Meeting Minutes - ROE, NSHEA, HEMS Tuesday October 4, 2011.Present: Dr. Lowe (Regional Education Officer,) Lisa Pattison (NSHEA,) Stephanie and Jeff Jackson (HEMS.) This was a very genial and informative meeting. Dr. Lowe has a positive and supportive attitude towards home education. Dr. Lowe presented us with statistics on Home Schoolers in Nova Scotia.
He has agreed to attend an hour-long information session at the Spring Homeschooling Conference being held on June 9th, at the Lake Echo Fellowship Church on Mineville Road. http://www.hems-ns.ca/2012_conferenceThe following is a summary of topics discussed:Reports/Evaluations:
- The currently registered number of home schooled students in Nova Scotia is 983. (Approximate figures for public and private schools are 123,000 and 1000 respectively.)
- Breakdowns for home schoolers in the province were also provided by school district and grade level. Annapolis: 226; Cape Breton: 25; Chignecto Central: 194; Halifax: 363; South Shore: 59; Straight: 35; Tri-County: 62; Francophone: 14.
- Dr. Lowe reported that the evaluations he receives from parents are generally positive.
- He reviews these reports and files them. http://homeschooling.ednet.ns.ca/resources/forms
- In rare instances, he notes negative comments or difficulties. In cases which warrant, he refers the family to student services for consultation to determine if the child could benefit from public school assistance. Very few students are referred. This year he believes there were 4.
- He appreciates seeing anecdotal reports of the student’s progress rather than just a list of books used.
- These reports do not follow the child to school if they attend, unless requested or approved by the parents.
Integration or re-entry to public school:
- Dr. Lowe feels that the program plans submitted by parents are reasonable and thoughtfully prepared.
- He sometimes receives questions from parents regarding the availability of curriculum materials. Currently it is up to the parents to research and select their own curriculum. They are free to follow the public school program curriculum and outcomes (http://homeschooling.ednet.ns.ca/resources/curriculum) however text books and other support materials are not available at this time.
- In the case of families struggling to provide a home education where English is a second language, he suggests using the correspondence program available through the Department of Education. http://csp.ednet.ns.ca/courses.shtml
- Dr. Lowe should be your first line of contact if you decide to integrate your child into public school. http://homeschooling.ednet.ns.ca/contact_info
- He will assist you and the school to understand each other and to create an appropriate transition into public school.
- Guidance counsellors can sometimes be unfamiliar with homeschooling and need his assistance to understand how to accept the students. There has been reported trouble in the past with High Schools accepting homeschooled students, to avoid this problem, contact Dr. Lowe for assistance.
Post Secondary Acceptance:
- Part-time studies are available for home schoolers who would like to participate in the public system. This is at the discretion of the school. If the application to attend is made before the start of the school year, the school will receive provincial grant money, which is a substantial figure: in the ball-park of $10000 per child. This means it is crucial to look for part-time studies before the school’s population is submitted for provincial grant funding.
- A portfolio of work and transcripts of grades is useful when making application to post secondary institutions. SAT tests are recommended when looking for scholarships.
- Universities are generally amenable to accepting home schoolers, and they each have their own policy for their acceptance. Applicants should consult the admissions department for their universities of choice in the year prior to application.
- Dr. Lowe informed us that, according to analysis done by universities, home educated students in Nova Scotia applying for acceptance to university rank alongside students from the top high schools in the province.
- Community College can be more difficult to gain acceptance to, but each campus has their own method. Stephanie Jackson reported that Akerly campus offers a GED-type equivalency test which they administer to assess home schoolers looking for admission.
- Currently the Public School Program (PSP) plan is available online. There is a long-term project underway which will include classroom resources for teachers, lesson plans and mapping. This would be available to the public but the project is still in it’s infancy.
- The Essential Graduation Learnings are available in the PSP. http://homeschooling.ednet.ns.ca/resources/curriculum
- Students requiring Special Education Assistance must be registered in the public school system in order to receive support.
- Correspondence studies are available for public school programs beginning (on a limited basis) in Grade 7. http://csp.ednet.ns.ca/courses.shtml
- In Grade 12 Public School students write provincial Math and English exams. Dr. Lowe said that if parents are interested in having their grade 12 student write these exams they should contact him directly. http://homeschooling.ednet.ns.ca/contact_info