Q. I have been told that I should teach and submit only what is required by the law and that is language arts and math. I can teach other subjects, but I don’t have to list them. Is this correct?
A. I know this can be confusing. Let me explain the difference between submitting test scores and providing a description of curriculum.
When you provide a standardized achievement test for end-of-year testing, you are required to submit a composite score in or above the 4th stanine (23 percentile or higher). A composite score is usually made up of language arts (LA) and mathematics. These are known as the core subjects. History and science are typically not included in the composite, and this is acceptable with superintendents.
LA and math are made up of several sub-tests or smaller sections that your students should take as part of LA and math. LA may include sections for reading, word analysis, vocabulary, mechanics, and spelling. Math may include math computation and word problems. The names of these sections differ depending on the test you administer. Made sure your child completes all the related sub-sections. The only parts of the test you do not have to administer are the history and science sections. Omitting these sections does not lower the composite score.
Submit a copy of the score report to your division superintendent with a composite or core score by August 1 after each year of home instruction.
Description of Curriculum
A description of curriculum should be included with your Notice of Intent form. A description of curriculum is limited to a list of subjects you plan to teach during the coming school year—ALL the subjects you plan to teach. You may list the names of subjects such as language arts, math, history, science, art, Bible, music, PE, etc. There is no reason to limit the list to only language arts and mathematics. The subject list along with your Notice of Intent form should be submitted to the superintendent no later than August 15 each year.
A description of curriculum is not related to the achievement test composite score. Your description of curriculum lists ALL the subjects; your test report includes only the composite score for language arts and mathematics (and their related sub-tests). Although everything—the NOI, list of subjects, and score report–could be submitted at the same time (August 1) if you choose, they are two different things.
Please call me at the HEAV office at 804-278-9200 if I can provide further clarification.