New Town School adopts new home school rules
By Jerry W. Kram
Home schooled children will not be eligible to be valedictorian or receive a diploma from the New Town School District under a new policy under consideration by the New Town School Board.
The policy was approved on first reading by the school board at its regular monthly meeting. If approved on second reading in February, the new policy will be adopted. There are about nine school age children in the district being home schooled.
Superintendent Marc Bluestone said the reason for the new policy is that some parents who are home schooling their children have asked for their children to be included in the school’s graduation ceremony. Bluestone said that some parents do not document their children’s academic progress properly and the district should not issue a diploma without that certification.
Bluestone said the district provides parents with a binder for the student to complete to show his or her proficiency in a subject. Each binder costs the parent $20 for each half credit of work. In North Dakota, students must have 21 or 22 credits to graduate. Bluestone said that only one of the families take advantage of the binders. He said the other option for parents is to have their children take classes through the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI) distance learning program.
"The advantage of that is the parent will have a documented grade for their student that will accepted anywhere," Bluestone said. "The downside is that it costs something like $200 a credit, and a lot of parents won’t go for that."