LRSD approves policy allowing homeschoolers to participate in extracurriculars

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Some Little Rock School District students can expect to see some new faces during their after school activities this year. Thursday afternoon, board members unanimously voted to allow homeschooled students to join in on extracurricular activities.

Along with new classes and teachers, this year thousands of Little Rock students can expect to see new teammates on the field and band mates at practice. But one board member worries that this new policy may come with problems.

Every year is full of changes for incoming high school and middle school students and a new law passed earlier this year may just add to the list. That's because beginning this year not all students involved in after school activities will be taught in the classroom.

The Little Rock School District board members unanimously voted to implement the new policy.

"If a student is interested, right now we're encouraging them to contact the principal of the school where they would normally be zoned to attend to complete the paperwork," said Pam Smith, spokesperson for the district.

But in the few minutes of discussion surrounding the new policy one board member made sure to express his concerns about what the law says districts can and can't do.

"It makes it difficult to monitor, we can't go backwards, we don't know any history. The law doesn't allow any of that," said Jody Carreiro, and LRSD board member.

Legally, a school cannot look into a child's disciplinary or academic history.

"We have very high standards that we've been tasked to meet those very high standards," he said. "And, yet, a student can come in and we don't know where they're at."

Carreiro says the district is drawing up a plan that addresses these concerns. But he admits, it may just be a matter of trial and error.

"They're going to track what kind of participation we get through this and if the outline we have is working and if we need to address anything," said Carreiro.

Every district has to vote on this policy like LRSD did Thursday night. They have until Friday the 16th to do so.

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