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Kindergarten Evaluations


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I received a call from our district school office last week. They were questioning why I hadn't sent my DS's kindergarten evaluation in. They had received my other DS's evaluation (1st grade), and she told me that they couldn't 'promote' my DS to 1st grade without the evaluation. I told her that my evaluator told me last spring that DS (K5) didn't need one because he missed the age cutoff by two months. District lady told me that wasn't true, and that I needed to get one done for DS.

 

So I made the appointment with my evaluator, dug out all of his work, put together his portfolio binder, and had him evaluated.

 

My evaluator told me that she researched it after I called her, and that state law (Florida) said exactly what she told me - it wasn't necessary for DS (K5). We did the evaluation anyway since we were already there and I had gone through the trouble of assembling his portfolio.

 

So I'm left wondering, have any of you encountered this before? Where the district tells you one thing, and the state law says something else? How did you handle it?

 

Since I'm still relatively new at this, I opted to send the district his evaluation, but honestly, I'm a little miffed at the intrusion.

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Whenever conflict arises with the public school system, I request that they send me a copy of the exact law of which they believe I am in violation. Get a signed receipt of any correspondence you send them and get every communication from them in writing. Often times, they are very vague on the law and don't have a leg to stand on, but that doesn't stop them from trying to bluff parents into submitting to their illegal requests. But when you show them that you are not a pushover, and they are faced with providing substantive evidence to back their position or to put their questionable request in writing on official letterhead, then they change their minds.

 

If they refuse to provide information regarding the specific law, tell them that you will be glad to have your attorney contact theirs to find out about this mysterious law. They almost always back down if they don't have legal justification because most ps districts can't afford a big lawsuit.

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My understanding is that yes Kindergarten is optional. But if you send a letter of intent to the county for your Kindergartener then you must have the evaluation. If you choose to wait until first grade to send the letter of intent then you don't do the evaluation till they finish first grade. I'm assuming that since the school district had the name of your Kindergartener then you sent the letter of intent, right? Then your child was enrolled and had to have an evaluation. You could have waited a year but it's optional wether you enroll your child in K or not. Did I explain it well? I hope so.

 

Melissa

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Where the district tells you one thing, and the state law says something else? How did you handle it?

 

.

 

Get a copy of the state law, highlight pertinent info. and mail the district a copy via certified mail. That should put an end to it.

 

ETA: And then I would call either my state homeschool rep.'s, or HSLDA and let them know. :D

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My understanding is that yes Kindergarten is optional. But if you send a letter of intent to the county for your Kindergartener then you must have the evaluation. If you choose to wait until first grade to send the letter of intent then you don't do the evaluation till they finish first grade. I'm assuming that since the school district had the name of your Kindergartener then you sent the letter of intent, right? Then your child was enrolled and had to have an evaluation. You could have waited a year but it's optional wether you enroll your child in K or not. Did I explain it well? I hope so.

 

Melissa

 

Yes, I did send the letter of intent. I went ahead and sent the evaluation anyway - I paid for it, may as well send it in - but I just thought it was so confusing. It's not a big deal, but I'm definitely reading up on my rights now.

 

Thanks for the input. :)

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Yes, I did send the letter of intent. I went ahead and sent the evaluation anyway - I paid for it, may as well send it in - but I just thought it was so confusing. It's not a big deal, but I'm definitely reading up on my rights now.

 

Thanks for the input. :)

 

Here's the problem. You sent a letter of intent for the child.

 

Had you not sent the letter of intent, because the child was not of compulsory attendance age, you would not have had to submit an evaluation. Because you "registered" your child, you have to follow through with the evaluation.

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The rule of thumb is that you always follow the law, even if local school officials don't. It is also why so many hsers are members of HSLDA: school officials regularly try to overstep their legal authority. Of course, it doesn't help that some hsers don't know the law and over-comply, which then makes it more difficult for hsers who *do* know the law, kwim?

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Here's the problem. You sent a letter of intent for the child.

 

Had you not sent the letter of intent, because the child was not of compulsory attendance age, you would not have had to submit an evaluation. Because you "registered" your child, you have to follow through with the evaluation.

 

:iagree:

 

I have a child that was not 6 before February 2010, so I did not submit her name on the notice of intent. If I had, she would have needed an evaluation as well.

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I've always thought the law stated K in FL is not mandatory unless attending a public 1st grade. I didn't hs my dds for K but I have friends who have and they never had them evaluated.

 

And even then it isn't required. My dd was not registered last year for K, but she did go into a ps 1st grade. A placement test was required, but they required that of all incoming hs students.

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The rule of thumb is that you always follow the law, even if local school officials don't. It is also why so many hsers are members of HSLDA: school officials regularly try to overstep their legal authority. Of course, it doesn't help that some hsers don't know the law and over-comply, which then makes it more difficult for hsers who *do* know the law, kwim?

 

In this case the school officials are following the law. In FL K is optional, by sending in a letter of intent for Kindergarten a homeschooler is Choosing the OPTION of Kindergarten. If the school officials have a letter of intent for Kindergarten then they also need to have an evaluation at the end of the year. The child is legally enrolled as a homeschool when that letter is sent in (regardless of grade) and all the following laws must be followed (in this case an evaluation). If a homeschooler in FL chooses not to send a letter of intent for Kindergarten then they are in no way breaking the law. They are choosing the option of Not having the child enrolled in Kindergarten.

 

My youngest is the same age as the OP's. I did not enroll her last year but I could have. If I had I would have had to do the same paperwork as I do with all the rest of my kids, she would have legally been in school. I choose not to and enrolled her into first grade this year, now I have to do her paperwork.

 

Clear as mud?

 

OP: a lot of homeschoolers get confused on this issue and usually don't understand it fully until the next child gets to that age. Hopefully this thread will better explain it to others in FL with kids entering Kindergarten.

Melissa

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Here's the problem. You sent a letter of intent for the child.

 

Had you not sent the letter of intent, because the child was not of compulsory attendance age, you would not have had to submit an evaluation. Because you "registered" your child, you have to follow through with the evaluation.

 

Right. :) I made a phone call, and this is exactly what I was told. Like I said, not really a big deal, but I just thought I would post this situation because it was confusing for me (as a new HSer) and hoped to hear if someone else had been in this situation as well.

 

OP: a lot of homeschoolers get confused on this issue and usually don't understand it fully until the next child gets to that age. Hopefully this thread will better explain it to others in FL with kids entering Kindergarten.

Melissa

 

Thanks Melissa. I hope it helps someone else as well.

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