Start things off right... if your children are currently enrolled
in public school, you must notify the Northwest Regional ESD of your intent to homeschool by filling out the NW ESD Notification Form. It's also important to give the school a call and let them know that your children will not be returning.
You'll find this step by step guide to working with the district
helpful, especially if things start to get a little messy...
- You have the right to any information you require (district policies, your child's student files,
meeting minutes, etc.). Ask for copies from the district office or school.
- First, try to work things out with the staff. Then move on to the principal, the
superintendent and finally the school board.
- Keep all correspondence and phone calls positive and encouraging. You won't get very far
if you point fingers and demand results.
- Document the steps you take and keep everything in chronological order.
- Be very clear and state the results you want.
- Avoid writing letters to the editor. You may alienate
the very people who can help resolve your concerns.
- If you decide to take your issue to the school board, do your homework ahead
- Contact each board member by phone. Tell them who you are and what you want and ask for
their support. This gives you advance notice about what to expect at the meeting and helps prepare the board members
for the upcoming discussion. If you can gain support from 3 of the 5 board members, you have a very good chance for
a positive outcome.
- Contact the board secretary and ask her to place your item on the agenda for the next
board meeting. This step is very important! Only items on the agenda may be voted on during the meeting.
(There is a portion of the meeting that is set aside for public comment and you will have your time to speak. The
board chairman will thank you and move on to the next person.) If there isn't time to be placed on the agenda,
you can ask a supportive board member to make a motion to add it to the agenda for discussion during the meeting.
- Provide copies of all supporting data to the board members, the superintendent, the
board secretary and the press.
- If there are other people who have the same issue, work together as a group. This
is very powerful.
- During the board meeting, show support of people who speak out in favor of your issue by clapping
and cheering in a polite manner.
- If you find your temper flaring up, step out of the room until you can gain your composure.
- It sometimes takes many months for the board to make a decision. Persistence is the key.
Go to every board meeting and work session until your issue is resolved. And always stay after
their executive sessions... they sometimes will vote on issues at the end of the evening.
- If all else fails... get your pen out and let the community know of your concerns.
Then, try again in a few months or a year.
- Persistence, Persistence, Persistence!
For additional help and advice on working with the district contact former board member Kate
When you approach the school board, remember the fruitcake law as
you plan your presentation:
1 person = a fruitcake
2 people = a fruitcake
and a friend
3 people = troublemakers
5 people = let's have a meeting
10 people = we'd better
25 people = our dear friends
50 people = a powerful organization