Homeschool program in Valdez offers highest allotment
Program entering second year that caters to Valdez homeschool students
The homeschool program in Valdez pays the highest allotment to pay for education students at home – despite what you may read in the newspaper.
The board of education for Valdez City Schools got a good laugh Monday night at its regular meeting when board member Dr. Kathy Todd pointed out that two competing ads that appeared in the July 15 edition of the Valdez Star had a glaring discrepancy.
An ad placed by AKTEACH – the Kodiak-based homeschool program – claimed to offer the highest student allotment in Alaska. An advertisement place by the Valdez homeschool program (VHP) running on the opposing page of the same edition clearly states its program offers parents a significantly higher allotment.
The Valdez homeschool program – which caters exclusively to eligible Valdez students – offers $3,000 per student to pay for educational materials, regardless of grade level. The AKTEACH homeschool program pays only $2,000 for kindergarten students through third grade, $2,200 for fourth through eighth grade students and $2,600 for homeschooled high school students.
The Valdez program is open only to students that live in Valdez. The Kodiak program is open to students anywhere in Alaska.
“We just serve the people here,” Ruth Knight, the homeschool coordinator for Valdez City Schools, said Monday night.
Approaching its second year of operation, Knight presented a mini-report card to the board on the performance of the program after its first year.
The program got a late start at its launch at the beginning of the 2014/15 school year, but still managed to enroll 20 students.
Besides a higher allotment and face-to-face support that is available to students enrolled in the VHP as opposed to other homeschool programs available statewide, boosters of the Valdez program point out that it was created based on the advice and guidance of parents that were already homeschooling in Valdez.
This year, the district is hoping to attract a larger number of students to the program.
Knight said she recently visited with US Coast Guard families to reach out to the community of homeschoolers in that population.
“We were very well received we think,” she told the board of education.
Despite the newness of the VHP, Valdez City Schools is no stranger to accommodating homeschooled students.
For many years, the district has welcomed homeschooled students into its classrooms on a part-time basis and the district’s offerings of extra curricular activities.
VHP enrolled students are also welcome to what the district calls a blended program of study.
“We also afford the opportunity for a student to enter a “blended” program of study taking some classes at our schools and others at home,” Knight’s condensed report card said. “All VHP students are welcome and invited to join in any activity that is offered to our “brick and mortar” students.”
More information on the program can be found online at the district’s website or by contacting the administration office of Valdez City Schools.