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Waynesboro school board eyes homeschool participation policies

August 20, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The Waynesboro Area School Board on Tuesday hit some rough patches as it tried to steer its way toward resolving a father's request regarding driver-education courses.

Ultimately, the board decided to make special provisions for the Tremper family as the board embarks on developing new policies and revising existing ones regarding homeschoolers' participation in school activities.

John Tremper, of Mont Alto, Pa., asked last week if his 16-year-old daughter could take the driver-education course so the family can obtain an insurance discount. The homeschooled girl already has her driver's license.

Tremper said district administrators told him the teenager could take the printed materials home for studying, then complete the tests in front of the teacher after regular school hours. That, administrators said, would carry a $100 fee beyond the $15 assessed on all students by the state.

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The $100 fee "is frustrating to us because we pay school taxes," Tremper said last week.

"That money goes directly to the teacher," Interim Superintendent Gloria Walker said, explaining that the teacher would be proctoring thee tests outside his regular work hours.

The board agreed on an 8-1 vote to waive the $100 by asking the girl to study on her own time, then take the tests during the teacher's in-service days. Board member Chris Devers voted against the motion, saying he failed to see equality in the matter. Voting in favor were Stanley Barkdoll, Firmadge Crutchfield, Mindy Rouzer, Leland Lemley, John Fitz, Pat Heefner, Ed Wilson and K. Marilyn Smith.

Board members said they want to take time over the next few months to update their extracurricular activities policy to mirror new state guidelines, as well as decide whether homeschoolers can participate in individual classes.

The district has 180 students who are homeschooled, Walker said.

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