Home Schools in ISD 277
Important Information for Home School Families
Home schooling, or the education of children at home by their parents or a qualified instructor, is an option for families in the State of Minnesota. Home-school parents or guardians do everything that traditional non-public school principals and teachers do, including planning curriculum, record keeping, managing costs and assuring the quality and scope of the education provided to institutions of higher learning and employers.
State Law requires the Westonka School District to ensure that all school-age children living within the district’s boundaries are being educated. In order to comply with state law, home schools must file certain paperwork with the school district by Oct. 1 each year—either an Initial Full Report or a Letter of Intent to Continue, along with immunization information for children reaching ages 7 and 12.
Law changes in 2011 simplified reporting for home-school families so that the annual reports do not duplicate the same information every year. Home schools are also no longer required to submit calendars and report cards to the Westonka School District. Home schools must still maintain documentation that the subjects required by law are being taught and proof that required tests have been administered. This documentation must include class schedules, copies of materials used for instruction and test results.
Initial Full Report to the Superintendent
The person in charge of providing instruction in a home school must submit a full report:
- By Oct. 1 in the first year of instruction after the child reaches the age of 7
- By Oct. 1 after a new district of residence is established
- Within 15 days of withdrawing a child from public school
- Within 15 days of moving out of the school district (report to Westonka)
Letter of Intent to Continue Instruction
Each year after submitting a full report to the Westonka School District, the home-school instructor must by Oct. 1 submit a Letter of Intent to Continue. This document should communicate that the instructor is still providing instruction and give information on any changes in the home school, including:
- Changes in the names and birth dates of children being taught, including the addition of any new children or the withdrawal of children no longer being taught
- Changes to the nationally normed test being used
- Changes to the instructor’s name or qualifications
- Changes in the school’s accreditation status
- Updates to immunization records as required by law at age 12 (7th grade)
Westonka encourages home schools to use Minnesota Department of Education forms to submit the reports but will also accept other reporting formats. Reports can be mailed, faxed or emailed. At the same time, home schools may also submit additional optional paperwork, such as requests for state aid for non-public schools for textbook and health services costs.
Please send all completed reports and direct any questions to:
Carol Shukle, administrative assistant to the superintendent
5901 Sunnyfield Road E
Minnetrista, MN 55364
Home-school students are welcome to participate in classes in the Westonka School District on a shared time basis. Frequently, parents choose this option for classes that are difficult to provide in the home setting, such as choir, band or phy. ed., or not within the instructor’s area of expertise. To find out how to register for a class, contact the following:
Mound Westonka High School
Erin Heier, administrative assistant in guidance
Grandview Middle School
Melissa Murphy, administrative assistant to the principal
Athletics and Activities
Home-school students are also invited to participate in athletic and activity programs offered through the Westonka Public Schools. To find out more about programs, visit the Westonka Activities website at www.westonkawhitehawks.org. To learn more, contact:
Jeff Peterson, activities director