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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.

When put on a performance of , freshman David Woods really would have liked to be in it. Heck, he'd have been happy just to get a chance to audition.

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 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.

David Vancina June 20, 2011 at 05:08 PM
Well, I think they made the wrong decision in this case, but I don't think they're corrupt. What I do think is that the centralized, top-down, government-directed model for funding and delivering education is outdated. Consequently, quality and cost are both moving in the wrong direction. I think there are parallels in the automotive industry. The difference is that Detroit has awakened to its structural disadvantage vs. global competition, and has begun to respond. Education has yet to do so.
Rebecca Wharrie June 20, 2011 at 05:45 PM
I have never known any part of the LW school district or it's board to be corrupt. I believe they made a decision for the district with the information they had and the opinions of the board. Whether we agree or not with the decision, they had the right to create the policy they have just as the parents have the right to homeschool their children. Raising teens and running a high school are both tough. Maybe the conversations that were started by this article will bring the issue to light again and home-schooled/part-time students will be given another chance to participate in extra curricular activities.
cmc August 27, 2011 at 04:18 AM
We've been in meetings with 210 for over a year just to get things they are legally obligated to provide to our child. The District may not be "deceitful" but they certainly push the envelope, use the "error of ommission" and avoid accountability of any kind in an intended, planned out manner. Refusing an in-District child, whose parents fund the school w tax $, to experience a school activity only because they're part-time homeschooled is discriminatory and unnecessary. This boy's participation would cause no inconvenience to anyone. The District is strictly "holding ground" for a reason that can't possibly be anything besides the three year-old mentality of "BECAUSE I WANT TO". Another example of their ridiculous motto .... "It's the Lincoln way or the wrong way". I'm embarrased to be part of a District that acts this way. We are gathering concerned parents who would like to share experiences and collaborate on ideas to provide a better educational experience for the kids who may not "meet the mold" this District values so much more than they care about educating and enriching the lives of ALL students in the district. Lawsuits, settlements, gag orders...we owe it to ourselves to know what's going on. You don't have to care but you should be aware. Feel free to contact me... especially if your child has an IEP. So sorry for this boy! Kudos to Summit Hill and kudos to his parents for realizing this District lacks something their child needs and providing it themselves!
cmc August 27, 2011 at 04:26 AM
contact educateALLourchildren@gmail.com if you'd like information or want to join our group.
cmc August 27, 2011 at 04:56 AM
contact ALL210KidsCount@gmail.com for information or to join us

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