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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.

Establishing a Homeschool Program in Florida

In order for you to establish a homeschool program in Florida, you must send a written notice of intent to the district school superintendent of the county in which you reside.  You can download a sample notice of intent here, or you may find that your district has a form available on their website for you to download.  You can find the name and address of your district school superintendent at the Florida Department of Education or at your district school's website.  The notice must be signed by you and include the names, addresses, and birthdates of all children who will be enrolled.  You must file this notice within 30 days of establishing your home education program.

In order to maintain compliance with Florida statutes, you must:

  1. Maintain a portfolio of records and materials consisting of a log of educational activities that is made contemporaneously with instruction and that designates by title any reading materials used and samples of writings, worksheets, and/or creative materials used or developed by your child.  The portfolio must be preserved for two years and made available for inspection by the district school superintendent upon 15-days' written notice. (Note, however, that your district school superintendent is not required to inspect your portfolio.)

  2. Provide for an annual educational evaluation which documents your child's demonstration of educational progress at a level commensurate with his or her ability. (You will find a  Sample Annual Evaluation in our printables section.) The evaluation may consist of any one of the following:

    (1) A certified teacher selected by you may review your portfolio and have a discussion with your child;

    (2) Your child may take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;

    (3) Your child may take a state student assessment test  at a location and under testing conditions approved by the district school;

    (4) Your child may be evaluated by a licensed psychologist pursuant to the provisions of s. 490.003(7) or (8); or

    (5) Your child may be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by you and your district school superintendent. 

  3. Submit a  written notice of termination within 30 days of completion of your home education program or change of residence. You will find a Sample Termination Notice in our printables section.

For more detailed information on your requirements, read Florida Statute 1002.41.  To learn more about Student and Parental Rights and Educational Choices, see s. 1002.01 and s. 1002.20.  You can also read about it at Florida Department of Education's Office of Independent Education & Parental Choice.

Home School vs. Private (Umbrella) School

Are you wondering what the differences are between establishing a home education program with your district school and enrolling your child in an umbrella school?  There are a few things to consider, as each option has its own pros and cons (depending on how you look at it), so here is a brief comparison. Just a note, in Florida, home educated students enrolled in umbrella schools are considered private schooled students, not home schooled students. For more information about Florida private schools, visit the Florida Department of Education's Office of Independent Education & Parental Choice website. This does not mean you are not homeschooling your children, but it does change the way homeschool laws apply to you.  How you choose to comply with Florida's compulsory school attendance will determine your record keeping requirements and options as a home educator. 

Requirement or Option
Enrolled in a Florida Umbrella School
Registered with District School as a Homeschooler
Notify the district school superintendent
 
Required
Be bound by specific attendance requirements
Yes
 
 Maintain a portfolio of records and materials
Most don't require; we recommend
Required
 Provide for an annual educational evaluation
Some require
Required
Take courses through Florida Virtual School
If the school has an articulation agreement with FLVS
Yes
Receive instructional materials
Some provide for an additional fee
 
Participate in local district courses
 
Some districts will allow
Participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities  
 
Required
Participate in dual enrollment
(Varies by college)
Yes
Qualify for Bright Futures Scholarships
If the school issues diplomas or the student obtains a GED.
Yes
Attend summer school
Many offer middle/high school
summer courses through FLVS.
Some districts will allow
Earn a Diploma
Some award diplomas
 
Provide Transcripts
Some provide transcripts
 
Submit a letter of termination upon completion
 
Required

This is just a general check list and by no means exhaustive. Different umbrella schools have different requirements and offer varying services.  Before deciding on how you will comply with Florida's compulsory school attendance, determine which options you need to meet your child's educational goals. If you would like to learn about our school and what we have to offer, click here!

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