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Homeschooling in Florida

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Here are a few articles about homeschooling in Florida.  For quick answers to some commonly asked questions see our FAQs.  You will find sample letters to submit to your district school superintendent's office in our Printables section, and you may also be interested in these significant Florida news feeds.

Florida Standards Assessments and How They Apply to Homeschoolers

All Florida public schools teach the Florida Standards, and new Florida Standards Assessments (previously Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests (FCAT)) are being administered for the first time in Spring 2015. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, new English Language Arts and Mathematics assessments and Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry End-of-Course Assessments (EOC Assessments) will be administered, and the FCAT 2.0 Science assessment and NGSSS Biology, Civics and U.S. History EOC assessments will be administered.  All public school students are required to participate in the statewide assessment program and all public school students are required to pass the EOC Assessments to earn course credit and meet graduation requirements.

Since these statewide assessments were created to meet accountability requirements for Florida public schools, and since many families have chosen homeschool because of these mandatory tests, why would a homeschooler want to take these tests? Here's one good reason for each:

  • Homeschool students can participate in state standardized testing to meet the annual evaluation requirement.
  • Students can earn high school credits by passing EOC Assessments without having to enroll in or complete the courses.
Since public school students are required to pass the EOC Assessments to earn course credit and meet graduation requirements, if you think your child may at some point enter or return to a public school, we highly recommend that he or she takes these tests.

These statewide assessments are administered at no charge at the district school in which the student is zoned at various times throughout the school year. You can read more about the these tests at the Florida Department of Education and at the Florida Standards Assessments Portal. If you would like for your child to participate in any of these programs, you will need to contact your zoned district school to make arrangements.

Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Florida statewide assessments are being administered as follows:

FLORIDA STATEWIDE ASSESSMENTS AND END-OF-COURSE ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS BEGINNING 2014-2015
Florida Statewide Assessments
Grade K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
English Language Arts       FSA FSA FSA FSA FSA FSA FSA FSA  FSA  
Mathematics       FSA FSA FSA FSA FSA FSA        
Science           FCAT 2.0     FCAT 2.0        
End-of-Course Assessment Requirements
Algebra 1 All students enrolled in a high school Algebra I or equivalent course. FSA
Geometry All students enrolled in a high school Geometry or equivalent course. FSA
Biology 1 All students enrolled in a high school Biology I or equivalent course. FSA
US History All students enrolled in a high school US History or equivalent course. FCAT 2.0
Civics All students enrolled in a middle school Civics education course. FCAT 2.0
Key: FSA FSA  FCAT 2.0 and NGSSS Assessments FCAT 2.0

 Previously, these tests were administered as follows:

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT)

All Florida public schools teach the Florida Standards, and the FCAT 2.0 is one of the annual criterion-referenced tests used to measure how well students learn what is taught. (EOC Assessments are also used.) The FCAT 2.0 is being replaced by new Florida Standards Assessments, however, it is still being used for the statewide science assessment for students in grades 5 and 8.  

Who Participates

All public school students are required to participate in the statewide assessment program. All students with disabilities are required to participate, unless they meet specific exclusion criteria. Private school students (including those enrolled in umbrella schools) do not participate unless they are attending a private school through a McKay or Florida Tax Credit scholarship program. Homeschooled students may participate in FCAT testing if the FCAT is chosen to meet the annual evaluation requirement.

FCAT Administration

The FCAT is administered at no charge at the district school in which the student is zoned. Test schedules can be found on the Florida Standards Assessments Portal

Who to Contact

At the beginning of each school year, parents/guardians of home educated students must notify their district testing office of their intention to use statewide assessments as that year's annual measure of their students' progress. If you would like for your child to participate in the FCAT science assessment, contact your zoned district school to make arrangements.

A Few Helpful Links

These links below provide more information about the FCAT and take you to resources offered by the Florida Department of Education.

Beginning with students who entered grade 9 in the 2010-2011 school year, students who did not earned the required passing score of 245 on the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading Assessment may earn a concordant passing score of 430 on the SAT or 19 on the ACT. (6A-1.094223)

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