“Oh, look! The school district included the NICHE IPI form in the information packet they sent me. I’ll just fill it out and send it in.”
Sounds simple; right?
And how nice that the school district used a NICHE form; right?
Not so fast. Let's take a closer look at the form.
A careful inspection of the NICHE IPI Response Form (above left) indicates that it includes spaces for only the information that is required by law for an IPI provider to give to the public school.
The form that was sent out by an Iowa school district (above right) was the 2013 version of the NICHE IPI form, and it had been altered. Under each line provided for the IPI student’s name, a school district staff person had typed in “DOB” (date of birth) and “GR” (grade) – neither of which are data required by law.
The NICHE copyright notification was left at the bottom of the form.
Some homeschooling parents in this district completed the altered form and submitted it before NICHE became aware of the situation.
Immediately, upon discovery of the altered form, NICHE contacted the school district. It required more than one communication attempt, but we did receive a response that the form had been changed back to the original format.
NICHE informed the school district that it should notify the parents who received the altered form that it was not the original NICHE form and that it had been changed to include requests for information that is not required under Iowa law.
When we asked the school district if this had been done, the superintendent replied that they had not contacted the parents who had received the altered copyrighted form. NICHE is taking steps to inform homeschooling parents in the school district about the altered form.
What can we learn from this?
- We cannot assume that everything we receive from the public school accurately reflects the current homeschool law and rules.
- We need to be well-informed as to the requirements for the homeschool legal option we select.
- We can use resources like the NICHE website Homeschool Options page to find details about homeschool legal options.
- We can be sure we’re using a genuine NICHE copyrighted form when we download it from the NICHE website Homeschool Forms page.