News & Announcements

13 Dec 2017
Field Trips

Field Trip: Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium

Friday, January 26, 2018, Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium, 1 Roosevelt Rd, Pine Knoll Shores, NC

Dive into adventure with NCHE for an educational visit to Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium!  Take a tour of North Carolina’s aquatic life “from the mountains to the sea.” Laugh at the antics of playful river otters. Feel the spray from a waterfall. Talk with divers as they swim with sharks in the Living Shipwreck, featuring a WW II German U-boat replica. See sea turtles and jellyfish. Touch a stingray in the touch pool.  The aquarium is home to thousands of creatures.

A special 30-minute program (fee charged) about Sea Turtles will be offered at 10:30. 

Participants may arrive anytime between 9:30 and 10:15 on Friday, January 26.  Advance registration is required.

Registration/Pricing details:

To qualify for FREE admission for school age children (5-18), you must:

1. Provide printed proof of homeschool status.  Proof can be a print-out of:  state issued home school documentation showing your ID number, a school ID card, enrollment form into a homeschool group. Hand the paper copy/proof to NCHE staff on-site.

2. NOT have visited the aquarium as free/school in the last 12 months Pre-registration is still required below.

Fees apply for:

1. Parents:  $1 each.

2. Preschool children ages 3 and 4 at the rate of $10.00/child (babies through 2 years are free).  Must be pre-paid through NCHE registration below.

3. Other adults (grandparents, for example) pay at the door at the group rate of $9.31 plus tax.

4. Sea Turtle Special program:  School children ages 5-18 are $3 each.  Parents and pre-schoolers through 4 years old are free.  Must be pre-paid for through NCHE registration below.

REGISTER HERE.

Registration is transferable but non-refundable.  Registration deadline is Wednesday, January 24, 2018. 

 

 

 

25 Oct 2017
Field Trips

Field Trip: Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics

     

NCHE Homeschool Night with the Hornets!

         Wednesday, December 27, 2017, 7 pm tip off

                Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics

 

Join homeschool family and friends at NCHE Homeschool Night with the Hornets!

All attendees buying their tickets through our link will receive:

  • a Hornets t-shirt
  • post-game free thrown on the Hornets NBA basketball court
  • NCHE group recognition on the Hornets scoreboard

In addition, NCHE Athletic Commission basketball players will have court time on the Hornets

practice court earlier in the day.  Details to follow.

Group tickets (mid-curve) are now on sale for $33.25 (includes tax). These are expected to be "hot"

tickets, selling for upwards of $60 each (plus tax and processing fees).  Please note there is a per order

(not per ticket) handling fee--so grouping your ticket purchase with others will help to minimize cost. 

For additional details and to place your order, click here:  NCHE Homeschool Night.pdf

Questions?  Contact NCHE Activities Director Evelyn Bickley, evelyn.bickley@nche.com or

Megan Robinson, Sales Executive for the Hornets at mrobinson@hornets.com, 704.688.9069

5 Oct 2017
Law & Policy

NCHE White Paper: Homeschools and Public School Classes

It has become fairly common for homeschools to receive solicitations from local school districts offering classes on the Internet or in the classroom. Many school districts are stating that homeschool students can be dually enrolled in both homeschool and public school, and they encourage or require that homeschool students enroll in at least two classes per semester to participate. Also, the two virtual charter schools, the North Carolina Connections Academy and the North Carolina Virtual Academy, are heavily promoting their free public schools. Can homeschools use these resources, and what are the ramifications?

Can a student be dually enrolled in both homeschool and public school?
I have consulted with more than a dozen North Carolina lawyers and lawmakers to get a definitive answer to this question. Unfortunately, I have not received a conclusive answer. Therefore, to be safe, NCHE recommends that homeschool students should avoid dual enrollment in public school until this issue is clarified.

To understand how local governments can create law or policy, one has to have an understanding of where they derive their powers. All of lawyers and lawmakers agree that North Carolina is not a home rule state, where local municipalities and districts can determine their own system of self-government without receiving a charter or permission from the state. Cities and counties in home rule states can do anything that is not specifically forbidden by state or federal law.

North Carolina is considered to be a Dillon’s Rule state. Dillon’s Rule maintains that a local government or district only has the authority to establish regulations or policies that have been granted to them by the state constitution, state laws, or can be implied by the authority granted to them.

