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January 12, 2006

School Denies Grade Levels Chosen by Parents

A Home School Legal Defense Association member family recently moved to Mililani and submitted their notice of intent letter to the local middle school. A short time later the Wright family (not their real name) received a response back from the public school principal disputing the grade levels they had indicated in their letter.

The principal stated that based on the Wright children's date of birth they should be instructed at different grade levels than the parents had selected. Since Mr. and Mrs. Wright did not want to have their children "repeat" a grade level that they had already completed, they immediately contacted HSLDA for help.

HSLDA Staff Attorney Thomas Schmidt quickly contacted the Mililani Middle School on behalf of our member family and defended their right to determine their children's grade level placement. Schmidt reminded the principal that the parents are to indicate the child's grade level in their notice of intent and that it is beyond the principal's authority to "assign" a grade level contrary to that chosen by the parents.

Additionally, Hawaii law requires the educational program to be based on the needs of the child and their abilities. If the Wright family were to place their children in the grade levels indicated by the public school principal they would be ignoring the abilities of their own children.

HSLDA is confident that the public school principal will drop all objections to the grade levels chosen by Mr. and Mrs. Wright for their children.