By Lon Anderson
The Hardy County Board of Education, at its August 3 meeting, reversed direction on a proposed change to home schooling policy that it considered in July. At that meeting the Board had briefly discussed changing requirements for the annual monitoring of the academic progress for home school students in the County.
The requirement for how the progress for those students is tracked annually, as it turns out, is set by West Virginia code. “The long and short of it,” explained Jodie Strawbridge, the Hardy County home schooling program coordinator, “is that our policy has to reflect State code. We have to follow it to the letter.”
At its July meeting the Board had postponed approving an update to the County’s home schooling policy, which Superintendent Sheena Van Meter explained was to bring Hardy County policy into accord with changes that had been made to the State code.
The question, raised by Board member Dixie Bean, was whether the Board “should always require a portfolio to see some of the student’s work as part of the annual monitoring process.” The State code provides four methods of evaluating student progress yearly:
Taking a nationally-normed standardized achievement test;
Participation in a testing program currently in use in the school system;
Submission of a portfolio of samples of the child’s work submitted for review of a certified teacher;
An alternative academic assessment of the child’s proficiency that must be mutually agreed upon by the parent and school system.