Because North Carolina is a Dillon’s Rule state, and there is no statute that allows a student to be dually enrolled in a public school and a nonpublic school (homeschools and private schools), the majority of those with whom I consulted, including the former legal counsel for the NC Department of Administration, answered that a nonpublic school student can’t be dually enrolled in the public school because the state has not granted that permission. However, two of those I consulted as well as  the current legal counsel for the NC Department of Administration believe that the broad powers that have been granted to local governments by the General Assembly and the courts imply that that they have the authority to implement a dual enrollment policy. Therefore, the NC Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE) takes the position that dual enrollment in public schools and homeschools is allowed.

Because there is no statute or constitutional amendment granting local school districts such a power, and the majority of those with whom I consulted agreed that a nonpublic school student can’t be dually enrolled in the public school, NCHE has taken the position that dual enrollment in homeschools and public schools is not clearly legal.

NC virtual charter schools are public schools.
These schools are like brick and mortar charter schools, except all classes are taken online. They are chartered by the NC State Board of Education, have a non-profit board of directors independent of the local school district, and are public schools. NC has approved two virtual charter schools: The North Carolina Virtual Academy (with curriculum supplied by the for-profit K-12, Inc.) and the North Carolina Connections Academy (with curriculum provided by the for-profit Connections Education, LLC, which is owned by the UK-based Pearson PLC). While K-12, Inc. also provides virtual homeschool curriculum, there is no connection between the North Carolina Virtual Academy and homeschooling. Even though they are taking all their classes at home, students in these schools are public school students and can’t be homeschool students for two reasons.

1.       The scope and sequence of academic instruction is not determined by the student’s parents, legal guardians or member of the household as required by the state definition of homeschool (contained in Part 3 of article 39 Chapter 115C of the NC statutes.)

2.       There is no provision in NC statutes allowing a student to be dually enrolled as a NC virtual charter school student and as a nonpublic school student.

What about NC Virtual Public School classes?
These classes were designed for NC public school students, but there is a provision in the statute that allows nonpublic school students to take these courses. NC Virtual Public School isn’t really a school, because it can’t issue diplomas. The diplomas are issued by the schools that enroll the students in NC Virtual Public School classes. By enrolling for classes via the NC Virtual Public School website, there will be no question about the student’s homeschool status. The homeschool will pay the tuition for each class the student takes. A student taking classes that their homeschool pays for would not be considered dually enrolled.

Why is the NCHE recommendation the safe position?
In 2012 there were more than 260 homeschool students dually enrolled in homeschool and the Iredell-Statesville School District. At that time there was only one school district promoting dual enrollment. Since that time there have been hundreds of students dually enrolled, and now there are at least thirty school districts promoting dual enrollment. The majority of these students never encounter a question of the validity of their homeschool diploma. However, there have been a few homeschool graduates who have suffered consequences from being dually enrolled.

In recent years, there have been several homeschool graduates who have applied for a job, applied for college entrance, or have attempted to enlist in the military. When their applications were put through the verification process, these students were all determined to be high school dropouts. All of these graduates had graduated from a homeschool that complied with state law and had properly notified DNPE of their intent to open a homeschool, and all the students had been dually enrolled in both their homeschool and a local high school. Because these students had not completed the graduation requirements for the local high school in which they were in enrolled, they were listed as dropouts by the school district and the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

DNPE was very helpful in authenticating the graduates’ homeschools. However, because the staff attorneys for DPI believed that dual enrollment in a public and nonpublic school is not allowed, DPI refused to remove the homeschool graduates’ names from the list of dropouts. Consequently, most of these graduates were not given a job, admitted into college, or allowed to enlist in the military. While, most graduates have not encountered a problem by being dually enrolled in homeschool and public school, a few have dealt with problems that are not easily overcome.

NCHE will continue to work to get a conclusive answer on the legitimacy of dual enrollment in homeschool and public school classes, as well as the appropriate policies to protect homeschoolers. Until we receive a definite answer that is understood by all parties concerned, NCHE recommends avoiding dual enrollment of students in both homeschool and public high school until the question of its legality is resolved. Homeschool students that take public school classes and have their homeschools pay the tuition for those classes will not be listed by DPI as public school students. It is clear that homeschool students may attend public school classes if they are “visiting students” and the homeschool pays the tuitions and fees associated with those classes.

To download this white paper click here, Homeschools and Public School Classes.pdf.

26 Sep 2017
Field Trips

Field Trip: Old Salem Tour & Candle Tea

Old Salem

Tuesday, December 5, 2017, Old Salem Visitor's Center, 900 Old Salem Road, Winston-Salem, NC.

