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June 26, 2006

Another School Assigns Grade Level

A Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Honolulu received a letter from their local public school principal stating that their son would not be allowed to be listed in the 2nd grade for the 2006-2007 school year. Knowing that this was the appropriate grade level for their son, Mr. and Mrs. Moreau* contacted HSLDA for help.

When Mr. and Mrs. Moreau submitted their notice of intent at the time their son turned 6, they had indicated that he was in kindergarten. However, various public school officials had told them that based on his grade level he would have to be listed in the 1st grade. At the time, Mr. and Mrs. Moreau thought they had to list their son in the 1st grade.

After reviewing the situation HSLDA quickly contacted the principal on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Moreau. Staff Attorney Tj Schmidt pointed out that under 18-12-13 of the Hawaii Administrative Rules the parent is to be responsible for the child’s total educational program. Additionally, Schmidt explained that Hawaii law requires the parent to indicate their child's grade level in the notice of intent as well as ensure that the curriculum they use takes into account the interests, needs, and abilities of the child.

This is now the second school to attempt to assign a grade level for homeschool students. In order to help resolve this issue on a statewide level, HSLDA has written a letter to the Hawaii Department of Education. We expect the Department to affirm our position and believe the Moreau family will have no further difficulties.

* Name changed to protect family's privacy.