POLICY STATEMENT

Issued October 2019

This policy statement provides information on various aspects of enrollment in the FreedomHill Fellowship Ministry (FHFM) Homeschool Umbrella group.  As a member of our group you are responsible for knowing the contents of this statement and to follow them accordingly.

MARYLAND HOME INSTRUCTION COMAR:  

Maryland Regulations Code Title 13A.10.01The Home Instruction COMAR requires each family enrolled in an oversight program to:

  • Initially sign a statement on a form prescribed by the State Department of Education “which shall be submitted to the local superintendent at least 15 days before beginning of a home instruction program,

  • “notify…the nonpublic school or institution (FHFMU) if a change occurs in the homeschool status of a child during the school year.

  • Upon application of a child for admission to a public school from a home instruction program, the local superintendent shall determine by an evaluation the placement of the child and any credits to be awarded toward high school graduation.

  • This evaluation may include administration of standardized tests and examinations and interviews with the child.” (Reference Title 13A.10B(2) and B(4) and Title 13A.10.04, respectively).

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ENROLLED FAMILIES:  

Families enrolled in the FHFMU group must:

  1. Comply with Maryland Regulations Code Title 13A.10.01 pertaining to Home Instruction as noted above for all enrolled children of compulsory attendance age (i.e. age five by September 1st until attainment of age 18. 

  2. Comply with FHFMU requirements as listed herein for all enrolled children of age five and above.  FHFMU reserves the right to add and/or modify these requirements for one or all enrolled families in any way without notice.

  • Submit enrollment form and renewals by established deadlines;

  • Notify FHFMU immediately of any change in email address, mailing address, or telephone number.

  • Engage in enrollment conference (by FHFMU or a partner organization) for newly enrolled families only;

  • Provide regular and thorough instruction to their children.  NOTE: there is no requirement in the COMAR for a specific number of days or hours of yearly instruction;

  • Address the following subjects in a regular and thorough manner over the course of the student’s K-12 education.  English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Music, Art, Physical Education, and Health.

  • Promptly respond to communications from FHFMU when scheduling review dates and other consultations.

  • Engage in annual review by established deadline;

  • Complete Annual Review form for each enrolled child and submit it to FHFMU by the established deadline;

  • High School students:  For those families wishing to obtain a Certificate of Graduation from FHFMU, the family must be willing to participate in the Thesis Program (see Graduation section under ENROLLMENT INFORMATION below) and either: 1) meet with the FHFMU Homeschooling Coordinator for the annual review for two years, or 2) enroll during diploma year, complete the FHFM annual review, and provide documentation as to accomplishments during the two (2) years prior to the enrollment year.

FHFMU RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. FHFMU will provide oversight services in accordance with the Maryland Home Instruction COMAR.  In this regard, FHFMU is properly registered with the Maryland State Department of Education as a non-public entity qualified to oversee home instruction programs.

  2. FHFMU will provide an explanation of the legal requirements of the Maryland Home Instruction COMAR to enable members to meet the requirements of the law.

  3. FHFMU will report on an annual basis and as needed throughout the school year all enrollments and withdrawals to the county of residence of each member family.

  4. FHFMU will make available enrollment conferences for all newly enrolled families.

  5. FHFMU will issue enrollment verification letters to each family stating the names of their enrolled children.

  6. Per Maryland regulations, FHFMU cannot enroll children that are under age five by September 1 of the school year.

  7. FHFMU will provide an annual review anytime from April 1st to June 1st during the school year at designated dates and locations.  Families requiring a review conducted outside of the designated dates and locations will be charged an addition $25.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Enrollment:  The FHFMU Homeschooling Coordinator or partner organization will conduct an enrollment conference.  Enrollment conferences should be conducted within two weeks of FHFM receipt of enrollment whenever possible.  

Annual reviews:  Annual reviews are to be conducted anytime from April 1st to June 1st of the school year.  The parent must return the Annual ReviewForm to FHFM by June 1st.  Families must make arrangements with the FHFMU Homeschooling Coordinator to conduct the review in the required timeframe.  Failure to participate in an annual review may be cause for immediate termination of FHFMU enrollment.  It is the responsibility of the family to ensure they participate in an annual review as scheduled. 

Annual Review Form:  The parent of each child enrolled in FHFMU must complete the Annual Review Form.  Instructions are included with the form.  The form must be returned to FHFMU by June 1st.   It is the responsibility of the family to retain a copy of their completed form(s) for their files.

Renewal:  Families that wish to renew with FHFMU must send their renewal and payment to FHFMU preferably by August 1st.

Withdraw:  Students who are withdrawn from FHFMU will be reported to the family’s county school system by FHFMU as required by COMAR.

Graduation:  There are no federal, state or county curricular or graduation requirements for homeschool students.  The requirements of the State of Maryland or any Maryland county school system are binding only upon the students enrolled in public schools.  What each family does for their own child(ren) should be based on his/her needs, interests, aptitudes, and abilities, as well as his/her career aspirations.

To receive a Certificate of Graduation from FHFMU, each child must complete a thesis that will be presented to a committee the spring of graduation. The thesis will answer the question: “How do you feel prepared to be an effective adult in the larger community?”.  Diploma candidates will be assigned an advisor and committee dedicated to the process.  Students defend their prepared Thesis before a diploma committee composed of three people (one of which is a member of FHFMU) and any of the student’s peers or family who wish to attend. 

Privacy of Records:  FHFMU does not disclose any information about your family to anyone except in the form of enrollment and withdrawal records sent to the county boards of education each year as required by the State of Maryland Home Instruction COMAR.  No other records will be released to anyone or any agency without your express request and or approval to do so.

Copyright FreedomHill Fellowship 2014. Designed by Blair Donald.