NOTE:  This is a 2-part field trip.  You can attend the Candle Tea portion OR the Old Salem Footsteps Through History tour OR both.  Please note registration deadline for Footsteps Through History is November 3.  Candle Tea tickets will continue to be sold while supply lasts. 

Old Salem

The Footsteps Through History tour is a self-guided town visit and includes admission to the doctor's house and medical museum, the potter's shop, the joinery (furniture making) and other town buildings and gardens.   It also includes an educational video on the history of Old Salem at the Visitors Center and admission to three self-guided galleries in the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) that feature ceramics, textiles and furniture. 

Old Salem Tour

Candle Tea   

CANDLE TEA TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT.

Hosted by the Home Moravian Church of Winston-Salem, the Candle Tea is a Christmas tradition.  This abbreviated version includes a 40 minute tour of the Single Brothers house with special emphasis on the kitchen, candlemaking, the Nativity story, the Moravian putz (miniature replica of Old Salem), and a Moravian sugar cookie. 

Tours group size is strictly limited due to fire codes.  If you want to be with your friends, please have one person order all the tickets for your group. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated.  Every effort will be made to give you your preferred time.    

Register Now

Register Now! Registration for the Old Salem Footsteps Through History tour must be made by November 3 to insure the discounted admission price.  Tickets will be held at the NCHE desk in the Old Salem Visitors Center for pick up on December 5.    CANDLE TEA TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT. 

Prices: Old Salem Footsteps Through History Adult (out of high school):  $31.95

            Old Same Footsteps Through History Student (ages 4 and older):  $15.75

            Candle Tea (everyone ages 2 and older):  $1.75

You will receive an email confirming your reservations, with admission time, details, and further information. Tickets are transferable but non-refundable.

26 Sep 2017
Field Trips

Field Trip: Lazy 5 Ranch

Join NCHE at the Lazy 5 Ranch!  We will be visiting there on Friday, November 10.  Participants must arrive no later than 10:45 and will be permitted to stay as long as you wish.  Picnic areas are free for our use on a first come, first served basis. 

The ranch is home to more than 750 animals from six continents. As a group, we will view them from the comfort of a horse drawn wagon taking us along a 3 1/2 mile tour of the animals' habitats.  You can also drive your own vehicle along this road as well.  Exotic animals include varieties of deer, cattle, kangaroos, ostriches, camels, rhino, zebra and giraffe--which we will get to feed! 

Advance registration and payment is required.  Admission fee includes wagon tour (approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour), animal feed, the option to drive through the animals habitat areas again in your own vehicle, and access to picnic area.  Registration is $10.50 per child (ages 2-11), $11.50 per adult (12 and older).     REGISTER NOW.                                                                                                                

Please note that no pets or service animals are permitted.  For anything you might want to purchase on-site, Lazy 5 does not accept debit or credit cards.                     

Registration is transferable but non-refundable.  Registration deadline is Wednesday, November 8

7 Sep 2017
Field Trips

Museum of Life and Science Field Trip

Join NCHE on Thursday, October 12, for a day at the Museum of Life and Science, Durham, NC!  With 84 acres of things to explore, there is sure to be something for every learner in your family.  This highly rated science museum features an indoor two story science center; a butterfly pavillion; a haven for rescued black bears, lemurs, red wolves and others; a dinosaur trail; the Ellerbe Creek Railway; treehouses and other interactive outdoor play and learn opportunities.  Your admission includes self-paced time in all areas.  If you decide you want to ride on the Ellerbe Creek Railway, tickets ($5 each) will be available on site from the Museum on a first come, first served basis.

REGISTER NOW

Advance registration and payment required to guarantee our discounted rates.  Tickets will be held for your pick-up at the Museum of Life and Science on October 12. 

Admission for everyone 3 and older is $11.50 (includes tax).  Regular prices are $13.98/student and $19.35/adult.  Children 2 and younger are free.  Tickets for the optional train ride are available for purchase on-site directly from the Museum for $5.

Registration is transferable but non-refundable.  Registration deadline is Tuesday, October 10. 

6 Sep 2017

Field Trip: Biltmore Estate

Join NCHE at the 16th Annual Field to Table Homeschool Festival at the Biltmore Estate, Asheville.  This one day event--choose either Thursday, September 21 or Friday, September 22--is filled with hands-on activities, animals, demonstrations, crafts and great memories for your family!  Included in your visit to "America's Largest Home" are self-guided tours of the house, gardens, conservatory, winery, and Antler Hill Farm where all the special homeschool activities will take place.

Registration fee (paid directly to the Biltmore Estate) is $23 plus tax per person for ages 4 and older.  Advance reservations and payment are required. Lunch and accommodations options are available. 

