1. What is home education?
A home education program is sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his or her parent or guardian in order to satisfy the requirements of ss. 232.01 and 232.0201.
2. What kinds of records are parents supposed to maintain?
For each student, a portfolio should be maintained. The portfolio shall consist of the following:
A. A log of educational activities which is made along with the instruction and which designates by title any reading materials used.
B. Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student.
The portfolio should be kept by the parent for two years and be made available to the superintendent for inspection upon 15 days written notice.
3. What is an annual evaluation?
A student in a home education setting must be evaluated once a year to demonstrate educational progress at a level commensurate with his or her ability. “Annually” is defined in Florida Statute as one year from the date of the letter of intent, not from the date of the last evaluation.
Evaluation options include:
A. A teacher selected by a parent or guardian shall evaluate the student's educational progress upon review of the portfolio and discussion with the student. The teacher shall hold a VALID REGULAR FLORIDA CERTIFICATE to teach academic subjects at the elementary or secondary level.
B. The student may take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher. *Note: In Pasco County the nationally normed test used is the Stanford Achievement Test.
C. The student may take a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions approved by the school district.
D. The student may be evaluated by a psychologist holding a valid, active license pursuant to the provisions of Statute 490.003(3) or (7).
E. If the student is taking all classes virtually and has successfully completed 8 or more segments within the past 12 months, you may utilize the unofficial transcripts as your evaluation.
F. The student may be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by the school superintendent of the district in which the student resides and the student's parents or guardian.
The school superintendent shall review and accept the results of the annual educational evaluation of the student in a home education program. If the student does not demonstrate progress at a level commensurate with her or his ability, the superintendent shall notify the parent or guardian, in writing, that such progress has not been achieved. The parent or guardian shall have one year from the date of receipt of the written notification to provide remedial instruction to the pupil. At the end of the one year probationary period, the student shall be reevaluated as specified above.
Continuation in a home education program will be contingent upon the student demonstrating educational progress commensurate with her or his ability at the end of the probationary period.
4. What type of diploma do home education children receive?
School districts, adult high schools, and community colleges are not authorized to provide regular high school diplomas to students who complete a high school course of study as home education students.
A student may receive a Parent Issued Diploma, take the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) test at an education center and be awarded a GED diploma by the State of Florida if the student receives a passing score, or may utilize a curriculum provider (e.g., a correspondence school) that offers a credential to the student. (Please note: Students enrolled in Florida Virtual School (FLVS) as a Home Education Student will not receive a diploma from FLVS.)
5. Do home education students have any trouble being accepted into colleges or universities?
Students who complete their high school course of study as home education students sometimes have difficulty being admitted to community colleges and four-year universities. Post secondary institutions usually have an alternate method of admission that allows students to be admitted if they do not have a high school diploma. Taking and passing the GED test and receiving a GED diploma may be one of the criteria that are used for alternative admission. Colleges, especially four-year universities, may also require that home education students take college entrance tests like the SAT and ACT and obtain scores high enough to show that they have the academic knowledge and skills that will allow them to be successful in college.
6. Can home education students attend public schools part time or for selected courses?
Secondary (Middle and High School) level students are entitled to enroll on a part-time basis (no more than three (3) classes) at their zoned school so long as:
A. The class requested has space to accommodate the student
B. The principal approves the enrollment.
All Home Education students wishing to attend their zoned public school part time must have an MIS 630 form completed at the school.
7. Does the state or local school district determine the curriculum or course of study for students in home education?
No. The local school district and state are not required to determine curriculum, provide guidelines, materials, books, or other resources.