Friday, June 22, 2012

Robotics & Part-time Enrollment

My oldest son, a junior this year, participated in FIRST Robotics through a local high school. He loved it! At the end of the year, the mentor approached me and said he would need to enroll part-time  in order to continue to participate since the school requires students to take 3 classes to participate in a school club.


She didn't realize this at the beginning of the year when she recruited homeschoolers to join the club. When she did find out, she went to bat for the two homeschoolers on the team to allow them to continue. Thus, I didn't know about any of it until the year ended.

I am not particularly opposed to enrolling him part time, especially when she mentioned engineering courses that I definitely can't offer at home AND that those classes could earn college credit at a great STEM (Sci/Tech/Eng/Math) university. However, I will have no way of knowing which classes he can take until August or whether or not there will be room in these classes.

One consideration is that he needs to remain 51% homeschooled in order to participate on his homeschool varsity soccer team. I also don't really feel the need for him to take 3 classes when I already have his school schedule nearly set for his senior year.

He can't take calculus through the school unless he takes FOUR "core classes" since math is considered a core subject. At least that's the way I understand the plan.


I'm trying to find a way to request an exception to the 3 class rule so that he can continue to play for his fall soccer team and still participate in robotics.

Another consideration is that the engineering classes that would best fit him require prerequisites which he, of course, has not taken.  So, I'm also trying to find out if being a senior and having the experience of the robotics club might change which classes he were eligible to take.

A friend of mine that works with the virtual program is helping me think through some additional options. One is the homeschool partnership program; he could take 3 classes there on either Mondays or Thursdays.

I asked the superintendent for an exception for David and I was denied. However, he did give me a couple positive ideas. One is that students at that high school take 7 classes, so 3 classes is less than half-time. So, that's good. Another is that they are potentially adding a Robotics Engineering class (pending budget approval) that would require students to participate in the FIRST Robotics program, thus circumventing the other requirement to be half-time enrolled. A possible problem is that space in the class is first offered to full time students, of course.

A friend's son participates on a Robotics team that is affiliated with a local high school (farther away; perhaps 45 minutes!) that DOESN'T require homeschoolers to enroll. So, maybe that's an option. I do plan to ask the local school if they would consider exempting the FIRST program from the requirement, instead of just exempting David. But I don't have a lot of hope for that query.

1 comment:

Niffercoo said...

Getting caught up... they surely aren't making it easy on you. Any updates in the last week?