To purchase your tickets, call 861-855-4661, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For additional information on the Biltmore Estate, click here

14 Mar 2017

NCHE Night with the Charlotte Hornets

BUY TICKETS HERE!

Enter Promo Code: HOMESCHOOL

*NCHE encourages you to purchase in-between Sections 228-231 so the families can sit on the same side of the arena!

  • *IMPORTANT TICKET INFORMATION*

Click on available seats (blue dots) to add to your cart, then log in or create a new account to proceed to checkout.  To print tickets, please visit myhornetsaccount.com and enter your login information within 14 days of the game.

NCHE Homeschool Night Highlights:

  • Fun, family-friendly school spirit night with fellow families and students.
  • Post-game free throw on the Hornets NBA court for everyone who attends with NCHE!
    *Details will be sent out at a later date
  • NCHE will receive recognition on the scoreboard.
  • Ticket savings off the face value and no per ticket fees
  • $25 200-Level – Curve Mid
  • $19 200-Level – Curve High
    (Prices above do not include applicable NC state taxes, Savings is vs. regularly priced tickets purchased online or by phone)

*Important Note: Special ticket offer and incentives are only available when you buy through the link provided above. Tickets purchased through other outlets will not be honored.

NCHE will be there to greet you! Looking forward to seeing you!  Questons?  Contact Evelyn Bickley at evelyn.bickley@nche.com.

16 Feb 2017

Raleigh Museum Options for Capital Fest 2017

 

Photo by Alexisrael

Tuesday, March 7, will be an exciting day for Homeschool families in North Carolina.  In addition to the great line-up of activities at Capital Fest, here are some other educational opportunities in the downtown Raleigh area.  All are within walking distance of Capital Fest sessions and legislative visits. 

1.  North Carolina Legislative Building:  Opened in 1963, the Legislative Building is the current meeting place of the North Carolina General Assembly.  In addition to housing senate and house chambers and offices, the building features a 28 foot mosaic of the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina and other architectural features. Self-guided tours are available, but NCHE has also arranged for a FREE, 30-minute docent led tour of the building at 2 pm.  Free; Space limited; advance registration required.  To be added to the list, please send an email to NCHE Activities Director Evelyn Bickley at evelyn.bickley@nche.com.

2.  North Carolina Museum of History (also houses the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame):  Free admission; open until 5 pm.  In addition to the Story of North Carolina exhibits and a reproduction of the Wright Brothers 1903 Flyer, special traveling exhibits are "Selma to Montgomery: A March for the Right to Vote" and "The Photographs of Hugh Morton."  Click here for a link to activities to do with the kids before and during your visit:  http://ncmuseumofhistory.org/learning/kids

3.  North Carolina Museum of Natural Science:  Free admission to exhibit halls; open until 5 pm.  Admission to traveling exhibit of "The Secret World Inside You" discounted 50%, now only $5 for homeschoolers on March 7. Admission to 3D movies available for $3. Advance reservations NOT necessary.  Simply ask for the NCHE Capital Fest Homeschool Discount at the admission desk. 

The Old Capital Building and the Governor's Mansion will not be open for tours on March 7. 

Click here to register for Capital Fest.

 

6 Jan 2017

Field Trip: Discovery Place Science Museum

(Photo courtesy of Discovery Place)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017:  301 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC; check-in between 10 and noon

Come and spend the day with NCHE at Discovery Place Science Museum, one of the top-rated science museums in the nation. Enrich your students' education with a trip to the Rain Forest, a hands-on encounter with out-of-the-ordinary animals, or an interactive visit with a chemist.  Be lifted high in the air by a vacuum powered Air Chair or lie on a bed of nails unharmed.  The youngest visitors (age 0-7) and their caregivers will enjoy the KidScience, a room full of hands-on learning.

Learn about 13th century Mongolia through the special, limited time exhibit of Genghis Khan.  With more than 200 items on exhibit, view the weaponry, musical instruments and everyday artifacts of life during the Mongol empire.  

Choose from two optional IMAX film experiences:  The Mysteries of China or Secret Ocean

REGISTER NOW

Advance Registration and payment required to guarantee our discounted rates.  Tickets will be held for your pick-up at Discovery Place on February 21. 

Admission for everyone 2 and older is $9 (regular prices are $13.94/student and $18.23/adult).  Children under 2 are free.  Discounted tickets for IMAX shows may be purchased on-site for $5.36 each (regular price of $9/student, $10/adult).