At school, Nora and Jeramy Kerbs fished eggs from the water, watched tadpoles grow into frogs and studied the amphibians.
The only thing they didn’t do was disect the frogs. The kids didn’t want to cut them apart and that was OK with Wanda Kerbs, their teacher and mother, who said she wants to teach her children life lessons.
Nora and Jeramy are among the many North Side students being taught at home.
“Our kids learn so much better one-on-one,” said Kerbs, the home school support group leader for Country Home Schoolers in the Riverside area.
For the first time, the annual Momentum report card on county schools included home-schooling and private school numbers.
Since 1990, the report card has published data to try to improve the county’s public schools. This year’s report includes numbers from the 1992-1993 school year on subjects including test scores, graduation, spending and revenue per student, and graduation rates.
The Deer Park and Riverside school districts lead the county in the percentage of home schoolers, with 3.5 percent each. Fifty-seven students in Deer Park and 76 students in Riverside are taught at home.
Kathleen McCurdy, director of the Family Learning Organization, a Spokane home school group that also teaches parents how to teach at home, said those numbers could be low. Families are not required to report home schooling before their children are 8 years old or after their children earn graduationequivalency diplomas.
McCurdy said more parents in North Side school districts might lean toward teaching their children at home.
“Families that are focused on their children tend to avoid the more urban areas and prefer living in the country,” she said.
Deer Park High School Principal Jean Chandler agreed. She said home schooling does not reflect poorly on public schools.
Six families joined the Country Home Schoolers last winter after moving into the area, Kerbs said. None considered public schools. About 15 families belong to the group, with about 40 children.
“Home schooling is not for every parent,” Kerbs said. “We need our public schools. I have nothing against public schools.”
The Momentum report card also included the following information:
Girls outnumber boys in advanced placement spots in the North Side school districts, including District 81.
Of all county school districts, Riverside topped the list for the percentage of students passing the advanced placement test. Students passed all of the 46 tests taken in English, math analysis and calculus.
Deer Park and Riverside school districts had a higher percentage of disabled students than other county districts. Twenty-one percent of Deer Park’s student body and 16 percent of Riverside’s were disabled. Countywide, 10 percent of students have special needs.
Deer Park and Riverside school districts also led the county in the percentage of free and reduced-price lunches. Fifty-nine percent of lunches served in Deer Park and 62 percent in Riverside were free or reduced-price. All North Side districts except for Mead increased the percentage of free and reducedprice lunches served between 1990 and 1993, indicating a growing number of poor students.
Deer Park and Mead districts led the county in the percentage of staff with master’s degrees or equivalents. Ninety-three percent of the staff at Deer Park and 90 percent at Mead hold master’s degrees or equivalents.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Enrollments These are the number of North Side students enrolled in private schools, in public schools and in home schooling for the 1992-1993 school year, according to the Momentum report card. Deer Park: None in private schools, 1,552 in public schools and 57 in home schooling. Mead: 620 in private schools, 6,960 in public schools and 60 in home schooling. Nine Mile Falls: 25 in private schools, 1,269 in public schools and 22 in home schooling. Riverside: None in private schools, 2,119 in public schools and 76 in home schooling. Spokane District 81: 3,882 in private schools, 29,430 in public schools and 299 in home schooling.