Dual Enrollment Guidelines - Opting Out of Math or Other Classes
What is dual enrollment?
Dual enrollment is where you as a parent decide you want to teach your child some subjects at home and have your child enrolled in public school for other classes. For example, you want to teach math at home but allow your child to continue with other subjects and activities at school.
The school system should mind this as they get full credit (ie. money) for your child being taught in their school but don't even have to teach your child full time.
State laws and other resources concerning dual enrollment
(look on the left menu bar under Legal Issues for a couple other useful
Parent Comment: With the new homeschooling laws that took affect last year, I don't see that a form is required anymore for Dual enrollment. You have to submit a "statement" of your plan to the school/district. There were some modifications up for discussion in this year's legislative session. I couldn't see if the amended changes were actually passed, but here's the link.
State Employee Comment:
Dual enrollment does not require you to tell the school district anything about your plans. All that is needed to obtain the Homeschool exemption is an affidavit (a notarized letter; we're working on changing the requirement for notarization) saying that the parents will provide instruction for the number of hours required by state law (900 hours/year). The School district is expressly forbidden from reviewing or approving your curriculum choices, and they are required to approve all requests for exemption. http://www.le.state.ut.us/~code/TITLE53A/htm/53A0C003.htm is the actual language of the law as it currently stands. From subsection 2(d): A local school board may not:
(i) require a parent of a minor who attends a home school to maintain records of instruction or attendance;
(ii) require credentials for individuals providing home school instruction;
(iii) inspect home school facilities; or
(iv) require standardized or other testing of home school students.
The proposed changes to the home school statutes died in the House Rules committee last year and were not passed by the legislature. SB72 (the bill you link to) was actually substituted twice before it passed the Senate and moved to the House. This link: http://www.le.state.ut.us/~2006/htmdoc/sbillhtm/SB0072S02.htm goes to the second substitue's "cover page" which has links to the bill text, committee and floor vote histories, and amendments. The 2nd substitute bill made some additional changes to the dual enrollment statutes as well. The requirement for notarization is a quirk of Utah law. In federal law, an affidavit only requires a signature, but Utah law requires affidavits to be "sworn," which requires a notary or a court clerk. Sen. Mark Madsen was unfamiliar with the Utah practice and drafted the original bill based on the federal practice; we had a very strong bipartisan support for the bill in '05 and didn't want to open any debate by making changes to the bill that created the affidavit requirement.
If a student is fully home schooled, the school loses the state funding for the student. They get the funding back if you enroll the student for a single class or any part of the school day, so they should be eager to allow the dual enrollment status. See section 53A-11-102.5 Utah Code: http://www.le.state.ut.us/~code/TITLE53A/htm/53A0C004.htm. This section of code details all of the requirements for dual enrollment, and might be helpful for anyone wishing to convince the school or district that there really is a dual enrollment provision in the law.
What is needed to dual enroll
It appears that all you need to dual enroll is to submit a plan to the school such as the following:
Intent to Dual Enroll
I plan to teach <MyStudentName> <Subject> at home on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday's from 8-9am and will no longer need to do the work from <SchoolName> in this subject. I do not want my student to be penalized, graded, nor required to do homework in this subject from the school. End of year SAT/Iowa testing can be accomodated in this subject.
<MyStudentName> will be in class at <SchoolName> during the balance of the school day, 9am - 2:30 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays and from 8am to 2:30 pm on Tuesday and Thursdays.
Parent experiences with dual enrollment
I have had my children for the last 5 years on this dual enrollment. I started with them in 5th grade teaching math at home. They have not had to attend class during for the math instruction nor do they get a grade (which is meaningless) for math. I have taught them up through algebra and then in 9th grade have them start with geometry in Jr. high, so they can get the credit for graduation.
The district has a form that I fill out each year that releases them from the Math instruction.
(Oak note: a district form is not required)
Teacher Comment: I had a student whose parents wanted her doing Saxon math. I was NOT doing Investigations. I had my own textbook that I think is super. The mother gave her Saxon assignments to do while we were doing math, and she did her own thing, usually finishing somewhat sooner than we did.
The mother reported how her assignments were done and gave me scores on her tests. I entered those scores, which I had to calculate to fit percentage-wise with my tests. She got a grade. The mom was OK with that. It worked. It was a small bother. Some teachers wouldn't do that, but it was OK with me.
I had this situation last year. Math was taught in the middle of the day, so I just sent my son's math "homework" with him to do during math time. He participated with the class when he was finished with the work I gave him (I didn't mind investigations as a supplement). I used Saxon and sent the worksheets with him.
Regarding the paperwork for dual enrollment, I spoke first with the principal, then with the teacher to inform them that I would be teaching my son math at home and would be doing "homework" during math time. While they both were quick to assure me that they supplement Investigations, neither one offered resistance to my plan and I didn't end up having to fill out any paperwork.
I just wanted to stress that my approach was that of a parent informing the school personnel what I had decided. I didn't justify, argue or persuade. I had made a decision regarding my son's education and told the school about it and offered to fill out any paperwork necessary. Had my plan required extra work on the part of the teacher, I would have taken a different approach.
