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Published: Wednesday, 8/19/2009

Home-schooled not allowed in Anthony Wayne extracurricular activities


Anthony Wayne Schools will continue to allow only full-time students to participate in extracurricular activities.

The district's school board had considered a policy change that would allow junior high and high school students who are home-schooled to participate in extracurriculars if they enroll in at least one class.

But they voted last week 3-1 to continue with their current policy that requires a student to be full-time to participate. Board member Ronald Disher voted for the change; Gary Roser was absent from the meeting

"We chose to basically stay where we are for the time being," Board President Douglas Zimmerman said.

The board heard from a parent who has home-schooled her children, but her daughter wanted to play basketball.

But Superintendent John Granger said his office has not received any requests from families seeking a change to allow their child to participate in extracurriculars.

"My personal opinion about it was that home-school students would have a lot to gain from attending our school, but it's still their right to choose not to attend," he said.

Mr. Granger brought the policy to the board after other school districts were moving in this direction. He said he was not for nor against altering the policy, but did say that it would have been a big change for the district.

Mr. Zimmerman said most of the feedback he heard from parents was not to make the policy change.

There were some concerned about the inequity in allowing students to participate in sports with different levels of academic involvement in the district. And others were concerned that home-schooled children who only took one course would take the spots of full-day students, Mr. Zimmerman said.

Mr. Zimmerman said he would be more interested in a policy change if it were for academic reasons, such as allowing a home-schooled student to take an advanced science or math class the parent didn't feel qualified to teach.

"This policy seems to care more about sports than it does the education of kids," he said.

A change is not completely off the table, Mr. Zimmerman said, adding that the district administration and board will follow how other districts handle the changes.

There are about 100 home-schooled students in the Anthony Wayne district, Mr. Zimmerman said.

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