Under Oregon law, education service districts are the primary point of contact for homeschooling families - they receive and confirm notification of intent to homeschool, they may request test scores, and generally provide a touchpoint for families. School districts may also interact with families in the case of students who qualify for Special Education services, and students who want to participate in interscholastic activities or academic classes. Both ESDs and districts may provide releases for students under 18 wishing to take the GED tests.
ORS 339.460 allows students who are homeschooled, enrolled in in a charter school, or a GED program to participate in interscholastic activities at their resident school. The law specifies that this is allowable in grades K-12, but that in grades K-8 this is restricted to those activities that occur before or after school. Homeschooled students who wish to participate must test annually, by August 15. For more information, please see the OSAA Handbook.
Academic Classes and Average Daily Membership (ADM):
School districts may adopt policies to allow homeschooled students to take academic courses at their resident school. If the student takes less than 50% of their classes at a public school, the school may use attendance type 9, “shared time,” and receive partial ADM for that student. The point at which a student is taking more than 50% of their classes at a school, the school becomes responsible for testing and outcomes, and technically, that student is no longer homeschooled.
Special Education Services:
Under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act), school districts are obligated to identify students in their boundaries who qualify for special education services, including students who are homeschooled. Oregon requires districts to offer, and document to the parent: (1) the opportunity to receive special education services if enrolled within the district, and (2) the opportunity for an IEP team to consider providing special education and related services to the child with a disability in conjunction with homeschooling. Parents may also request IEP meetings and the district must comply; however, the decision of whether or not to provide services is an IEP team decision.
By definition, homeschooled students are exempted from compulsory school attendance, however, districts or ESDs need to certify that those under the age of 18 are released from compulsory attendance in order to take the GED tests. Both school district and ESDs may sign these letters.
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