Oak, I had a neighbor who did this for math only (Saxon at home). She arranged with the teacher to have him just sit at his desk during that time and work individually on his Saxon workbook. This teacher was very cooperative, and the child understood that he needed to work independently during that time. The neighbor needed to make sure her son knew what pages he needed to work on during that time each day. It worked out great for them.
I contacted you last Spring about this. When I mentioned to my daughter's teacher that I was considering "opting out" of math (5th grade), she was very cooperative when it came to math. She understood that I wanted my daughter to be given full credit if she got the answer correct using "traditional" strategies. She understood that I completely disagreed witht he "fluff" of Investigations, and if my daughter didn't write complete paragraphs describing how she got an answer and then "how she felt about it" that she was still to get full credit. Occasionally I would have to write a note on her homework saying that she had completed the assignment and to call me if she had any questions. I had to occasionally remind the teacher what our "agreement" was, but each time we spoke about it I mentioned that I would be happy to go through the official approval (I didn't know then that it is called "dual enrollment") to have her excused from math. She didn't want me to do that probably because she knew it would be a little more coordination for her (she would have to have math at the exact same time every day, or she would have to let my daughter work on her workbook while the other kids did math) and because I think she understood that my daughter was getting double the math instruction so she would be one of the many kids who would keep the district math test scores high because she was being "tutored" at home. Anyway, my advice to parents wanting to do this is to be firm and to persist until you get the arrangement you want.
My other daughter (10th grade at LPHS) was enrolled in pre-calc honors. There were no pre-calc honors teachers who taught traditional. So, after a couple days in that class (my daughter really wanted to stay on the honors track) we changed to a "traditional" teacher. The honors class went from a full class to being cancelled because when she left there were only 8 kids left in the class because they had all transferred out because they wanted traditional. I spoke with her counselor about it and he acknowledged that there were no traditional honors teachers, but he didn't have any solution. I also mentioned that LPHS AP Calculus test pass rate had slipped significantly the year before (spring 2005) and asked him if they were going to add more traditional instruction to help the kids do better on national standardized tests and he had no response. That is my biggest gripe with this math--if you only have kids in elementary level, then you can't see down the road to what happens when they have to take ACT, etc. and compete with kids all over the nation on timed tests that rely heavily on basic facts. My two oldest kids (Freshman at BYU) weren't hurt that much by it, but my two youngest daughters, especially the sophomore, are the ones who will suffer when it comes to speed and accuracy on these tests.
Thanks for letting me vent--I think we're getting ready to approach my daughter's 6th grade teacher and give her the same "option", which is Investigations "my way" or opting out. Keep up the good work!
We dual enrolled our children for math last year. We lived so close to the school that they came home during math, but we were told by the principal that they couldn't be unsupervised at school (like in the library) and that they couldn't just stay in class and read a book or do their "home" math assignments because it would be distracting to the teacher and the rest of the class. So our choices were to either send them home or keep them at school and they would have to participate in investigations math but wouldn't be responsible for homework and wouldn't receive a grade.
My wife and I dual enrolled my 15 year old for the last three years. All that is required is filing a homeschool exemption affidavit (which the district cannot deny) and then enrolling the student in whatever classes you wish them to take. [Name] took three years of orchestra and a year of art.
A side note: The state and the school districts have prepared forms for the affidavit, but these forms ask for more information than the law requires. We just send in a notarized letter stating that we're home schooling. The UHEA form is the best one to use, but the districts may be a bit balky about it.
(Oak note: notarization should not be required by anyone)
I really really like the idea of dual-enrollment for math. As I've considered it, I've asked my 5th grader when they do math. "Whenever". So, I'd bet she could do her other class homework during math, or go to the library and work on whatever (my math homework?)... If your child is not disruptive, why would the school care if they were there? If she gets her other class homework done during that time it opens up time at home for math.
(Oak note: I really like this idea--opt your child out and let him/her use it as a study hall to get other homework done so you can do math at home and not other homework)
Our experience with dual enrollment has only been with the junior high school. The "rules" are that the child cannot remain on the school grounds during the class that they're not taking. I asked if our child at the time could attend the library during that hour and the answer was "no." So, if this child is in elementary school, it'll depend on the principal. Another alternative is to come to the school during that class period and take the child to the learning resource center (library) and work on math at the school. I'm sure the school will work with the parent if the parent presents a couple of alternatives.
I have heard of a parent attending school during math time and taking their child to the library to teach them math.
We pulled our #2 son (during 6th grade) out in the
beginning of the day (math time) and took him to a
local Jr. High for Pre-Algebra. When he got back to
the elementary he helpd out with the others in math.
Incidently, we pulled him out during the Christmas
Break, brought him up to speed in 2 weeks and then he
pulled straight A's for the rest of the year.
Where can I see and purchase home school materials
There's probably a lot of places that sell really good home school materials if you want to teach your child at home. For math, I'd just keep it simple and use either Singapore or Saxon math materials. You can purchase them online from this store based in Salem, Utah, next to Spanish Fork. Their address is below in case you'd like to visit them and see the materials hands on to compare them.
"Love to Learn"
741 N State Rd #198
Investigations Math Menu
** Most important pages to read (all have value but if you will only read
a few pages make it these)
* Very important