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We are home-schooled and the local HS refuses us to take AP exams!

homeschoolers2homeschoolers2 18 replies7 threads Junior Member
Sadly, I just received a message from our local HS to refuse us to register my students for AP exams. I am not sure if it is legal to do so since we have contributed our property tax to the school as well. My concern is that they will not let us register my student to take PSAT either. Their reason is that they only take those who enroll in their AP classes. Do you have any idea what I should do? Thanks!
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Replies to: We are home-schooled and the local HS refuses us to take AP exams!

  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3636 replies13 threads Senior Member
    It seems like the College Board has contact information to inquire about locations for AP testing for independent students.

    The advice is to "think about how far you’re willing to travel to take your AP Exams. Then, by March 1, contact AP Services for Students to get information about nearby AP coordinators." 888-225-5427 (toll free in U.S. and Canada) 212-632-1780 or [email protected]

    https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap-exam-opportunities-homeschoolers-and-students-whose-schools-dont-offer-ap.pdf
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  • homeschoolers2homeschoolers2 18 replies7 threads Junior Member
    College Board states in their website to contact local HS. I contacted the local HS for next year AP exams, not this year. Thank you for very informative links.
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  • planitplanit 184 replies3 threads Junior Member
    This is a regular problem on HS boards on which I've been a member, but nearly everyone eventuallymanages to secure a place. My then-homeschooler was permitted to test at the local high school, but it is VERY school-specific (and not even county BOE-specific; it varies within the district). I called the school, asked for the counseling office and then for the AP coordinator's contact information. It was apparently her decision, so don't just call the receptionist or ask the first person who answers the phone, as that is a sure "no." If your zoned HS will not let you, keep calling until you find someone who does. Also try private and hybrid schools; a lot of parents have had better luck there. If you are networked with other homeschoolers in your area, find out where they test. And if you are calling about 2021, be sure they know that. As was noted above, you're pretty late for 2020.
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  • CreeklandCreekland 6495 replies92 threads Senior Member
    We had luck with a Catholic High school in a nearby town. Not only did they allow my guy to test there, they even allowed him to take a test for a class they didn't offer and they did this at no cost to us (well, we paid for the test, but no fee on their end). We're not even Catholic. Needless to say I have a lot of respect for folks at that school...

    The school where I work (public high school) didn't have AP tests for a short bit when my kids were at that age, then they allowed homeschoolers to take them for a couple of years, but now they do not as higher "Powers That Be" within the school felt it was unfair for folks to homeschool but use the school for such things. I quite honestly wish we could skip paying school taxes considering how "unfair" it is. (It's not a capacity issue.) When my kids were at the correct age they could take the PSAT at school. It's just a different mindset in charge now. I really wish someone would take them to court over it TBH, esp since PA requires homeschoolers to be allowed to play sports, etc, but my kids have graduated college now so that person isn't me. I see no difference between being allowed to play sports and allowed to test.

    Public schools should be for the entire public whether they take classes there or not. If you pay taxes to the district, you should be able to have access to the district with what they offer.

    That said, check with some private schools near you. They are often friendlier. (My lad had to adhere to their dress code, but that wasn't a big deal at all.)
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  • shuttlebusshuttlebus 615 replies1 threads Member
    . I am not sure if it is legal to do so since we have contributed our property tax to the school as well. My concern is that they will not let us register my student to take PSAT either. Their reason is that they only take those who enroll in their AP classes. Do you have any idea what I should do? Thanks!
    Check the laws in your state. In my state, homeschoolers have the right to take any national test that is offered at the public school. Good luck
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  • rosemaryandthymerosemaryandthyme 111 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I'm so sorry to hear that they aren't accommodating. I'd be very annoyed, as a taxpayer, to not have this service provided. I know our school accommodates homeschoolers' APs as a matter of course. Depending on how much you want to push, you could contact the principal of the school, your school board rep, the superintendent-- or even your local state delegate. Are you part of a local homeschool group that could advocate for this together?
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  • homeschoolers2homeschoolers2 18 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I contacted the gentleman whose name was listed to be in charge of AP exam of this local HS. He emailed me back with the solid answer NO so I am sure he is the one. He is an assistant principal. According to the CB site, I need to wait until next September to ask for a list of AP coordinators who are willing to take outside students. It mean that I will have to drive far from where we live vs very close-by local HS. The test fee is expensive to us so if we are not into studying, we would not spend money to test.
    I wish people in the education field have a better service attitude towards those who love learning and are willing to take higher challenges so that we do not have to jump many hoops.
    Our state law does mention PSAT/NMSQT for home-schoolers taking the test at local HS but I could not find any info on AP exams.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77940 replies3487 threads Senior Member
    The AP rests were given during our school day and only students enrolled in the AP courses at our school were allowed to take these exams.

    Re: PSAT...and SAT. One of our kids wanted to take the PSAT as a 10th grader (our school didn’t do that), and could not find a site that would allow her to do so.

    Both of our kids took the SAT twice. Once was at a nearby high school...but the second time they had to drive almost an hour to get to a site for this test. And no, they didn’t wait until the last minute...but our schools are small and every school doesn’t have the exams on all dates.

    You should not have an issue registering for the SAT at a site not in your town. Hopefully you can just do it at the local high school. You kid won’t be the only one who has to drive...if that is the case.

