WAUSEON Home-schoolers in Wauseon soon could attend Wauseon High School on a part-time basis and participate in certain extracurricular activities under a draft policy school administrators have presented to the board of education.
Interscholastic sports, however, would remain limited to full-time students because of the need to verify academic eligibility, schools superintendent Marc Robinson said last week.
Mr. Robinson said proposed revisions to the Wauseon Village Exempted Schools home-schooling policy was prompted by inquiries from several parents about enrolling their home-schooled children in certain courses, such as laboratory sciences or industrial technology, that involve equipment or facilities they can t provide at home.
The inquiries induced discussion among administrators and school board members about whether it is time to update a policy created in the early 1990s, before many current technologies became common in schools.
I believe that just because it s the way we ve always done it, it may not be the best way any more, Mr. Robinson said.
Out of a school-age population of about 2,050 in the Wauseon district, Mr. Robinson said, about three dozen are now home-schooled.
The proposed policy, discussed by the school board last week but not yet scheduled for adoption, allows home-schooled students in grades 9 through 12 to attend Wauseon High for up to two class periods per day.
Such part-time students also would be allowed to participate in co-curricular or nonathletic extracurricular activities as defined by the high school principal.
But interscholastic athletics will remain off-limits because there is too much variability in home-school education, the superintendent said.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association has eligibility standards that provide very specific minimum requirements for participation that have to be tracked by the home school, Mr. Robinson said. There is a huge disparity among how parents home-school, the curriculum they use, and how they grade.
The amended policy also requires students to attend Wauseon High full-time during the 12th grade to obtain a Wauseon diploma and for at least four consecutive semesters before graduation to obtain a class rank. Establishing course credit for students home-school work before any such enrollment is up to school administrators.
Among other Fulton County school systems, Mr. Robinson said, only Swanton has a formal home-schooling policy; others handle the matter on a case-by-case basis and don t address athletic participation at all.
This is our first cautious step. Let s evaluate it and see how it works, the superintendent said, predicting that he ll ask for school board approval at the May 11 meeting unless public or board feedback prompts a significant change to the draft version.