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July 27, 2015

Homeschoolers Can Skip the ISTEP

Staff Attorney Tj Schmidt answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Indiana. He and his wife homeschool their children.

This spring, HSLDA was contacted by a family who had been told by a local public school principal that their 7th-grade daughter would have to participate in upcoming Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP).

The family’s daughter took a choir class at the school in order to participate in the school’s basketball and track programs. The family was told that while the ISTEP testing would be completed at a time of day prior to her class, the fact that she would be on the school campus on testing day necessitated that she be tested as soon as she arrived instead of going to her choir class. The family was further told that while their daughter could stay home on the days of the ISTEP testing, her absences would affect her grades in choir and would also prevent her from going to her basketball and track practices.

HSLDA Staff Attorney Tj Schmidt spoke with the family and informed them that the school was not properly stating the ISTEP requirements pertaining to homeschoolers. Home education students are not required to take the ISTEP.

After additional communication between the family, the school district, and the Indiana Department of Education, the family was given confirmation by the school district’s superintendent that the family’s daughter would not have to take the ISTEP. The teen was able to attend her class and continue her participation with the school’s athletic programs.

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