School district to drop home schooling program | February 16, 2018 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - February 16, 2018

School district to drop home schooling program

Teacher-guided study program offered field trips, oversight of academic progress

by Kevin Forestieri

Mountain View Whisman School District administrators are pulling the plug on a long-standing program that provided instructional oversight to home-schooling families in the district for more than 17 years.

This story contains 741 words.

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13 people like this
Posted by Parent in the ISP program
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 16, 2018 at 4:44 pm

My rebuttals to this totally inaccurate article-

“ recent years enrollment had dwindled to between 12-15 students”

FACT: In recent years the program has been capped at 15 students by the district, NOT because there has been lack of interest. In the past 5 years there have always been more than 15 students by the end of each school year since more children end up enrolling mid-year when their current school isn’t working for them. This year they wouldn’t allow any new students in, forcing us to have only 12 enrolled. At the beginning of the school year there was a 6 student wait list to get into the program, and there have been several more families trying to get in throughout the year.

“The current year’s budget for the program is $57,647...”

FACT: This number includes a raise that our teacher did NOT receive, and when she asked about it was told she isn’t eligible for that raise. This is a very small program cost overall, and would be even more cost effective if they allowed it to be at full enrollment capacity.

“We are the only ISP program of this kind in this area.”

FACT: Cupertino, San Jose, and Fremont all offer ISP programs. Isn’t the MVWSD proud to be so innovative and forward-thinking, to provide such awesome choice programs? How many neighboring districts offer a dual-immersion program like Mistral? How many offer a parent participation program like Stevenson PACT? Should we close those programs as well, since nobody else offers those exact programs?? Surely those schools cost MUST more to run. (Please note: I value those schools very much and do NOT want them to close, but the districts argument that they don’t want to offer the ISP because other nearby districts don’t is both a lie and senseless.)

“...but now there are plenty of easy-to-access resources from groups like the California Homeschool Network that render the ISP program redundant.”

FACT: We are aware of the other homeschooling options but chose this program specifically because it offers something unique. The other options aren’t community based, and they don’t offer a room to meet with other students regularly. There would be no option for exchanging valentines or taking field trips together with the same group of students, or taking art and science classes together and socializing. We are part of this school district and live in the same neighborhood and appreciate interacting with members of our community. No other programs offer this.

And, finally, there’s THIS:
“Lax oversight and enforcement of home schooling has been a hot-button issue in California following the arrest last month of two parents in Riverside County who allegedly imprisoned their 13 children in their home that was considered a private school under state home-schooling laws. The California Department of Education does not have the authority to inspect or oversee private schools, which some advocacy groups and lawmakers say is ripe for change.

Assemblyman Jose Medina, who represents Riverside area where the children were reportedly tortured and starved, said in a statement Jan. 17 that he was "extremely concerned" about the lack of oversight the state has in monitoring private and home schools. Medina said he plans to introduce a bill this year that would "provide a legislative solution and prevent a situation like this from occurring in the future."

FACT: By attending the ISP program the district can confirm the wellbeing of it’s students. Having more ISP programs like this would allow district employees to keep a closer eye to prevent another Riverside situation from happening. By closing the ISP program the district seems to be saying they do not value these students or their safety, since they want to push them away from the district and into private charter homeschool programs or private virtual homeschool programs, which have little oversight.

The presentation Dr. Rudolph gave to the Board Of Trustees was filled with even more inaccuracies. The board is making this decision without even having the correct information. This is unacceptable.

13 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Feb 16, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Respectfully, the district leaders reached the wrong conclusion.
They say the home school program is a "money loser and a service that it's not obligated by the state to provide." Both are true. And if one prioritized those factors, their conclusion is logical and right.

But if we prioritize MV's children and their diverse needs, home school is an important option to many families. The home school program provided a lot that virtual charters cannot, nor can some of these families safely send their kids to other schools. I find this decision heart breaking as an educator and parent who can relate. The cost saving was small, while the benefit for some of these families is life saving.

9 people like this
Posted by Homeschool advocate
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 16, 2018 at 10:42 pm

There are several ways to homeschool in California. One of the richest is in the small community based homeschool programs such as that of MVWSD ISP. While the district doesn't HAVE to fund programs such as this, it shows that it supports ALL students when it does. Children and families come to homeschooling for all kinds of reasons, but a big one is that families go through various medical, physical or psychological crises and that MVWSD has had a home for them over the years has been a good thing. It is a shame that MVWSD is ending its homeschool program. It appears that it is not following it's strategic plan to support all students.

Also It is not a money loser- It is an inexpensive way to serve children and families in need.

7 people like this
Posted by Too bad
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2018 at 1:41 pm

I had a friend who had a daughter in this program and I was always envious that MVWSD was more progressive than PAUSD for having this option. It's too bad that the current board is not as visionary. I'm sure that when I looked into it for my own child, that an inter-district transfer option was not promoted and this was back when it would have generated more revenue for the district. I'm pretty sure that there is more demand than the board is letting on. It really does seem that in the interest of children and families there should be more school district involvement, not less.

7 people like this
Posted by reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 20, 2018 at 5:33 pm

I agree it's a shame that MVWSD is closing this program and therefore not committed to serving the needs of ALL Mountain View children.

It doesn't sound like an expensive program, unless this ISP teacher is serving only 15 students. It sounds like a part-time position.

Actually this sounds like the kind of program that would be handled by the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

Finally, I'm not sure the story of the extremely abusive situation in Riverside county is relevant to this discussion. Child abuse unfortunately happens in wide range of circumstances. If this were a news story about, for example, a youth gymnastics program in MV, would the Voice mention the creepy Olympic doctor?

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