During the Ava R-1 School Board Meeting last Thursday night, the board voted 4-3 to allow local homeschool students to join Ava R-1 bands and sports teams taking part in activities governed by the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA).
It’s not a free pass.
A homeschool student would have to:
Be enrolled in two seat-time classes at Ava schools for a total of at least one unit of credit in progress.
Be able to show that those classes, in addition to the rest of their homeschool workload, amounts to fulltime schooling.
Present transcripts, curriculums, portfolios, or other school materials to school officials for review (similar to the process of accepting a transfer student).
MSHSAA revised its previously-stricter rules for homeschooler involvement in 2017. The issue came before a previous Ava School Board and the board voted to not allow homeschooler involvement.
But it’s a new world.
COVID-19 has upset the applecart of normality. Schools that used to do only seated instruction suddenly find themselves offering a mix of instructional modes.
And for some, public schooling in 2021 doesn’t look that different from homeschooling.
I’ve mentioned before that we homeschooled our two children – all the way through.
Sports weren’t a huge focus for our family, so we never approached the local public schools to see if there were any options for our involvement.
Trying to research it now, some years later, it’s not clear whether we could have.
But I would have been frustrated if we couldn’t have. We paid our taxes to support the schools like everyone else. And we were able to take advantage of other school resources at other times.
I like the idea of homeschool students and public school students working together, playing on the same team, trying to achieve a common goal.
There are far too many “us vs. them” conflicts in our world.
More so lately, it seems.
I’m glad to see an effort to work together rather than continue to stay divided.
I know the process will have some bumps to smooth over.
Any new endeavor does.
But I’m betting it results in student friendships that didn’t exist before. I’m betting Ava staff will have a new appreciation for local homeschooling families. And I’m betting that local homeschoolers will find new appreciation for the people at Ava R-1 Schools.