The Worcester Public Schools respects the right of parents to provide their children with a home education program. The Worcester Public Schools adheres to Massachusetts’ compulsory attendance laws, which provide that children must attend school or receive approval in advance by the superintendent for a home education program. Our home education approval process is consistent with state laws and district policy. Worcester understands and acknowledges the standards set forth in case law, including the 1987 SJC decision, Care and Protection of Charles. The decision sets forth legal standards for approval of home education programs of children of compulsory school age in Massachusetts. The Worcester Public School policy and procedures are entirely consistent with this case, in requesting that parents specifically address the following questions as part of the home education application process:
- What is the proposed curriculum and number of hours of instruction per subject?
- What is the competency of the individuals who will be instructing the student?
- What textbooks, workbooks, and instructional materials will be used?
- What procedures will be used to assess student progress and maintain a student record?
Regarding the fourth requirement, Worcester Public Schools accepts a home education proposal which includes one of the following methods of assessment: periodic progress reports, dated work samples or, standardized testing. As an alternative to home testing and, at the request of parents/guardians, the District has offered the opportunity for home-taught children to participate in the annual standardized achievement battery which is typically administered at various times throughout the school year. Parents/guardians are not required to have their children participate in the school-offered standardized achievement assessments. Parents/guardians can state on the homeschool application an alternative method of demonstrating student progress (via dated work samples or periodic progress reports).
The Worcester Public Schools Homeschooling Information presentation contains samples of different methods that can be used as evidence of student progress. We will partner with you to determine an appropriate method to be used for your child.
If you have any questions, please contact Maura Mahoney, Manager of Social Emotional Learning at 508-799-3175.
Please Note: WPS ensures that leaders of private schools and representatives or parents of parentally-placed private school children with disabilities and representatives of home school students have opportunities to engage in "timely and meaningful" consultation. The district provides information about how students can access publicly funded evaluations and special education services.
WPS Special Education Department will provide a Request for Special Education Evaluation Form to parents or guardians who believe that their child may have a disability. The district will schedule an appointment to conduct an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education.