The State of Rhode Island provides certain requirements for the home instruction of students. The Smithfield School Committee will approve home instruction programs that meet the requirements of Rhode Island law.
In order to assure the thoroughness and efficiency of instruction, the School Committee requires a regular evaluation component of the program. The evaluation process shall be structured so as to evaluate fairly the child’s performance within his or her program.
The evaluation process shall, at a minimum, include semester reports delineating the student’s progress. This report will include written evaluations, dated work samples, or similar evaluative tools. In addition, the School Department may require testing as an evaluative tool, provided that the form of the testing fairly evaluates the child’s progress within his or her program and that the testing complies with all legal requirements.
The following guidelines shall be adhered to in requesting and approving a home instruction program:
- Prior to the beginning of each school year, the parent(s) or guardian(s) must submit written notification to the Superintendent of their intent to instruct their child or children at home. This letter will be termed the “Letter of Intent”. It shall include for each student as a minimum: the student’s name, age, and grade level. Parents who decide to home school their children during the school year should notify the Superintendent in writing immediately upon knowing that they wish to home school.
- The Superintendent or his/her designee will offer an invitation for a meeting with the parent(s) or guardian(s) to review the requirements of home based instruction.
- The parent(s) or guardian(s) shall submit to the Superintendent or his/her designee a copy of the curriculum to be used. This curriculum must show that all subjects required under the RI General Laws will be covered.
- The Superintendent, upon recommendation of the designee, will submit the request to the Smithfield School Committee for approval.
- The parent(s) or guardian(s) may begin home based instruction immediately after submittal of the letter of intent to home school. The parent(s) or guardian(s) will receive a letter of acceptance or denial for their home instruction, immediately following a School Committee decision. If the reason for denial is unsatisfactory, appeal may be made to the State Education Commission.
- The parent(s) or guardian(s) shall provide learning time during the year that is substantially equal to that required by law for public school students. Parent(s) and guardian(s) should become aware of the actual number of school days required for Smithfield students on an annual basis. Learning time shall be defined as any time during which the students are engaged in regularly scheduled instruction, learning activities or learning assessments. In addition to classroom time, learning may include direct study, independent study, technology-assisted learning, work-study programs, or presentations by persons other than their normal instructor.
- The parent(s) or guardian(s) shall submit attendance records during the period of home instruction. A standard attendance registry logbook will be provided by the School Department to assist in keeping this information. The normal report need only be a summation of the total days of learning time during the reporting period.
- The parent(s) or guardian(s) shall submit semester progress reports of home instruction.
- Parent(s) or guardian(s) must sign the consent form for testing purposes.
HOME SCHOOL STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION IN CURRICULAR AND EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
A student residing in the Town of Smithfield who is enrolled in an approved home school instruction program may, upon application to the School Department, be permitted to participate in school sponsored curricular or extra-curricular activities provided that the student meets the same rules, regulations and policy requirements as those required of regularly enrolled students in the Smithfield Public Schools.
Students who wish to participate in athletic extra-curricular activities must abide by all RI Interscholastic League rules. They must submit the necessary medical information necessary for each sport; they must provide for insurance coverage as other participants are required; and they; must earn the position as any other participant is required. There will be no special provisions for transportation to and from the school, practice or an event that is not provided to other students as part of the student body.
Students requesting curricular courses must provide a reason and must meet all of the prerequisite course requirements for entrance into the course. No more than two curricular courses taken simultaneously will be approved for home instructed students. Entry into any curricular course will only be permitted if the addition of students does not exceed the contractual class size permitted in the agreement between the Smithfield School Committee and the NEA Smithfield. Any transportation requirements, which do not coincide with the regular schedule of bus runs provided by the school department, shall be the responsibility of the student’s parent or guardians.
Home schooled students who participate in curricular or extra-curricular activities must make known any medical requirements or necessities and must make provisions for either self-dispensing such medication or an accommodation which is acceptable to the school principal.
Students who are enrolled in the public schools and elect to be instructed in a home school program may participate immediately in school-sponsored curricular or extra-curricular activities provided that they comply with this and any other applicable policy, that they have fulfilled any academic or disciplinary conditions required for their participation in said programs which pre-dated their election to be home schooled, and that they continue to fulfill the terms of this and any other applicable policy.
This policy is limited to Smithfield students who are home schooled with the approval of the Smithfield School Committee.