children’s education, and should thoroughly research and prayerfully consider what is best for their own family.

Update:

Check out Home School Sports Net- a network of homeschool sports teams.
In this related article by Scott Woodruff at HSLDA, he lists the myths and the realities of homeschoolers participating on public school sports teams.

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Current Meeting Location: Arrowbrook Baptist Church, Xenia

Meetings are held the second Thursday of every month from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

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PEACH provides general information about home education regulations and Ohio state requirements for homeschoolers. The information on this website is not a substitute for professional legal advice, and should not be treated as such.