Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NY Homeschool Paperwork - Easier Than You Think!

All our homeschool paperwork was received and is in compliance. Now I sit back and wait for the kids' Metrocards to arrive in the mail. I sent it regular mail - I refuse to spend extra money on certified or receipt-requested - and they did receive it (which somehow surprised me, lol). I sent the kids' 2008-2009 LOIs in with the 2007-2008 4th quarterlies and annual assessments, but they informed me they didn't have them. I felt like "here we go again" with missing paperwork, but I spoke with Mr. Director of Homeschooling and we straightened everything out. I have to say, for many reasons, I do like him the best so far.

Our homeschool correspondence is still the same exact stuff we sent in 2005. There are links to it in the sidebar. Our letter of intent is comprised of 2 sentences and is in a business-letter format. The 1-page IHIP is a copy-and-paste from the worldbook.com course of study, with an extra paragraph I created for a little more detail. The IHIP takes about 7 minutes to update the copy-and-paste to the next grade and change some dates. Because there is so much detail in our IHIP, our quarterly reports can be pretty minimal. Ours contains about 4 sentences explaining that we're moving along fine. I send the same exact quarterly 4x a year with a slight date change on each. Each quarterly takes about 1 minute to update. Our annual assessment is very similar to our quarterlies. I add several sentences describing some the year's highlights to make it more narrative-ish. This takes about 5 minutes (unless you get stuck thinking about which highlights you want to include, lol). On a testing year, I'll add another sentence to the annual assessment stating my child took so-and-so test on such-and-such date and enclose a copy of the result page. I used to just put a sentence that she scored above the 33rd %ile, but the NYC district is now asking for more. Most of my paperwork was created on the advice and suggestions of the amazing homeschoolers at NY-HEN. I love that group and would encourage all new homeschoolers to join.

This year J will be in 7th grade, so it's a testing year for her. We order the CAT-E from the link in the sidebar. It's about $25. The CAT-E goes up to 12th grade. Many homeschoolers like to use the PASS test. The highest grade for this one is 8th grade (link to ordering it is in the sidebar). We do use a certified teacher to administer the test - but I know some NY districts are okay with parents administering it themselves. Once J finishes the test, we send it back to the testing company and we get her scores within 2 weeks. It's very easy.

I will never understand why some NY homeschoolers choose to send pages and pages of information that pretty much will go unread. The districts honestly do not care. All they want to do is check off paperwork that's in compliance. You're honestly not impressing anyone with a description of all the cool stuff you did or plan to do. Really. For myself, I need everything to be simple, minimal, and streamlined. Our total homeschool correspondence takes less than 20 minutes to write up and costs about $3 in postage to mail PER YEAR. And it's always been in compliance. We're in our 4th year of paperwork now. No one should be afraid of it, no matter how many big, scary words "Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the New York State Commissioner of Education" uses, lol.

Here's to a wonderful new homeschool year!!!

39 comments:

mom of 3 said...

Hey.. I know it really is easy :) I got my compliance letter last week :)
yay! I do the same as you, worldbook is cool.
Happy homeschooling! See u soon

Alia Macrina Heise said...

Hi Angela, I am a NY hsing mom and I have a question about K-ers. I have a friend who does a letter of intent for her K-ers but does NO IHIP or quarterly. She says it is because there are no curriculum standards by law for K-ers in NY. The district accepts her paper work. What do you know about this? How do you recommend phrasing an intent of this sort? My friend said she'd email me a copy of hers, but she is so busy and hasn't yet. Thanks for any thoughts!

NYCitymomx3 said...

Hi Alia. First off, keep in mind that you don't have to submit an IHIP if your child is not going to be 6 before Dec. 31. You really don't have to send anything in, not even a letter of intent. But if your child was already in school, sending a LOI can clear up the red tape of them figuring out why he's not still in school. You can use my LOI example if you like. The district accepts your friend's paperwork (which I'm assuming is only the LOI?) because they understand that she's just letting them know why he's not in school.

If your K-er is (or will be) 6 this year then you need to send in all the required paperwork even if he'll be in Kindergarten. 4 weeks after the LOI send in a K IHIP. You can find a standards guideline on the worldbook.com website, or create your own based on the NY regulations (the regs do require things like health, safety, and patriotism touched on in K). I suggest keeping things as brief as you can. There may be no Kindergarten curriculum standards in NYS, but the regs require some plan of action for a 6yo - Kindergarten or not. Then submit the quarterlies and annual assesment.

