Ashburnham -- Approximately 100 homeschooling parents and students from across the state (MA) argued against the revisions and the institution of the regional school district's policy on home instruction Wednesday.

Ashburnham-Westminster Regional Superintendent of Schools Michael Zapantis and those attending the meeting agreed to have a small group determine a policy to recommend to the regional school committee. Many parents were upset by the policy and the revisions of the policy which are under review by the regional school committee.

"It's not good enough for the people in this town," said Donald Perron of Westminster.

Zapantis recommended a series of changes to the district policy on homeschooling as part of the regional school committee's reviewing of all of the district policies.

Parents disagreed with the policy's requirement of providing the approximate instructional time for each subject, the parent/teacher's qualification to teach and the requirement of homeschooled students to take standardized tests at the superintendent's request.

"If you try to tie us down you are setting us behind the eight ball we are trying to get out from under," said Walter H. Porr, Jr., a Boston-based attorney and homeschooling parent.

Zapantis held the forum to discuss the district's policy for home instruction because state law requires superintendents to approve homeschool plans.

"I will consider (the assessment options) as well as everything discussed in the room tonight," said Zapantis.

The School Committee is required to write and establish the district policies and the superintendent is required to enforce the policy, according to the district bylaws.

The committee tabled the policy for home instruction in September after concerns were raised about it.

Zapantis and parents agreed the policy had not been enforced by the previous administration.

Discuss this article here:
Do Homeschoolers Need More Regulation?

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Caitlyn Kelleher writes for The Sentinel & Enterprise and can be reached at ckelleher@sentinelandenterprise.com.
© 2004 The Sentinel & Enterprise. Used with permission.
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