The Eastern Pulaski School Corporation now has a policy in place for homeschool students who want to take part in sports or other extracurricular activities. The school board approved the homeschool participation policy Monday, in spite of opposition from members Mike Tetzloff and Deke DeMarco.
One question was whether homeschool students should be required to take state-mandated tests as part of Eastern Pulaski Schools, or whether they should simply pay a fee to take part in extracurricular activities, instead. Superintendent Dan Foster favored the first option, since it’s required by the state for anyone who wants to play high school sports. “I don’t want to speak for the board, but my understanding from the last meeting of the consensus was to say we want K-through-12,” he said, “so everybody knows what’s going on, so we don’t have the principals trying to decide, ‘Okay, this person has to pay, but they don’t have to take a test. And this person doesn’t have to pay, but now, they have to take a test because they want to play basketball.’ And just keeping it across the board the same.”
Since students would be taking standardized tests as part of Eastern Pulaski Schools, Foster also recommended that they be required to take a math or language arts class at the corporation. “Our suggestion would be allow the administrator in the building, along with guidance, to be looking at some of their other scores and determine that this person might be best served in a math class because if they come in, they are supposed to take the test with us,” he said. “And so if they take that test with us, they’re now accountable to us, even if they’ve had no math courses here or no English courses here.”
But Tetzloff said some parents fear that requirement would disrupt their homeschooling routine, since students would have to come into school for a class, then return later for their extracurricular activity. Ultimately, the board approved the policy by a vote of five-to-two, including Foster’s recommendations that students take state-mandated tests as part of the corporation and take a class, as recommended by administrators.