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Ohio Homeschool Assessments Update 2020

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This past week there was an Ohio Senate bill (SB 319) that introduced the waiving of academic assessments for homeschooling students. Please take the time to read the article so you are familiar with what is happening.

Many families have chosen to still do a portfolio review and I would be happy to meet with you (Zoom, phone, or another means that you prefer). You can email me at: schoolmarmohio@me.com for more details or see this previous post pertaining to portfolio reviews for this year. https://schoolmarmohio.com/assessments/

June 3, 2020

From CHEO’s Legislative Liaison, Melanie Elsey:

SENATE BILL 319 – IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
INTRODUCED JUNE 2, 2020

SB 319 has been introduced by State Senator Matt Huffman and it addresses a number of state policies affected by COVID-19.

For home educating families it corrects an omission error in HB197 which was enacted 2 months ago to waive state assessment requirements for all students in all education venues (public and private).

HB197 (as passed) included language to waive standardized assessments for homeschool assessment reporting but left in place the requirement for portfolio assessments (written narratives). The State Board of Education recognized this omission and unanimously passed a resolution at their May meeting to direct the State Superintendent to seek a legislative change to waive the requirement for the entire assessment report for home educated students.

CHEO has been advocating for a waiver of the entire assessment report for the past two months in both the House and Senate. This is important because there are families with medically fragile special needs children or older adults living in their households with medical conditions that place them at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 if the state retains a requirement to complete an assessment report that includes a process of meeting with an assessor in person.

While CHEO recognizes that some families will choose to complete this assessment option at no risk to themselves, we have heard from families who are concerned about the risk due to their unique circumstances.

To be clear, CHEO did not ask for the exemption when HB197 was enacted, but we caught the error in the “partial exemption” and recognized the negative impact on families by not waiving the entire assessment report. CHEO has been working since March 27th to correct the error.

The language now proposed in SB319 waives the regulatory requirement to submit an assessment report (which includes all forms of assessments) when submitting a notification of intent to continue to home educate this fall. Families notifying for the first time would not be required to include an assessment report so this pertains to families who are re-notifying for a subsequent year.

FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION:

Please contact your STATE SENATOR and ask for his/her support for SB319.
Please express appreciation for Section 17, paragraph L —Sec.17(L) which fixes the error in previous legislation to waive the state’s assessment requirement for home educated students. Link to SB 319 and the LSC Analysis. Scroll to the portions highlighted in yellow.

Please contact your STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE to give him/her a heads up that SB319 has been introduced and you would appreciate his/her support when it comes over to the House for consideration.

If you are not sure who your legislators are, please either call your county board of elections and ask for the phone number of your state senator and state representative in Columbus OR use this link and fill in your address in the search box. https://www.legislature.ohio.gov

Please share this alert with family and friends. Even if this policy does not affect you please consider calling your legislators to ask for their support.

Thank you so much!

2020 Assessment Update

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I wanted to give you the latest update on the assessment situation for the 2019-2020 school year. You are welcome to do an assessment regardless and I will be happy and willing to do so for you.

Christian Home Educators of Ohio

May 14 at 2:09 PM

FROM CHEO LEGISLATIVE LIAISON, MELANIE ELSEY:

CHEO has been promising an update on the question of assessment waivers by mid-May. This is what we know at this point in time.

The Ohio Department of Education has posted that standardized assessments and 3rd option assessments (superintendent/parent agreed upon assessments) are waived from required inclusion in next year’s re-notification. The ODE has also postponed the deadline for submitting a portfolio review/written narrative assessment until December so it wouldn’t need to be included with the re-notification at the beginning of the school year.

However, the complete waiver of all assessments is still in process. This week, the State Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution to direct the State Superintendent to secure a legislative fix for the incomplete waiver recently passed in HB197. CHEO has been communicating with key legislators and staff for the past seven weeks to secure the complete waiver and we believe it will be granted.

We greatly appreciate your patience and will let you know as soon as this process is finalized. Also, we are truly thankful for your continued support of CHEO and your prayers!