    Also, our kids registered for the AP tests long before the end of February, IIRC. Maybe I’m remembering wrong!
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1957 replies13 threads Senior Member
    We tried yesterday to have my kid take the PSAT10 in the Spring. Called the College board (what a waste of time). They couldn't even give me the name of schools in the state. What a goat rodeo. Decided to just forget it.
    Why don't they have testing centers like they do for the SSAT? Pay your money and you go. Who wants to call admin at various schools.
    Glad my kids' school has all the AP's taken there.
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  • homeschoolers2homeschoolers2 18 replies7 threads Junior Member
    My kids took SAT at age 12 and 13 and they got 1440. They change to ACT because they like the structure of ACT and they feel that they are more challenged by ACT (more questions, separate science section, etc.) Since all the colleges have no preference, I let them decide. We have no problem to register them to take SAT or ACT directly. I wish College Board will change and we can do the same with any other type of national tests. That is when we really encourage kids / families to spend time in learning instead of doing unnecessary things (like calling and wait for hours, talking to local HS as if they are doing us a favor etc.)
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  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1218 replies3 threads Senior Member
    Because of security reasons, our high school does not allow non-students on school property during educational hours with few exceptions. And, those exceptions involve visitors who cannot interact with the students. Even parents coming to the school to meet their students must do so in the front office and then leave. Thus, there is no way to accommodate outside students taking tests with enrolled students.
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  • CreeklandCreekland 6495 replies92 threads Senior Member
    Because of security reasons, our high school does not allow non-students on school property during educational hours with few exceptions. And, those exceptions involve visitors who cannot interact with the students. Even parents coming to the school to meet their students must do so in the front office and then leave. Thus, there is no way to accommodate outside students taking tests with enrolled students.

    Working within a school, this is definitely not true. When our school had homeschoolers taking AP tests they took them in a meeting room in the Guidance Office - not with the other students. It required a proctor, but that was it. For the PSAT they took them with other students - no problem at all since they had IDs, etc. All checked in at the office first as does any other visitor (speakers for classes, etc).

    Some schools spout hogwash. There are always workarounds, though this is likely why it needs to be challenged in court to get them to do a workaround. If the student's family pays taxes to the district they are entitled to benefits from the district. The school should be happy to be getting the bulk of their tax money for "free" IMO. The little bit required for a proctor is meaningless.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77940 replies3487 threads Senior Member
    @Creekland yes, the family pays taxes...but it’s their choice not to use the public school for schooling.

    Our schools are small. There sometimes isn’t sufficient space for our kids to take things like the SAT at our home high school. Like I said, my kids had to drive an hour away for one sitting of the test...and it was to a huge suburban high school that could accommodate additional folks.

    As you know...schools can’t just open an additional room, and add an additional proctor just because they feel like it. This all has to be approved by the college board...and the proctors (where I am) receive very specific training on the administration and security of these tests.

    Our schools did their AP test planning for students taking the courses in October...it’s when we had to send in payment.

    Maybe the bigger issue here is timing...the family might have had better success for this year administration if they started asking in the fall.
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  • rosemaryandthymerosemaryandthyme 111 replies4 threads Junior Member
    OP said, "I contacted the local HS for next year AP exams, not this year. " She's looking ahead to 2021 in a very responsible manner.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 5175 replies20 threads Senior Member
    State funding of public schools is traditionally tied to enrollment. Here in CA, state funding for public schools is tied to attendance.
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  • thumper1thumper1 77940 replies3487 threads Senior Member
    edited February 20
    Well..if it’s for spring 2021, she has a year to work it out for these exams...someplace.

    Time to find out what other homeschoolers do in this situation.

    Reach out to the higher school administration and ask them.
    edited February 20
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3217 replies73 threads Senior Member
    I found out yesterday that our local community college offers AP, ACT, and SAT testing. Who knew! Perhaps you could look into that as an option?

    Our high school is pretty liberal about letting anyone take AP tests IF they only require the proctor and the exam booklet. If the test requires "artifacts" (AP CSP), or playing/composing/listening to music (AP Music Theory), or any kind of project or research submission, then no deal (unless you are enrolled in the high school's AP class).
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  • homeschoolers2homeschoolers2 18 replies7 threads Junior Member
    I also read in College Board that home-schoolers have our own code so the school does not have anything to do with our test scores. We pay chunk of high property tax to the local schools. I also asked if they allowed me to enroll my students in their AP classes so that they could take AP exams next year (because they said they only allowed students in their AP classes to take the tests). We are willing to take any assessment tests, if they require. They simply do not reply my email. For a side information, my students contacted the local elementary and middle schools to volunteer to tutor kids from low income families who are struggling in Math /Science/ English (my students are qualified with credentials to do this) but they refused but welcomed local high school students to volunteer to read for the kids!!! Simply because kids at HS need volunteer hours! They do not seem to welcome true volunteers who want to serve, to make a change. They do not seem to support home-schooled students in my area. Do you think making appointment with the Principal to ask for next year AP exams permission will do any good?
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  • thumper1thumper1 77940 replies3487 threads Senior Member
    You can ask the principal, but really the superintendent or assistant might be a good option too. This sounds like district policy, and the HS principal can’t waive that.
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