On March 21, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education ordered part of the Dover Area School District to be transferred to the Northern York County School District (NYCSD) as of July 1, 2021. There is a long, complicated backstory on that, but it’s not relevant to our story here.

Anyway, while working at top speed to get ready for the quickly approaching school year, NYCSD told the soon-to-switch Dover district homeschool families that they must “register” with NYCSD by May 14, and attend a meeting with school staff to “complete the full enrollment process.”

I contacted the NYSCD Superintendent Steve Kirkpatrick and explained that under Pennsylvania law, homeschoolers did not need to register, enroll, or attend a meeting. While state law contains requirements that apply when a family moves to a new district, there are no extra hoops to jump through when the school district itself moves.

Mr. Kirkpatrick quickly grasped the situation and immediately wanted to reassure area homeschoolers. He gave me this message to pass on:

Homeschool families currently residing outside the Northern York County School District (NYCSD) have no duty to file anything with, or send any information to, NYCSD. After the boundaries change on July 1, 2021, homeschool families living within NYCSD will be under the administrative responsibility of NYCSD and all items that need to be filed should be filed by sending them to:

James Beals, Assistant Superintendent, (717) 432-8691, ext. 1102, Northern York County School District, 650 South Baltimore St., Dillsburg, PA, 17019.

Feel free to contact Mr. Beals if you are unsure what district you will be living in as of July 1. My staff and I look forward to working with homeschool families who become part of NYCSD on July 1. Please disregard anything NYCSD has communicated that is inconsistent with anything above.

Dover district families can feel comfortable relying on Mr. Kirkpatrick’s statement and simply disregard the material NYCSD improvidently sent them a short time ago. I greatly appreciate his quick, collegial response to this unusual situation.

While it’s always important for families to submit an evaluator’s certificate by June 30, it’s even more important this year for the switching Dover district families. A certificate filed after June 30 could result in some unwelcome complications.