 

 

Assessments 2020 Update

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I wanted to give you an update from HSLDA and CHEO about the current situation with the assessment requirement for the 2019-2020 academic year. The Ohio house bill language states that students are only exempt from standardized test requirements.  Please read both articles as this is extremely important. Both organizations are working on this issue to see if homeschool students can be exempted from all forms of assessment this year.

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Please read Home School Legal Defense’s update.

COVID-19: Urgent ODE Changing Guides on Assessments 

and CHEO’s update:

CHEO HB 197 Legislative Update

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If you would rather not wait to see if the requirement will be changed and would like to schedule an appointment (beginning in May). I will be happy to do a portfolio review for your family. Please email me at schoolmarmohio@me.com.

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Instruction Sheet: 2020 Portfolio Review Document
Fees: 

  • 1 student $40.00
  • 2 students $75.00
  • 3 students $102.00
  • 4 students $132.00
  • 5+ students $155.00

Due to the concerns of the coronavirus, all of this year’s appointments will either be by online conference (Zoom) or by phone. Academic work samples will either be sent to me electronically, mailed, or dropped off (and picked up) at my house.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

 

Portfolio Review Changes for 2020

Update as of April 24, 2020: This is from Home School Legal Defense’s website concerning the requirements for assessments this year.

It has come to our attention that the Ohio Department of Education has released guidance that conflicts with what we previously told you.

The ODE recently released this statement:

Ohio’s emergency legislation makes a short-term change to reporting requirements for 2019–2020. Typically, parents must send the local superintendent an academic assessment report for the child for the previous school year. That report must include one of three things: the results of a nationally normed, standardized test; a written narrative indicating that a portfolio of samples of the child’s work has been reviewed and that the child’s academic progress meets the child’s abilities; or an alternative academic assessment of proficiency mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent.

Section 17(L) of H.B. 197 exempts the requirement to provide the results of the nationally normed, standardized test to the resident district as a condition of the district continuing to allow the student to be homeschooled in the 2020-2021 school year. However, the parent must still meet one of the other two requirements.

We previously wrote that the Director of Non-Public School Options at the Ohio Department of Education had informed CHEO’s legislative liaison that the intent of Section 17(L) of House Bill 197 was to waive all assessments for homeschoolers, and that it would publish guidance to that effect. It is now unclear whether the ODE will release the guidance it had originally promised.

We will be working with CHEO to contact legislators and ODE staff with our concerns about this. We hope the legislature will clarify its intent regarding homeschooling assessments.

We appreciate your support. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to use with your questions or concerns.

 

downloadThis year all homeschool students are not required to submit assessments, either standardized tests or a portfolio review/ homeschool assessment.  However, it is being recommended that you consider doing it anyway.  If you would like to have me review your student’s work I can certainly do that for you electronically and we can meet online. We may also have the opportunity to meet in person in the summer but we will need to see what will be the recommendation by the CDC.

Here is the information from Home School Legal Defense (HSLDA) :

Homeschool families will not be required to submit assessments upon subsequent notification for the 2020-21 school year in order to continue homeschooling. Originally a technical tax correction bill, House Bill 197 was amended to include coronavirus response legislation. The bill reads on page 724-725:

“(L) No school district shall require the parent of any student who was instructed at home in accordance with section 3321.04 of the Revised Code for the 2019-2020 school year to submit to the district superintendent the results of a standardized achievement assessment administered to the student as a condition of the district allowing the student to continue to receive home instruction for the 2020-2021 school year.”

Although the language is somewhat unclear, CHEO’s legislative liaison, Melanie Elsey, was told by the Non Public Education Department of the Ohio Department of Education, who proposed the language, that the intent was to waive the entire assessment requirement for the current school year for homeschoolers in light of the challenges presented by the coronavirus. The ODE has assured CHEO and HSLDA that it will issue guidance to all school districts that homeschoolers should not be required to submit assessments.

However, any family still wishing to assess is free to do so. Families who have issues when they submit their notice of intent in the fall are invited to contact HSLDA for assistance. You can visit CHEO’s website for more information also!

HSLDA appreciates the opportunity to serve you. We are all thinking about and praying for our members and friends!

Have a great week! ~Lisa~