The many options and requirements for a part-time student
Asbill: ‘That is always the parent’s choice’
With the school year quickly approaching, local school districts hope to inform residents of part-time student requirements and participation.
Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, said for Cassville, a parent can choose to have a students attend part-time.
“That can be for a variety of reasons,” he said. “It could be a medical reason or that they do a homeschool experience but want the child to participate in certain portions of public school.”
Asbill said most of the time, a part-time student will be high school age, but there have been middle school-age students in the past.
“What occurs is that you have a student that enrolls part-time, let’s say instead of being here all day, they are here for a half a day,” he said. “If a student attends a half day, the school district will receive funding based on that half day of attendance.”
Asbill said naturally the school would receive more funding if the student was enrolled for a full day.
“If the student is here 100 percent of the time for half a day, or 100 percent of the time all day, the divider is the same,” he said. “So, if I am here all day-half day, then my attendance percentage is still 100 percent for 50 percent attendance.”
Asbill said then the district would get what the state calls the ADA reimbursement based on attendance.
“Of course, we would want our students here all day in full-time attendance,” he said. “But, that is always the parent’s choice for public education, and we completely respect their decisions in those areas.”
Asbill said there are activities that Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHAA) puts participation criteria into place.
“A lot of schools in southwest Missouri will say based on MSHAA qualification for participation, you have to be enrolled in four core areas,” he said. “There are times when a student says that they only want to participate in football or basketball. We currently don’t have that exception if the student isn’t enrolled in at least part of the day.”
Asbill said those thing have been brought up in the past legislatively.
“But, the issue is how does the district regulate and provide an extra-curricular student based opportunity if the child isn’t participating as a student,” he said. “That becomes challenging to administer those types of exceptions, and that is why we look at MSHAA for guidance and say the student has to at least participate in a certain portion or be enrolled as a student for a certain portion of the day to have access to our extracurricular programs.”
Asbill said as a general summarization in the state of Missouri, the superintendent can neither help nor hinder the homeschool experience.
“Homeschool parents are required to inform the district that they are going to homeschool their school-age child,” he said. “This is because of the compulsory age attendance requirements that the state has. The parents are at least obligated to notify the district that they are providing the child a homeschool experience.”
Asbill said at that point, he as a superintendent cannot help the parent with the homeschool experience.
“I cannot provide the parent with resources or give books that are paid for by tax dollars for that private experience,” he said. “If a student that comes to the district and says they want to take band, a college English class and a science class, we can enroll them in part of the day for those courses, but the student has to take those opportunities when the district offers them.”
Asbill said the student has to take the class whenever it is scheduled, so they cannot take a 2 p.m. class at 9 a.m.
“Another change to that over the last few years is the accessibility to online classes,” he said. “Technology is impacting the traditional view of coming to the campus and taking a class.
“Cassville can provide a student an online class experience, and even though the student isn’t on campus for the required number of hours, that doesn’t mean the student isn’t enrolled in a Cassville class for that number of hours.”
Asbill said attendance online is the same as being on campus.
“That is a new shift for everyone,” he said. “If the parent wanted Cassville to enroll their child in four or five online classes because as a family that is what they want to do, then they have access through those online classes,” he said. “First, the district will pay for those online classes through our provider. Then, if the student wants to participate in soccer or band or whatever they want, the student will have access to it.”
Asbill said when it comes to prom and graduation, those guidelines still have to be followed.
“Just like an outside guest, we would have to approve before they could attend those things,” he said. “But, if you are a student, you would just have to sign up that you plan to attend like everyone else.”
Asbill said as long as the child is enrolled as part-time or full-time and meet the requirements, then they can attend.
“Tuition is set in Cassville at $6,500,” he said. “If a part-time student is enrolled in Cassville classes but out of district then their tuition would be prorated out accordingly.”