Sarah said...

Thank you so much ... we are just starting our homeschooling journey, and this makes it seem less daunting!

AmYou said...

Hello,

If you test earlier than you need to (say 3rd grade) this can be used against you if you don't do well??
Do practice tests really give you a good idea if your child can test well on a real test??

Love your blog.

NYCitymomx3 said...

Hi AmYou. You can test every year if you like. Some parents do this and keep the results for their own records. Then they send a narrative stating "adequate academic progress".

If you use it for your annual assessment and your child didn't do well, you just need to show that they still made 1 year's worth of progress. I'm not exactly sure how to do that, but I think you would have had to have had the previous year's test result to use for comparison. NY-HEN (yahoo group) has been asked that question numerous times. You might want to check that out.

Practice tests certainly give you and idea how they'll do on a real test. There are many practice tests available online and in book stores.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Angela

Olive Oyl said...

I do the same thing in upstate NY, and it has been accepted all the time now. I used to have trouble with my paperwork. It is really easy for me to change it now, following this. I do add that first paragraph with details. Thanks for sharing!

maitaiusa said...

do you utilize any of the online schools (ie, k12.com, calvert, etc)?

NYCitymomx3 said...

I don't use online schools but I know some people who do. I prefer more of a variety, mixing and matching materials based on what works for W.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thank you so much for the info. It was very helpful! But I have a question. I heard that they now offer metrocards to homeschooling kids. I was wondering if the procedure is the same? I send in the letter of intent, the IHIP and the first quarterly report, but so far, I haven't received any feedback. I know people whose kids have already received their metrocard. I don't know why my son hasn't received his yet. Should I call and ask them? But the problem is, what exactly do I ask them? I mean like how should I phrase. Any advice regarding this situation would be helpful. Thank you.

NYCitymomx3 said...

As long as you are a NYC homeschooler, you are eligible for a Metrocard. The Central Office sends everyone a packet with IHIP and quarterly forms and a copy of the NY regs. The forms for the Metrocard are in that packet - there is a fall form and a spring form. Just sign it and send it. I sent mine with my IHIP on Aug 18th and got my Metrocard in the mail about 4 weeks later.

maitaiusa said...

Thanks for this response ^^^^. I received my packet the other day and didnt realize that I overlooked the Metrocard applications. Sending them in right now.

Anonymous said...

Stepping into the arena of HSchooling. Just sent my letter of intent Cert. last week 6th grader. How long does it take for a response. When is it official, how, when and what is the best way to notify the school. I wanted to do this when my child was younger. But here I am. Reaching out. Thank you.

NYCitymomx3 said...

You should receive a response (the packet) to your LOI in a couple of weeks. To notify the school (and of course this is a courtesy, not a requirement) just call the main office and say, "XXXX won't be back in class, we have decided to homeschool. The paperwork has already been started." - because they'll probably assume you have no idea what you're doing, lol. You can call then as soon as he misses his first day. Congratulations on your decision to homeschool! You have begun a wonderful journey in this amazing city.

Anonymous said...

I haven't received anything back the card from cert. Or (the packet). I've already pulled him out. It's been a week now,just hadn't notified school was it premature. Due to safty issues etc. As a Mother I couldn't send him another day.I've seen a difference in my child, A peace and I too. But this one concern,Courtesy sake yes, I will notify. Should I put it in writing and send it or hand deliver. Trust is an issue.

Anonymous said...

New and inspired ..it's the middle of the school year and my son is being threatened to repeat the grade I am done with the school.. Which do you recommend first...remove him from school or write LOI?

NYCitymomx3 said...

I would recommend removing him from school first. You have up to 2 weeks after that to send your LOI.

Sierra said...

You're my savior right now....was busting my brain with this paperwork.
Now to make up our schedule for the day and gather work materials...

Anonymous said...

If you are in queens should LOI be written to NYC Central Homeschooling Office or to your district office?.... a little confused.

NYCitymomx3 said...

The NYC Central Office of Homeschooling in Manhattan is used for all 5 boroughs. We used to correspond only with our regions/districts, but they centralized it in 2005-ish.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! I was worried that I would have to find a certified teacher for the annual assessment. Now I can use the form letter you put up, LOL. So grateful!!

Darcie said...

