MOULTRIE, Ga. — How is the Dexter Mosely Act opening up opportunities for homeschooling families in Colquitt County? The Colquitt County School District addressed the home school community at a parent meeting Thursday night.
The Georgia General Assembly originally amended the Quality Basic Education Act when the Dexter Mosley Act passed in the 2021 legislative session.
“This legislation allows homeschoolers in grades 6 through 12 to participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities in the student’s resident public school system, requiring specific notice and course enrollment provisions,” said Angela Hobby, CCSD’s director of communications, in a press release.
Home study students must complete a “qualifying course” during any semester the student participates in extracurricular activities or clubs. The qualifying course may be an on-site course, including the course required to participate in the activity.
“If your child is going to play basketball or football, they’re likely going to take the course associated with that sport,” Allen Edwards, director of secondary education at CCSD, explained at the meeting. “If your child wants to sing in the choir or play in the band, he must take the choir course or the group course.”
Other qualifying course options are dual enrollment courses offered by Colquitt County High School at Southern Regional Technical College, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, or Valdosta State University. Online classes are offered through Edgenuity or Georgia Virtual School.
Edwards also told families about the eligibility requirements of the legislation.
The parent must provide the principal and superintendent with written notice of intent to participate in one or more extracurricular and/or interscholastic activities. They must also provide a copy of the student’s most recent annual progress report with evidence that the student is currently successfully completing each course, maintaining satisfactory progress toward advancement, and meeting the academic requirements for attendance.
“Like any other student who is going to participate in extracurricular activities, we need to make sure they are in good standing before we can allow them to come to campus,” Edwards said.
The home student must meet the age, academic, behavioral, residential, zoning, and other requirements applicable to all students participating in the activity. They must follow the same student code of conduct, disciplinary measures and transportation policies as students registered with the school who participate in the same activity.
“The student must do everything that a regular education student would do on campus. As far as trials, training and rehearsals, they have to go to all the competitions and exhibitions that anyone else would,” he said. “If we’re going to have a choir concert, your grade depends on your attendance at the concert. If you choose to ignore it, you will receive a lower grade, just like a [regular] the student would have.
A student who withdraws from a public school to participate in a home study program is ineligible to participate for 12 months from the date of submission of the Statement of Intent to Home Study.
Edwards said, “The state says [the student] must be registered for a full calendar year before being allowed to participate. If your child is in eighth grade and you have just decided that you want your child to be homeschooled and play football, they probably won’t be able to play because of this rule.
The fall 2022 homeschool deadline is August 3, 2021 and the spring 2023 deadline is January 4, 2022.
Amber Burkett, a homeschooled parent, was present at the meeting. She is currently homeschooling her three children in kindergarten, fourth and sixth grade.
She said her family chose home schooling because they enjoyed the freedom to learn in different environments and the freedom to focus on their Christian faith.
“We love freedom,” she said. “We love the opportunity to learn in depth with things that interest them.”
The main benefit she derived from attending the meeting was the support from the CCSD.
Burkett shared, “They have lots of people available in every school and every department to discuss the different options available and to help our kids succeed. It feels good to know that we have the support of our community and our school systems for homeschooled parents.
His children are currently active in 4-H, FFA, baseball, golf and cattle show.
“We were excited today to be able to see what opportunities there are now,” Burkett added. “Thank goodness homeschool families are participating in these after-school activities.”
These opportunities apply to Willie J Williams Middle School, CA Gray Junior High School, and Colquitt County High School.
For more information, please call CCSD Central Enrollment at 229-890-6200 or contact Edwards at email@example.com.