In a nutshell, what do we have to do as a homeschool family to comply with private school regulations before submitting the Private School Affidavit between October 1-15?
You will first need to create a name for your private school to use on these and other documents. Here are some ideas for types of school names homeschool families have used.
- You need to keep a record of attendance showing only days absent. . (Note: mark only days your children are ABSENT from being educated. They’d have to be comatose!) But you still have to have the form in your file.
Calendar to print out and use for and homeschooling year.
- You need to have transcripts or diplomas of the instructors on record, at least for one parent or guardian, for the highest level of achievement they attained. A job or experience resumé would also do..
- While you need to cover specific subject areas , you do not need to show anyone your “curriculum” in order to prove you are doing so. Maintain a record of the courses of study you offer. This does not imply a daily record, just a general outline. Again, it is unlikely anyone will ever ask to see this. It might be your goals and general plans for the year. Here is a sample course catalog from a fancy California private school which puts theirs up online each year. You may want to use it as a sample for the grade levels of your children, revising it to fit your goals.
- You need to instruct in English . However, there are exceptions. 50% of the time you may instruct in a language other than English in order to learn or practice that language. If you are recent immigrants, you could make the effort to learn English as a family, resorting to your native language for some subjects. Again, it is highly unlikely any official will ever check to see how much of your homeschool program is in English, but you could be challenged if your children did not appear to be in the process of learning English.
- California health and safety laws require that all private schools keep two health forms on file:
Note: this regulation is in flux because of a bill going through the legislation. Find information about its progress here.
- AND form PM 171A, the “Report of Health Examination for School Entry,”
- OR form PM 171B, the “Waiver of Health Check-up for School Entry.” (section 120365) Place these records in your child’s cumulative file.These records will need to be sent to a new school if he/she ever transfers. Parents may choose to exempt their children from immunization. The back side of Form PM 286 contains the two possible exemptions: a.) Medical and b.) Personal beliefs against immunization. Both forms can be obtained from your local County Health Department. New regulations apply at the start of the school year 2014.
- California Immunization Records Request Response SB277 – Even though the vaccination requirement does not apply to you, they can still ask for your records.
- Between October 1 and 15th (or during the school year if you start later on), a copy (or two) of your Private School Affidavit from the previous or current school year. It is the other items on this list that make you an official private school. The PSA only shows that you have informed the California State Department of Education that you have done so. The file containing items 1-5 is enough “proof” that your children are not truant. If you decide to homeschool after October 15th but before the summer break, you may file at that time. If you decide in the summer, wait until October.