I just moved back to Queens, NY after 7 years. The more I looked into homeschooling here the more I began to freak out. I came across you blog today and let me tell you it was a lifesaver. Thank you for all your valuable info. Are you part of a support group here, or can you recommend one?

Jeffrey Vasquez said...

Thank you for providing all of this content to parents. My wife and I have finally come to the conclusion that homeschooling could possibly be the best option for our children - and this is coming from a NYC public school teacher with over a decade of experience. Thanks again!

Renee said...

Would you recommend submitting separate LOI for each child or do you think that one letter stating each child's info is sufficient?

Thanks for your great information!

NYCitymomx3 said...

Hi Renee, I would definitely recommend a separate LOI for each child since it goes in their file.

Bobby Lundmark said...

I am in Jamestown NY - Anyone know what address I send the letter of intent to? I imagine it must be different than the one listed on the sample letter. I just figured out I had to send one in due July 1st! Well that's tomorrow :)

Anonymous said...

I am looking for books for my daughter who will be in Fourth grade. Im home schooling her Contact me at Babette65@stny.rr.com Thank you

NYCitymomx3 said...

Babette, When I tried emailing you I'm getting it bounced back with a message stating, "The user(s) account is temporarily over quota." Anyway, I don't believe you need anything super formal for that grade. Go to Barnes & Noble and find some interesting workbooks (some include all the major subjects), a book of science experiments, a book of poetry, and a few novels that you can read together and discuss. If you're working on the times tables, I highly recommend Times Tales (get it online). I love summer bridge books, too - I use them throughout the year. Bring your compliance letter to B&N and you get 20% off every time your shop there! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Stepping in the arena of home schooling . My child is entering 9th grade level. I will appreciate your help regarding what road to take. She had taken 2 regent exam with high 98 & 95 score. I'm going to get her take more regents if it any benefits to her. Please advise. This form is a life saver I was thinking about this for long time and after seeing you all doing thid gave me strength to do so.

Anonymous said...

Thank you this was very helpful!

Kate@StillRoomToGrow said...

We are a family temporarily moving to NYC (in October) for about 9 months for a job assignment for my husband. We are keeping our home in Wisconsin and since we are starting the school year off here I have submitted that we will be homeschooling in Wisconsin. My question is will I be considered a resident of NY and need to follow NYS laws too? Would love any insight you have thanks!

Stephanie I. said...

Hi,
I'm new to homeschooling, I just sent my letter of intent. my child is in first grade and I had him enrolled in a parochial school, How long after submitting the LOI can I pull him out of school? Should I wait to here back from the DOE? Or is a LOI sufficient enough for me to pull him out right away without any truancy issues?

Baileys2012 said...

so they had to be 6 by 12/31/15 to have to start reporting in august 2016?

Angela C said...

No, if they are 6 by 12/31/15 they would start officially homeschooling in the fall of 2015, so the initial paperwork (Letter of intent) should be sent between June and September of 2015. The first quarterly report should be sent sometime in November of 2015 (unless you choose a different schedule).

Monster Me said...

Sorry im still confused. My sons bday is 4/3/11. When will he need to start reporting then? Sept of 2017? Hell turn 6 april 2017

Angela C said...

Yes. You start reporting in the fall of 2017. He should be starting 1st grade then.

Willow said...

Hi I am new to homeschooling. This is the first year I have dropped off the LOI to the homeschooling office in the city. My son just turned 6 in June, 2016 and has been homeschooled the whole time. I live in Corona, Queens 11368. I was wondering if I have to notify my school district or was dropping off the LOI to the homeschooling office enough? How do I notify the school district? Will I be notified if my son is registered for homeschooling? Thank you.

Angela C said...

Hi Willow, You do not need to notify the school district. Giving your LOI to the homeschool office is all you need to do. Now just wait for your packet (regs and forms) and send in your IHIP (and metrocard form) by the end of August. Congratulations!

RandyM said...

I am so glad I found this blog!!! The fear of paperwork has been the biggest uncertainty I have had leading up to withdrawing my son from public school in the coming weeks. Your posts about the mandatory NYS paperwork have been the best resource I have found (and I have done exhaustive research it seems). I am excited to start un-schooling my 11 year old son and look forward to reading many more of your posts. First on deck in our new un-schooling journey is a trip to NYC to visit museums and see a Broadway show. Thank you so much for all of your work!