Homeschooling In Lake County
Homeschooling is one of five legal ways to satisfy Florida's compulsory attendance law. Florida Statute 1003.01 (13) gives parents the choice of achieving regular school attendance through one of these provisions:
- Public School
- Parochial, Religious, or Denominational School
- Non-traditional Private School
- Private Tutoring program
In all cases, a child turning 6 before February 1 of the school year is subject to compulsory attendance and must attend school regularly the entire term.
State law defines a home education program as "sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his or her parent or guardian in order to satisfy the requirements of state statutes 232.01 and 232.0201". This wording allows for a great deal of flexibility in choosing the learning environment of home school students.
With the aid of technology, correspondence courses, and private sector curriculum; parents are able to access educational materials and guidance for their home education program. The school board does not provide or recommend materials or curriculum for families.
What are my legal responsibilities as a home schooling parent or guardian?
As parent or guardian you must:
1. Send a notice of intent to the Superintendent of Schools or designee.
Your written notice of intent must include each of the following:
- Name of each child (6-16 years old)
- Birth date of each child named.
- A parent's or guardian's signature.
The notice must be filed in your district school superintendent's office within 30 days of beginning your homeschool program. Be sure to send it certified mail, return-receipt requested to prove it reached it's destination.
Simply print, fill out the information, sign, then send to the address below:
Lake County Schools Student Services
512 South Palm Ave.
Howey-in-the-Hills, FL 34737
2. Maintain a portfolio of educational records.
Your portfolio must contain your documented records with the documentation occurring at the same time as instruction. The portfolio must also contain sample materials, meaning "samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used by the student."
3. Make the portfolio available for review by the Superintendent upon a 15-day notice.
The law requires you to make your portfolio "available for inspection by the superintendent or the superintendent's agent, upon 15 days written notice." The inspection is only to make sure the portfolio is legal; the superintendent cannot evaluate its contents.
The law requires an annual evaluation, which the parent or guardian must file with the district school superintendent's office. The annual evaluation is due one year after submission of your letter of intent. There are 5 evaluation options provided for by Florida law:
Individual evaluation by a Florida certified teacher of your choice.
· Any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher of your choice.
· State student assessment test.
· Psychological evaluation
· Any other method mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent
5. Retain the educational portfolio for two years.
The law specifically states that "the portfolio shall be preserved by the parent's for two years."
6. Submit a letter of termination upon completion of your home-education program, upon enrollment in a public or private school, or upon moving from the county.
You must file a notice of termination with the superintendent within 30 days of the time you end your homeschool program. A notice of termination should include the same information as your notice of intent. Once again send your notice certified mail, return-receipt requested to prove it reached it's destination.