What You Need to Know If You Unenroll Your Child From Public School, Private Schools, Home Education & IEPs
What You Need to Know If You Unenroll Your Child From School
Fifteen years ago, we chose to unenroll our daughter, Bryanna, from the private school she was attending and educate her at home. Even though I had a mentor who was giving me lots of tips and helpful info, until we actually explored the curriculum and instruction, I didn’t know what it was all about. Bryanna was diagnosed with ADHD and a math processing disorder. We saw some of the effects of the ADHD but had no idea how the math processing disorder would manifest! I thought we had taken on more than we could handle, but we were able to accommodate her disabilities to support her so that she could benefit from being taught at home. We enrolled in a private/umbrella school so we also had support from those families. Earlier that year, we had Bryanna “evaluated” by the district; she did not qualify for ESE services thru an IEP (the federal IDEA law was amended in December 2004). Since Bryanna was not eligible for an IEP, and I did not know my rights, we let ESE services “fall by the wayside” and began our educational voyage.
I can say we learned as we went along. I had many “a-ha” moments as well as many “oh-my” moments! I was able to see how the ADHD further adversely affected Bryanna and was able to provide accommodations to her. I saw the math processing disorder and we used manipulatives so she could visually “see” what the math equation “meant.” Bryanna had “a-ha” moments and her face lit up as she “got it!” She learned by doing and we combined learning with field trips and studying outside our home. That is one of the best things about educating your child at home – your child does not have to conform to the “rules” that exist in a school setting. Parents — take advantage of this!!
Not all our children “fit” neatly into the public education setting. Every day, more and more parents are realizing that their child needs to be in a different educational setting to best suit their needs. This is especially true for those families who have children with disabilities. As parents are choosing to pull their child from public education, there is a difference between “homeschooling/home education” and “private school education” for our kiddos with disabilities. Parents do need to know the difference before they move forward with their journey. Sidebar Parents in Florida can check out the Florida Parent Educators Association website. There is basic information on homeschooling/home educating your child; there are also templates for letters that need to be submitted to your school district. If parents chose the option for special education services through the district, the district “may” provide special education services to your child with a disability after evaluations, if your child “enrolls in a public school solely for the purpose of receiving those related services.”
Homeschool or home education is the education of children at home or places other than a school.
Private schools are schools not administered by the local government/school district; they retain the right to select their students and are funded through tuition rather than the local taxes.
Public School Special Education Services
- District may provide special education services after evaluations
Home Schooling/Home Educating
- No obligation by the district to provide ESE services to your child
- Parents can enroll in a private (617 registration) school and educate their children under that private school.
- Once enrolled in a private school, the IDEA law covers evaluations and ESE services through a Service Plan (under 34CFR §300.132).
- Your child can be evaluated and services would be provided in a neighborhood school after your child would be found eligible.
NOTE: Parents do not have the right listed in the Procedural Safeguards to an Independent Educational Evaluation paid for by the district if in a private school. Parents can have an Independent Educational Evaluation done, but, parents would be responsible for the payment.
After careful consideration of where and how you will educate your child with special needs, parents can “advance forward” on their learning journey. Take every opportunity to learn alongside your child. Have fun! Explore the world — it is YOUR classroom!
-  https://fpea.com/homeschooling
-  https://en.wikipedia.org/
- 1 https://www.nheri.org/homeschool-population-size-growing/
- 2 https://fpea.com/
Doreen Franklin is a Special Ed Advocate and parent of 2 adopted daughters with diverse special needs. She assists parents with their understanding of legal policy, procedures, rights, & responsibilities under IDEA so parents can learn to collaboratively advocate for their child. She has been an Advocate & Coach since 2005. Doreen is also a private tutor and homeschooled her older daughter.
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This post originally appeared on our November/December 2019 Magazine