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Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

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What are the responsibilities of parents who wish to establish a home education program?

What is a portfolio?

Where do I find materials?

Does my child have to take the FCAT or any other state assessments?

What if my child does take the FCAT?

How can a home education student obtain a diploma?

Must all home education parents submit an annual evaluation?

What type of evaluation will meet the annual requirement?

What is part-time enrollment?

What other opportunities are available to home educated students?

How do I enroll or re-enroll my child in a public school?

What is Florida Virtual School?

What is Hillsborough Virtual School?

Answers

Q.

A.

imageWhat are the responsibilities of parents who wish to establish a home education program?
As required by Section 1002.41, F.S. to establish a home education program and maintain compliance, the parent must:

  • Send a notice of intent (pdf) to the school district superintendent.
  • Maintain the portfolio of records.
  • Make the portfolio available for inspection by the superintendent upon a 15-day notice.
  • Submit an annual evaluation for each child to the school district superintendent.
  • Preserve each child's portfolio for two years.
  • Submit a letter of termination (pdf) upon completion of the home education program or change of residence.
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Q.

What is a portfolio?
A.

Section 1002.41, F.S. defines a portfolio as "A log of educational activities which is made contemporaneously with the instruction and which designates by title any reading materials used and samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or reactive materials used or developed by the student." (As you teach, you should date and record the activities that occur and materials that are used.)

The law further requires the parent or guardian to preserve the portfolio for two years and to make the portfolio available for inspection upon 15 days' written notice by the superintendent, or the superintendent's designee. Nothing in the Legislation requires the superintendent to inspect all portfolios.
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Q.

Where do I find materials?
A. School districts do not supply books, curricula or materials to home education parents. Some home school parents utilize the following resources:
 
Florida Parent-Educators Association (FPEA)
PO Box 50685
Jacksonville, FL 32240-0685
Toll-free telephone: 1-877-275-3732

Kim Coley
District 5, Director (FPEA)
(727) 865-1179
district5@fpea.com
 
Florida Textbook Depository (Jacksonville)
(904) 781-7191
Web site: www.fsbd.com
Toll-free telephone: 1-800-447-7957

Hillsborough County Public Schools
WAREHOUSE
5715 E. Hanna Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33610
(813) 744-8260
(Out of Adoption Textbooks Only)
 


Curriculum Vendors
Venders may be located on the Internet. Your public library provides Internet access and possibly materials that can supplement your program.
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Q.

Does my child have to take the FCAT or any other state assessments?
A.

No. Home school students are not required to take any type of state assessment test. An annual evaluation is the only evaluation mandated by law.
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Q.

What if my child does take the FCAT?
A.

FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) scores of home school students are automatically sent to the Office of the Superintendent and must be used as the annual evaluation for home education. (If scores are unsatisfactory, no other form of annual evaluation can be substituted.) Registration for FCAT testing must occur prior to January 1st at your local public school in order to assure that test materials are available. Part-time home education students' FCAT scores will be sent to the school.
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Q.

How can a home education student obtain a diploma?
A.

School districts, adult high schools and community colleges are not authorized to provide regular high school diplomas to home school students who complete a high school course of study at home.

A home education student can enroll in an accredited high school; take and pass the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) test at an education center and be awarded a GED diploma by the State of Florida or utilize a curriculum provider (e.g., a correspondence school) that offers a credential to the student. For GED information, call (813) 276-5654.
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Q.

Must all home education parents submit an annual evaluation?
A.

Yes. By law, all parents who are enrolled in home education must submit an annual evaluation for each child, even if they plan to re-enroll their child in a public or private school for the following school year. Almost all home education parents follow the public school calendar in order to take advantage of the availability of evaluators and standardized testing.
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Q.

What type of evaluation will meet the annual requirement?
A.

A home educator is to submit an annual evaluation for each home education student. The requirement may be met by submitting one of the following:

  1. A written evaluation performed by a teacher with a valid Florida Certificate.
  2. The results of a nationally normed achievement test administered by a teacher with a valid Florida Certificate.
  3. The results of a state student assessment test used by the school district. (These scores, whether unsatisfactory or satisfactory, are automatically sent to the Home Education Office for the annual evaluation.)
  4. The results of an evaluation by a psychologist with a valid active Florida license.
  5. For high school students completing the junior or senior year, an official score report from the SAT or ACT may be submitted. The test results must reflect a spring testing date.
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Q.

What is part-time enrollment?
A.

Hillsborough County Public Schools allows home education students to return to their zoned school of attendance to take classes to supplement the parent's home education curriculum. The number and types of classes available are different at the elementary, middle and senior high school level. Part-time enrollment should occur at the beginning of a semester or a nine-week period.
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Q.

What other opportunities are available to home educated students?
A.

Home education students in grades 9 – 12 may:

  1. Participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities at their local school site. For more information contact the district Department of Athletics at (813) 740-3971.
  2. Enroll in dual enrollment courses through the local community college. Information may be obtained by contacting Hillsborough Community College at (813) 253-7121.
  3. May meet eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. More information may be obtained by calling the Florida Department of Education at 1-888-827-2004 or through the Bright Futures homepage at http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/ssfad/home/uamain.htm.
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Q.

How do I enroll or re-enroll my child in a public school?
A.

(See Terminating Home Education.)
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Q.

What is Florida Virtual School?
A.

The Florida Virtual School (FVS) is the first statewide on-line high school in the nation that provides on-line courses to all students in affiliated school districts through the State of Florida. It is a no-campus high school that offers interactive courses based on the Sunshine State Standards.

You may learn more about Florida Virtual School by calling (407) 317-3326 or by visiting their web site at: www.flvs.net.
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Q.

What is Hillsborough Virtual School?
A.

Hillsborough Virtual School (HVS) is a franchise of Florida Virtual School (FLVS) and provides free on-line high school and middle school courses to home education students. By utilizing the service provided by HVS, you and your child will have the best of both worlds.

  • The ability to educate your child at home
  • The ability to monitor your child’s day-to-day academic activity at home (active participation is required of the parent/guardian)
  • The advantage and convenience of a state of the art on-line curriculum, including regular, honors, and Advanced Placement (AP) courses
  • The ability to access your child’s on-line school activity, lessons, grades, and teacher communications
  • A certified teacher to help you and your child with questions that arise
  • Teachers required to return calls and emails with 24 hours
  • Peer communication available where students can get help from each other

For more information, visit http://online.mysdhc.org.
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Hillsborough County Public Schools, Florida USA
Home Education
1202 Palm Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33605 - (813) 273-7256
E-mail: Home.Education@sdhc.k12.fl.us