Home Schooling

  • To home school your child, you must annually file a “Declaration of Intent” with the school district. This form indicates that you will be taking responsibility for your child’s education. The “Declaration of Intent” form must be returned to Challenger Secondary School by September 15th or within two weeks of the beginning of any public school quarter, trimester or semester. Copies of this form are available below.

     

    Declaration of Intent to Home School 2021-22

     

    If your child has previously attended a Bethel school, you will need to withdraw your student upon filing your “Declaration of Intent.”

     

    What is home based education?

     

    According to the Revised Code of Washington, RCW 28A.225.010(4) defines instruction as home-based if it consists of planned and supervised instructional and related educational activities, including curriculum and instruction in the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation of art and music provided for a number of hours per grade level established for approved private schools and if such activities are provided by a qualified parent.

      

    Total annual program hours are:

    • Kindergarten - at least 450 hours
    • Grades 1 through 12 - at least 1,000 hours

    RCW 28A.200 recognizes that all decisions relating to philosophy or doctrine; selection of books, teaching materials and curriculum; and methods, timing, and place in the provision or evaluation of home-based instruction shall be the responsibility of the parent.

    Families interested in homeschooling should review the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s guidebook on “Washington State’s Laws Regulating Home-Based Instruction.” More information is also available on the OSPI website.

     

Academics Records & Testing

  • In addition to filing a “declaration of intent, parents must ensure that test scores or annual academic progress assessment and immunization records, are kept with other records relating to the child’s instructional and educational activities.

    Parents must ensure that a standardized achievement test approved by the State Board of Education is administered annually to the child by a qualified individual or that an annual assessment of the student’s academic progress is written by a certificated person who is currently working in the field of education. The results of the standardized test or the annual academic progress assessment shall be made a part of the child’s permanent records. If, as a result of the annual test or assessment, it is determined that the child is not making reasonable progress consistent with his or her age or stage of development, the parent shall make a good faith effort to remedy any deficiencies.

    Bethel School District Testing

    If your student is in a grade level affected by the Bethel School District assessment program, he/she may come to the school at the times scheduled for testing. Parents should contact the principal of their student’s resident school if the student will be participating in the testing program.

    Re-entering the Bethel School District

    Credit may be granted by a review of actual student course work, or by review of transcripts from a private school, agency, or home schooling organization. Please note: the Bethel School District has no obligation to accept credits earned outside the school district.

FAQ's

  • How do I start the home school process?

    To home school your child, you must annually file a “Declaration of Intent” with the school district’s home school liaison. This form indicates that you will be taking responsibility for your child’s education. The “Declaration of Intent” form must be returned by September 15th or within two weeks of the beginning of any public school quarter, trimester or semester. Copies of this form are available here.

    If your child has previously attended a Bethel school, you will need to withdraw your student upon filing your “Declaration of Intent.”

    Are there any requirements for parents who plan to home school?

    By law, parents electing to home school their child/children must either:

    • Be supervised by a certificated teacher who has contact with the child for one hour per week average per month,
    • Have earned the equivalent of 45 college-level quarter credit hours,
    • Have taken a course in home-based instruction at a post-secondary institution or vocational technical institute, or
    • Been deemed sufficiently qualified by the local superintendent.

    How do I know what to teach my child?

    If you choose to home school your child, you will be solely responsible for your curriculum. We have included links on this site to some resources that may help, such as the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for state standards, the Pierce County Library, and the Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO).

    What if I don’t feel confident enough to teach a subject?

    You can talk to other home school parents about working together on classes in a co-op situation or you can access your neighborhood school on a part-time basis.

    How does my student get Bethel School District credits for their home-based work?

    You must meet with the Bethel School District Home School Liaison to transfer credits. It is extremely important that you keep all tests, notes, calendars, textbook information, papers, assignments and hour logs as documentation for this process. Ultimately, the district will decide if credit will or will not be given.

    Can home school students graduate from a Bethel School District high school?

    To receive a Bethel School District diploma, the student must complete his/her senior year at a Bethel area high school.

    What if my child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?

    IEPs and other special education services can be accessed at your neighborhood school.

    Can my child still be in band, sports or access other resources in the schools?

    A student may attend his/her neighborhood school on a part-time basis. Special education and related services are available to home-based education students who are enrolled part-time in the district equivalent to the recommended special education program. Ancillary Services - Ancillary services are any co-curricular service or activity, any health care service or activity, and any other services or activities, except “courses,” for pre-school through twelfth grade students. A student must meet the district’s prerequisites in order to participate in a sport or activity.

    How does a home school student access the Running Start program?

    Students wanting to enroll in the Running Start Program will need to do so through the counselor at their resident high school or through Challenger Secondary Schools. Running Start students who plan on receiving a diploma from the Bethel School District must meet the school district’s requirements for graduation.

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