As many of your know, the Board of Regents just voted on a proposal to eliminate the need for an annual assessment for all homeschool students for the 2019-2020 school year. The proposal states:

(2-a) Due to the State of Emergency declared by the governor pursuant to an executive order for the COVID-19 crisis, students shall be exempt from the annual assessment and alternative evaluation requirements of this subdivision for the 2019-20 school year where a student otherwise achieves the learning outcomes in accordance with their IHIP.

According to the explanation that was provided to the Board of Regents and witnessed by HomeschoolNewYork/LEAH, Assistant Commissioner Coughlin stated that as long as a student was on pace with their IHIP as of March 15, then he or she would be considered to have achieved "the learning outcomes."

Most parents, however, do not itemize what they are doing in each quarter in their IHIP. Instead, they report what has been completed in each quarter based upon the educational program planned in their IHIP at the beginning of the year.

In our opinion, if you have done at least 80% of what your IHIP states that you intended to achieve, you will have easily demonstrated that your child was on pace as of March 15 to achieve the learning outcome laid out in the IHIP.

What This Means For You

This amendment provides homeschool parents greater flexibility in wrapping up their home instruction program for the 2019-2020 school year. They can now submit 1) test results, 2) the alternative written narrative evaluation, or 3) a statement that their child has achieved at least 80% (i.e. what he or she was on pace as of March 15 to complete) of all learning outcomes laid out in their IHIP.

We recommend as a best practice that parents submit their 4th quarterly report and one of the above options available for the completion of this school year.

If your child is in high school, especially a senior, it might be best to provide the alternative written narrative (or test results if you already have those).

While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the completion of the 2019-2020 school year will likely be felt for years to come, maintaining this type of documentation will put your student in the best possible footing.

Other Changes

In addition to the amendment to the annual assessment requirements, the Board of Regents has also adopted an exemption from the instruction day and/or hour requirement(s) of Section100.10 “where a home instruction program is unable to provide such instruction days and/or hour due to the state of emergency declared by the governor pursuant to…the COVID-19 crisis”

Finally, the Board of Regents also passed an exemption for the unit of study requirement of Section 100.10(e)(1). This exemption applies if the “student is unable to meet such unit of study requirement due to the state of emergency declared by the governor pursuant to an executive order for the COVID-19 crisis where such student otherwise achieves the learning outcomes of the portion of such unit of study completed.”

This will allow students to complete a unit of study in less than 6,480 minutes/108 hours of instruction as long at they have achieved the specific learning outcomes. This should apply for any students in 7th grade or higher.