Daily Herald
District 301 revising home-school sports policy
By Kerry Lester | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 3/5/2010 9:29 AM | Updated: 3/5/2010 9:30 AM

The Central Unit District 301 school board is considering revising its policy that allows home-schooled students within attendance boundaries to play on sports teams.

While Superintendent Todd Stirn doesn't foresee droves of families taking advantage of the option, he has expressed concerns about the issue.

"We live in an age of greater accountability all the time. I fully support a family's right to home school. But to give it proper oversight on our part? I believe we'd be overstepping our bounds."

The current policy calls for decisions to be made on a case-by-case basis, and is what Stirn calls "unclear."

Following a family's petition to have its child play on the Central High School basketball team last fall, the board began discussing a clarification to its policy.

The Illinois High School Association gives individual districts a fair amount of wiggle room in deciding how much access to provide to home-schooled students looking to play sports.

The IHSA handbook states the a student must have 20 hours of work approved by the school. The student must also "be granted credit for the work taken either at the member school or in a program it approved."

The policies in districts surrounding District 301 vary.

Elgin Area School District U-46, for example, only allows students enrolled full time in one of their schools to participate in sports.

Batavia District 101 does not allow teams with tryouts and cuts to take on home-schooled students, Associate Superintendent Jan Wright said.

District 301 board members are currently reviewing several policy options, from very strict to very lenient, Stirn said.

They will vote March 15.