Homeschooling families in Lapeer and adjacent counties now have a new option for enrichment and support: The Lapeer Homeschool Partnership (LHP). This innovative program, supported by Lapeer Community Schools, offers one-day-a-week elective courses for homeschooled students in grades 6-12.
To provide more information, LHP will host an open house on July 30 from 4-8 p.m. at the Cramton Campus, 1220 Lake Nepessing Road, Lapeer. Attendees can meet the staff and instructors as well as tour the facility. Light refreshments will be provided.
In contrast to private homeschool groups, the LHP is fully funded by the school district.Parents are not required to pay for or volunteer in the program. Students who participate in atleast one course are considered part-time students in the district. Through a provision known as a seat-time waiver,students areallowed to attend class only one day per week (Wednesdays in the Lapeer program) and completethe rest of their coursework under a parent’s supervision.
A key benefit students receive is the opportunity to participate in for-credit college courses through the school’s College on Campus dual enrollment program. Students (14 years old and above) are entitled to take courses tuition-free at Mott Community College and Baker Colleges; low-cost courses can also be taken through University of Michigan-Flint and Eastern Michigan University. Students can take a total of 10 classes under this program in high school, enabling motivated students to earn a year’s worth of college credits before graduation.
“This partnership offers homeschool students an impressive array of options previously unavailable to them or at a great cost,” said LHP Director Michon Perison. “Students who participate in the program are still considered homeschool students but with the added benefit of utilizing district resources.”
According to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, students who receive at least 51% of their instruction and all of their core classes from their parents will retain their status as homeschooled students under the law. Similar programs have been successful in other parts of the state without encroaching on parents’ rights – a homeschool partnership in Gull Lake reaches nearly 500 students each week.
The Lapeer Homeschool Partnership offers elective courses in art, clothing construction, choir, creative writing, and physical education including karate and dance.
“These courses are taught by community experts or certified teachers, all of whom have extensive experience in the their fields,” Periso said. “Many of our experts are well-known and trusted in the homeschool community.”
In keeping with the program’s enrichment focus, no core classes will be offered, and students will not receive grades or transcripts for their work.
While the current program is funded only for students in grades 6-12, activities will be offered for younger children concurrent with classes. Organizers expect to obtain state approval to extend the program to the younger grades in time for the 2015-2016 school year.
Lapeer Community Schools have lent their strong support to this program, devoting the former Cramton Elementary School entirely to the Homeschool Partnership. Students from Lapeer County as well as neighboring counties are eligible to participate.
Families who wish to learn more about the program, including a tour of the facilities, are invited to visit LHP on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Registration will be open throughout the summer.
For more information, contact Michon Periso, Program Director, at 810-358-6243 or visit lapeerhomeschoolpartnership.org.