D210 Says Homeschooled Kids Can't Join Extracurriculars
The Woods family, of Frankfort, asked Lincoln-Way to reconsider its policy, but the school board voted Thursday to keep its programs open just to full-time students.
But because he takes most classes at his Frankfort home, enrolled only part-time in choir and band at North, Woods was told this year that he can't participate in extracurricular activities, most notably the jazz band. On Thursday, the District 210 Board of Education reasserted its position that only full-time students may be involved.
“I really wanted to (be in the musical)," Woods said Wednesday at his home. "It’s the first musical I ever saw and it has a soft spot in my heart. Even if they didn’t want to cast me, I would have liked to audition just to see where I stand. It was disappointing."
In January, Woods' father, Tim, asked the school district to reconsider its policy. The board delegated the matter to the District 210 Advisory Committee, which includes students, administrators and citizens. The committee recommended that the board uphold its policy, which it did unanimously.
"The decision was not easy to make," board member James Gast said. "It’s hard to turn down a student wanting to be in an activity. But at the same time, my feeling is … we would open up a lot of additional problems. It is a privilege to be involved in extracurricular activities. It is not a right."
The Woods family prefers homeschooling because of the one-on-one instruction, but they like using the schools for classes the family can't offer, such as band or chemistry. They'd like to use the clubs and organizations, too, which David did at Summit Hill Junior High when he played in the jazz band there.
"We still see ourselves as taxpayers who don’t have access to the resources our taxes are paying for," Tim Woods said. "If you ask any educator worth his salt, he’ll say it’s important to educate the whole person, not just the mind. The extracurricular activities are just as important."
With four more children after David, Tim Woods said he'll continue to ask the district to reconsider its policy.
"We can work on this for the next 14 years," he said.